By Rutore Samugabo
Kampala’s unrelenting efforts to drag Rwanda into problems of its own doing – while tarnishing Kigali with all sorts of concocted smears of “Rwandan spying”, or “Rwandan plans for war against Uganda” – are behind a lead story on the Chimpreports website.
Titled, “Inside story: ‘Rwanda penetration’, power struggles trigger storm at MTN”, the lengthy article however does nothing like showing “Rwandan spying”, or proof to back even one of its several smears against Rwanda.
In this current piece on the MTN saga, Chimpreports has persisted with the fictitious narrative that “Rwandan espionage” was a factor in the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence’s deportations (using the cover of Police) of senior MTN expatriate managers, because one of the deportees, Annie Tabura, is a Rwandan national.
In its latest article on the MTN kerfuffle, Chimpreports makes a whole cloth out of a number of un-collaborated fictions, basically regurgitating the misinformation that its spymasters are feeding it.
Chimpreports says, “It is alleged Bilenge (Annie Tabura) would take confidential call data of prominent Ugandans to Rwanda”. This immediately raises the question: why didn’t the authorities charge her with that offense? Annie is on record telling the media, local and regional, that no one charged her with anything. No one in CMI or Police has come out to say why. This in turn resurrects the simple question overall: how does a state accuse one of espionage but sends the supposed spy away without questioning them?
Another allegation by the website is that “Rwanda reportedly had a plan to infiltrate Ugandan towns, especially around Kampala with soldiers who would be supplied with guns to start an armed insurrection from Central Uganda. This begs several other questions: who are these “soldiers”? Where were they seen? Was anyone captured, “supplying the guns” and if so who?
The website sheds no light on what is a very serious allegation. That indicates it is another piece of fiction, and part of a wider false equivalence game by Kampala about the causes of soured relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
Part of the strategy is to claim (none-existent) diplomatic “initiatives” by Kampala to Kigali that are alleged to have “collapsed” – thereby, by insinuation, turning Kigali into the culprit of the supposed collapse of those diplomatic initiatives that never happened in the first place. Such are the misinformation games of Kampala.
The causes of soured relations are squarely the responsibility of Kampala, all objective facts show.
For reasons only Kampala knows, it is hosting, assisting and facilitating RNC, a group that has openly declared war on the legitimate administration of Rwanda. Also, it is Kampala that is in the habit of illegally arresting, abducting, incarcerating on false charges, or torturing ordinary Rwandans, daily.
The dragging of Rwanda by CMI into the MTN saga – much as it is part of a wider strategy to keep smearing Kigali – has the parallel purpose of obscuring the regime’s extortionate tactics to squeeze millions of dollars out of the giant telco.
By now it has become obvious to the public that behind the whole saga – during which the Government of Uganda has by now even deported the CEO – is a calculated Mafia-like tactic to make MTN cough up millions.
The strong suspicion that the whole fracas was about money emerged with reports that when the telco’s license expired last year, Kampala demanded a steeply increased fee to renew it. First the regime wanted a hundred million (US) dollars, according to Ugandan media reports. Then it demanded they pay 58 million dollars, “but with an additional 200 million invested in infrastructure and facilities”.
When MTN did not pay up, it was around that time that harassment and deportations of of its senior managers begun, culminating in that of its Kampala CEO.
Veteran Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango Obbo wrote in a tweet on Thursday: “What is this we are hearing that telco MTN Uganda’s CEO Wim Vanhelleputte was dragged to the airport in handcuffs and is likely to be deported? Are the vampires finally moving to seize MTN?”
Everyone knows whom Obbo is referring to when he says “vampires”. Everyone that has seen them for the last 33 years knows how money hungry they are.
The regime having once again been badly exposed reacts with even more lies, and misinformation – with Rwanda bearing the brunt of it as usual, and as shown in the Chimpreports article.
Its latest article, like similar other Kampala mouthpieces, is the clearest indication that the Kampala regime will stop at nothing to drag Rwanda into it’s endless mess, including corruption driven persecution of foreign investors