By Patience Kirabo
Kampala’s propaganda machine as this week was in usual tarnishing Rwanda, this time with the false report that “three Ugandan businessmen had been arrested and detained in Rwanda”.
The trio, Deo Orikurungi, Orishaba Siriako, and Bosco Nkwasibwe, were intercepted on suspicion of illegal trade on 21 February 2020, but then were released just the following day. The men were arrested at Buziga Border post after they were suspected of illegally trading money when they were found in possession of slightly over Frw 9.4 million.
The Kampala propagandists, ever eager in their anti-Rwanda smear campaign omitted information when they claimed that “the businessmen were arrested just because they crossed the border to visit their relatives in Nyagatare District.” But investigations conducted on the suspects after their arrest shows that the three men were tobacco dealers in the Bishenyi Market in Kamonyi District. That was according to the in-charge of the market’s security.
Following a prompt investigation and their release, the trio crossed back to Uganda, quite safely, on February 23. However, due to Kampala propagandists’ campaign to smear Rwanda at every opportunity, they deliberately keep the truth under wraps. They opted to spread falsehoods and what those in the know termed “a malicious concoction of lies.”
It was also established that the suspects have been spending their nights every Wednesday at Dream Lodge, owned by a one Marcel Kayigeme, a fact that correlates with their own statements. Additionally, Immigration authorities and security at the Gatuna Border where the traders have frequently crossed to and fro confirmed that they have been legally crossing into Rwanda on a weekly basis.
Their arrest was conducted in a professional and legal manner. This was followed by a swift investigation in accordance with legal requirements that a suspect cannot be detained for a period longer than 48 hours before being charged. This is a far cry from the practices of Ugandan authorities that arbitrarily arrest Rwandans, illegally detain them incommunicado for years while denying them consular visits.
“To see Ugandan media try to establish equivalence between the things their security organs such as the notorious CMI, and the conduct of their Rwandan counterparts is honestly laughable,” observers comment. Over the past few years, the mistreatment of Rwandans in Uganda; the gross abuses of the rights of countless innocent Rwandans reached the extent when Kigali issued a strong travel advisory to its citizens to avoid travel to Uganda.
Citizens of the neighbor state however are free to come and go as they wish, confident that their rights will be respected. The three traders were no exception.
Rwanda has always treated Ugandan suspects for any issue in a professional and lawful manner. However Uganda’s propaganda media goes to the extent of grossly distorting, and outright fabricating stories just to tarnish Rwanda.
Rwandan security authorities have been known to treat Ugandan suspects so well, such as Emmanuel Sebuzuru who last year in August was arrested in Kigali on suspicion of money laundering. Media like Daily Monitor were alarming all over that “Rwanda had detained a Ugandan and ‘mistreating him’”.
However Sebuzuru himself, once back home in Kisoro belied these reports with his account of events. The Rwandan policemen that arrested him, said Sebuzuru, treated him “like a VIP”. Their interrogation of him was firm, but courteous and professional he testified. When the Rwanda Police ascertained the Ugandan was innocent of any offence, they transported him in a double cabin track to Cyanika and handed him to the Ugandan authorities.
Even then, the smears from Kampala never stop coming.