By Alex Muhumuza
The ChimpReports website – one of the favorite Museveni-regime mouthpieces – in a desperate ploy to pump up negativity about Rwanda now is attacking its military, RDF, with slanders that its soldiers are crossing into Uganda looking for food and drinks.
This article follows a series of fabrications by several Ugandan misinformation outlets alleging that Rwandan nationals are fleeing to Uganda “in search of food”.
It prompted one Rwandan to exclaim, “These Ugandans; why are they obsessed with this childish thinking that food grows only in Uganda!”
The ChimpReports article, published yesterday, 18 April, makes allegations that the Rwandan soldiers that cross to Kisoro are, in addition, doing so illegally. The website bases its story on the words of one bar owner, Hellen Mwiza. That is the entirety of their sourcing.
The “testimony” of this Mwiza does not stand the simplest scrutiny. It in fact looks to be none-existent, as no reputable media house in the region has reported on the alleged violation of Ugandan territory by a foreign, i.e. Rwandan, force.
ChimpReports in coordination with other state-sponsored outlets and bloggers are bent on creating a (fictitious) narrative of poverty and despair in Rwanda.
According to some observers, this is an orchestrated effort to buttress an ongoing lie that “Since Rwanda closed her borders from last month, ‘Rwandans are suffering’.” It is a lie that they now are extending to the Rwandan military, reputedly one of the most disciplined forces on the African continent.
A little research on the Internet will reveal that wherever the RDF has been on the African continent as peacekeepers – Sudan, Central African Republic, and elsewhere – they are hugely appreciated by local populations for their professionalism and discipline. They did such a professional job in CAR for instance that the head of state, Catherine Samba-Panza, chose RDF to be her guards, amongst a whole host of other peacekeeping contingents.
The Rwandan Defense Force is a highly respected institution both nationally and internationally, further inquiry will reveal. Rwanda was the fourth UN troops-contributing country in 2018 and has garnered a lot of respect, and a reputation for professionalism and dedication to service.
“To see some Ugandan media claim that members of such a military would even remotely consider setting foot in another country in search of food shows how desperate those media have become!” commented another analyst.
Remarkably, the Kampala propagandists seem to be projecting the behavior of their own army, UPDF, upon that of Rwanda’s.
Every Ugandan grows up seeing the rogue behavior, the thuggishness and general indiscipline of Ugandan security forces, most especially UPDF. Ugandan soldiers are known to be uncouth, loud, and attract a bad name everywhere they go, said a Kampala-based journalist that requested anonymity to speak freely.
“In Somalia, UPDF are accused of being robbers and rapists! In DR Congo, under the direction of Gen. Salem Saleh they plundered that country so much that when DRC took Uganda to the international court, it ordered Uganda to pay its neighbor US$ 10 billion,” added the journalist.
The NilePost, another Ugandan website, in September 2018 reported on how UPDF officers were stealing meat from lions in Queen Elizabeth Park. The lions would hunt down their prey hoping to feed themselves and their families, only for Museveni’s soldiers to make it a habit to steal from the beasts.
In recent times, we were all exposed to the sight of Uganda soldiers – including a retired General – beating up a traffic police officer on duty, and equally scandalous activities of members of the UPDF, such as a Special Forces Officer caught in the act of armed robbery.
Maybe Museveni’s minions are also jealous of Rwanda for the good name of its institutions that they will try to tarnish RDF as well, say other analysts.
But such slanders only make the minions an even bigger laughing stock.