By Patience Kirabo
The family of Ivan Mukiza, a 23-year old Rwandan national that was murdered in Uganda last Thursday, says the Uganda Government should be called to account for their son’s murder.
Mukiza was reportedly murdered by one Edson Kazungu in Kisoro, who then fled the crime scene leaving the victim’s lifeless body on the ground. Kisoro Police later reported that the young man was hit with a hammer on the head, resulting in his death.
The deceased, who hailed from Mukamira in Nyabihu District, had been peacefully living and working in Kisoro for years until Kazungu murdered him following what is termed “a misunderstanding.” The body was handed over to Rwandan authorities at the Cyanika Border Post by Ugandan local authorities the following day, Friday.
According to those that knew him, Mukiza was “a decent young man that had lived peacefully ever since he moved to Uganda.” But in the ongoing anti-Rwanda hostile environment fostered by the Ugandan regime few Rwandans are safe any more, Rwandan border authorities have remarked. “Obviously the fellow that killed Mukiza had an agenda, and he knew he would not be held accountable. ”
Upon receiving Mukiza’s body, the government of Rwanda requested an update on the investigation of his death, and his murderer. However, since then nothing has been communicated, either to his family or to the Rwanda government. This has led the family to question the circumstances of their son’s death as not much information has been given by the Uganda government, “which shows no sign of investigating the culprit though he is well known,” they bitterly remark.
“Our young boy was murdered in cold blood and no one cared to find out how and why he was killed?” asked an uncle to the deceased. “Mukiza being a Rwandan, his murder clearly was planned!”
A trend has long emerged whereby Rwandans in many areas in Uganda are being victimized just because of who they are. In the same week that Mukiza lost his life, another Rwandan national, one Emmanuel Baragahoranye, was also killed. The unknown assailants dumped Baragahoranye’s body in a potato field. Just like with Mukiza’s case, the Ugandan authorities are yet to investigate his death.
In recent years Rwandan nationals travelling to Uganda, or living there have suffered harassment and persecution at the hands of security agencies, so much so that arbitrary arrests or abductions on concocted charges became routine. Accusations of “espionage”, “illegal weapons possession,” “kidnap”, and others for which they never afford the victims a chance to defend themselves against have been common. Almost invariably they are followed by illegal detention, incommunicado, with no right to consular visits. Hundreds of innocent Rwandans have suffered torture, and every imaginable abuse of their rights at the hands of Ugandan security agencies.
Though some have been lucky to be released from prisons and dungeons, deaths resulting from the abuses and injustices inflicted by operatives of Ugandan security services against Rwandans have been many.