By Alain Mucyo
In the night of 10 October 2019, around 3 am a group of unidentified thugs pelted with stones a Kigali-bound passenger service bus from Kampala, seriously damaging the vehicle. The incident occurred between an area called Muhanga and Ntungamo, about 45 kilometers from Gatuna Border Post inside Uganda.
The bus, Registration Number RAD 259M, which belongs to Volcano, a Rwandan transport company was being driven by Rwandan national Muhammad Sibomana. According to available information, about four thugs way-laid the bus that was carrying passengers coming to Kigali from the Ugandan capital.
An eyewitness who was among the passengers on board, said that the driver continued even with the hail of stones that were being pelted at the bus and a short distance away, they met a police patrol car. “We stopped and recounted the incident to them, with evidence clear of the shattered windscreen on the passenger side but they simply ignored us; as if nothing had happened,” the passenger told this website upon reaching Kigali.
According to this witness, it was clear that the Ugandan security authorities were actually well aware of the plot due the indifference they showed when they were told of the attack. “Everyone on board was shaken; the windscreen had all come down on one side but the officers just looked at us as if nothing had happened,” said the witness. “No effort was made to pursue the thugs,” he added.
Fortunately, no one sustained any serious injury. This is not the first incident where the same bus company has had one of its buses pelted with stones, in this exact location. Last month on September 24, another Volcano bus that was enroute to Kampala from Kigali faced the same attack, again at night, and one of the stones broke through the window and hit an employee of the company.
The victim was badly injured in the face and lost several teeth. They had to stop to look for a health facility where he got stitches before they continued with their journey. “It was an attack aimed at causing malicious damage and just like the previous one last month, these were not ordinary thugs who waylay buses with the intention to steal. They had other motives,” said another passenger.
According to a Kigali-based analyst who has closely monitored relations between Rwanda and Uganda, these two incidents cannot be divorced from the bad neighborliness that Kampala continues to exhibit towards Rwanda. It is consistent with the hostile policy the Ugandan regime has long adopted towards Rwanda and its nationals, say commentators.
Most notorious of the anti-Rwanda security organs is Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI which has been working hand in hand with Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC agents to harass, illegally arrest, detain incommunicado, and torture innocent Rwandan nationals.
“It wouldn’t be a surprise if this policy has been extended to waylaying Rwandan owned vehicles on Ugandan roads!” said a regional security expert.
Hundreds of innocent Rwandans continue to languish in Ugandan prisons, as well as the infamous “safe houses” – ungazetted places of detention where the main activity is horrendous physical abuse of detainees. Dozens upon dozens in particular suffer in CMI’s Mbuya Military Barracks torture chambers, and its the Kireka facility.
Many Rwandans, after detention in such places, have been transported and dumped at the Rwandan borders, and never with formal deportation procedures, or through any legal ways of doing things. Many a Rwandan have told their harrowing accounts of such suffering.
Such was the case just last week, on 5 October when four Rwandans – three men and one woman – were dumped by Ugandan authorities at the Kagitumba Border Post. The quartet, Monfort Munyakazi, Laurent Kamere, Elias Nsabimana and Consolee Mbabazi, were dumped at the border having been detained and tortured for months by Ugandan security.
The Ugandan authorities fabricated charges against them of illegal entry, and illegally detained them in Ntungamo Prison in conditions of arduous physical abuse before they dumped at the border. All of them looked emaciated and in poor health. All of them had crossed into Uganda with their national IDs, documents that would normally allow them into Uganda, under an existing, regional reciprocal arrangement.
The arrangement, a trilateral initiative launched in 2014, allowed for the entry of either citizens of Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya into any of the other country by simply using their national ID. The initiative, which Rwanda has continued to observe, was agreed upon by the presidents of the three countries to expedite the regional integration process.
However, Uganda has continued to arrest Rwandans on charges of illegal entry well knowing that they had been properly processed through the border with their IDs.
All this is part of a grand scheme by the Ugandan leadership, to turn Uganda completely hostile to those Rwandan nationals that are perceived not to be supporters of RNC; or as a ploy to kidnap, abduct and torture people with an eye on recruiting the able bodied as rebel fighters for the group.
In Uganda, the terrorist RNC, and other groups like FDLR that plot to destabilize Rwanda have full support, facilitation and full backing by the government.
The signing of a memorandum of understanding in Angola in August appears to have done nothing to make the Ugandan regime stop its anti-Rwanda plotting.