By Alex Muhumuza
An obscure Ugandan website called theinsider.ug last Friday posted a story alleging that Ugandan State Minister for Housing Chris Baryomunsi “has been trading into schemes with the Kigali Government without knowledge of his boss (Museveni)”.
It looked a rumor tailor-made by whoever the enemies of Baryomunsi are, since any alleged links to Rwanda by anyone in Uganda is guaranteed to land any person in Uganda in hot water. However concocted the allegation, or however lacking in detail and fact, such an allegation will gain credibility in the eyes of the Ugandan ruler. After all it will be delivered in an atmosphere of anti-Rwandan hostility started by the Kampala regime – mainly because Rwanda, a sovereign country, years ago refused to be remote controlled from Kampala.
Matters have reached the extent where observers in Kigali can comment with wry humor: “Rwanda surely has a psychological hold over the Ugandan regime; otherwise why are they always so preoccupied with generating all these rumors and fake news about Rwanda?”
Someone added: “Rwandans just go about their business, unconcerned with the Ugandan regime. Have you ever heard Kigali whining about ‘Ugandan spies’, or victimizing people with accusations of spying for Kampala?!”
True to form, theinsider.ug – one of a multitude of anti-Rwanda outlets of misinformation, this one run by a certain Will Byababaha who takes money from ISO – was deliberately putting the name of the Rwandan president into a smear for which he had zero facts.
“It is said that the ambitious minister (Baryomunsi) is on Kagame’s speed dial for reasons better known by them since he is not the minister of foreign affairs,” the website claimed.
It is at this point that one is reminded how lost these Ugandan propagandists are.
Leave alone the childish fiction implying that they know who the Rwandan leader has on speed dial, it is very obvious someone vying to unseat Baryomunsi has planted this fictitious story. And this someone obviously thinks the best tactic is to exploit the Kampala-created anti-Rwanda hostility to create a fictitious link between Baryomunsi and the Rwandan leadership.
As theinsider.ug clumsily points out (thus giving its game away): “Baryomunsi is actively hunting for votes to join the NRM Central Executive Committee, to become the ruling party’s National Vice Chairperson representing Western Uganda.”
It is most obvious that this is a hit on Baryomunsi, and that the person that commissioned it must have links with ISO (going by all the claims of the fiction-laden article). “ISO has gone ahead to pin Baryomunsi for working with people at the border in Kanungu either to bring in huge sums from Rwanda, a move that has raised a lot of eyebrows especially from the security agencies,” says theinsider.ug.
Of course these and other claims are just thrown out there, the way a drunken bar patron tosses gossip around, with nothing closely resembling evidence.
The implication the website wants to convey however is very clear: that Baryomunsi is conducting his campaign “with Rwandan financing.”
Someone is fighting tooth and nail that Baryomunsi does not become NRM national vice chairperson and for them the best way is to falsely invoke Rwanda. People are even fighting their internal NRM politics by dragging Rwanda in their mud. It is nothing new.
And it has become laughable.