By Patience Kirabo
Two Rwandans, among the very many that have been under illegal detention in Uganda, have been dumped at Cyanika border post by Ugandan authorities.
The victims, Baziruwiha Damascene, 47, and Rwagasore Bernard, 42, were both members and leaders of the ADEPR church in Zinga, Wakiso District in Kampala. When they entered Uganda, they did so legally, they say. That did not stop Ugandan security services from slapping them into jail.
Baziruwiha was doing personal business at Zinga Island, Lake Victoria, before being abducted by the District Internal Security Officer (DISO) of Wakiso District on allegations of “espionage for the Rwandan government”. Baziruwiha was detained at Wakiso Police Station for two weeks and was later transferred to Kigo prison, without trial or even any due process of the law.
The Rwandan citizen was later presented to the prosecutor in Entebbe. But something unusual happened: this prosecutor was a man of integrity – one of those people that refuse to break the law on behalf of the Museveni regime. The Entebbe prosecutor threw out the case, saying he found the Rwandan innocent “because had been unjustly jailed, therefore he was innocent!”
The prosecutor advised security officers to release Baziruwiha. But the regime security officials, displaying their usual impunity instead again brutally threw him back into the jail, with no explanation. He says he was robbed of the money he had, was tortured and beaten continuously from morning to evening.
The reason, he says, is that he was not confessing to being a “Rwandan spy”. He says he was locked and tied up in a tiny smelly room full of garbage. They would sometimes feed him posho with watery beans that smelt rotten, said Baziruwiha. After several beatings without any confession, Baziruwiha was dumped at Cyanika border post, last Sunday, 14 July.
Like Baziruwiha, Rwagasore Bernard entered Uganda in 2008. He says he did honest work in Kibale and broke no laws. He too was arrested and detained on claims he was a Rwandan spy. Both Rwandans fell victim to CMI torture. Like the over a thousand Rwandans languishing in Ugandan prisons, and the CMI dungeons in Mbuya Military Barracks as well as its ungazetted places of detention, both these men fell victim to Museveni’s policy of hostility to Rwanda.
That hostility stems from Museveni’s backing and facilitation of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, a group bent on destabilizing Rwanda. Most people CMI operatives abduct and torture, they do it in partnership with RNC agents. They try to force the torture victims into joining the terror group. CMI is the chief facilitator in the recruitment for RNC.
Once CMI and RNC abduct a Rwandan, or Rwandans – like they did Baziruwiha and Rwagasore – they are never allowed to call their families to inform them of their whereabouts. They are held incommunicado. This news website has detailed very many such stories, of the Rwandans that suffered illegal abductions, detention and torture in Uganda.
It is always on concocted charges of espionage, or “illegal entry”, or “illegal possession of weapons.” In all these cases, the Ugandan security agencies never show proof to back the allegations. In many cases when the Ugandan security authorities fail to prove one claim, they simply change the statement and bring another claim. One day they may accuse one of “espionage”, only to later change the accusation to “illegal entry”.
Later they dump them in the most inhumane and horrible way possible.
Other Rwandan victims of CMI or any other security agency resort to bribing them to buy their freedom, many have said. This is after the ill treatment they are continuously subjected to. Detainees are asked to cough up ransoms of cash, and failure to do so leads to more days in dungeons or prisons.
Those that are able to pay up the money – which the torturers call “fines” – are later freed, to be dumped at the border posts. They feel very lucky to be still alive.
In view of the ongoing human rights violations of Rwandans in Uganda, Kigali has continues to urge her citizens to not cross to the neighbor country “as their security and safety cannot be guaranteed once there.”
Rwandans are urged to be extra careful now that RNC has been smoked out of its DRC bases and badly battered. RNC agents and their CMI friends will be in a very bad mood, observers think. Any innocent Rwandan that they abduct this time may be tortured worse than usual.