By Alex Muhumuza
It is now publicly known that Uganda has been running an anti-Rwanda media campaign that started in blogs and social media but has been extended to the mainstream media – particularly in like The New Vision and The Daily Monitor. But most surprisingly is that perhaps the most virulent anti-Rwanda blog, “RPF Gakwerere”, is run from inside Uganda Communications Commission by Obed Katureebe, a cousin of Patrick Karegeya the deceased former Rwandan chief spy, and later fugitive.
News readers are familiar with the names of Giles Muhame of Chimp Reports and Sarah Kagingo, a former state house media officer, among the more prominent names on the long list of propagandists taking orders on what to publish from senior officials of Uganda’s security apparatus: CMI, ISO, and even State House.
Also lesser-known RNC operatives such as Sulah Nuwamanya, Prossy Bonabaana and Gideon Rukundo Rugari have been deeply involved with Col. CK Asiimwe, the Deputy Director of Counter Terrorism at Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.
Reliable sources have confirmed to this website that Obed Katureebe runs the “RPF Gakwerere” platform and coordinates all efforts whose aim is to tarnish the image of Rwanda by constant attacks, and smears against its leadership.
Most salient is that this is an official government employee of Uganda, who is directly employed under State House but whose job is to attack the integrity of the leadership of another country, a neighbor. Sources say that his official status, unlike the likes of Kagingo, Muhame, Rugari, and the rest; and his links to state house is the reason the Ugandan government has kept the RPF Gakwerere platform under blanket secrecy – unlike the others like Chimp Reports and Soft Power News that have openly and with no shame been running anti-Rwanda propaganda.
Obed Katureebe is a journalist turned propagandist. He worked at the New Vision as a freelance for ten years from 2004 to 2014 before joining the UCC under State House. His brother Karugaba Nathan aka “Toto” is an intelligence officer at CMI.
He is actively involved in facilitating activities against Rwanda, especially those involving Kayumba Nyamwasa’s Rwanda National Congress (RNC), work they were introduced to by their cousin Patrick Karegeya. Karugaba, according to those that know him, also is a deserter from the UPDF. The man’s work with CMI includes operating a cell of negative forces at Bombo road, just behind Sure House.
Brother recruited from Rwanda
As if it wasn’t bad enough that the Ugandan government is operating a platform dedicated to smearing leaders of another country, sources say that a former official of the Rwandan government was recruited to Kampala, given tasks to participate in destabilizing his own government, and has of recent been rewarded with a diplomatic posting to Sweden.
The official in question is Gordon Katureebe, a brother to Obed Katureebe. Their parents are the late Rev. Joas Katureebe and Anne Mariya Katureebe. Gordon Katureebe served in Rwanda as the executive secretary of Kimihurura Sector in what was then known as Kacyiru Commune, which is now part of Gasabo District following local government restructuring.
Katureebe was a known criminal in Rwanda. When he returned from Uganda, like many other Rwandans who had been in exile, Katureebe found employment as an intelligence operative in the then Ministry of Internal Security, under the Office of the Prime Minister. At the time Rwanda still was trying to recover, and find its footing. Unscrupulous individuals could get away with many things.
Katureebe, with a few of his workmates would pose as members of the anti-smuggling unit to confiscate the goods of businessmen and traders. They would then turn around and sell the merchandise on the open market. In reality Katureebe was not part of any official anti-smuggling unit.
To protect themselves from this criminality, business people asked government to create one single anti-smuggling unit, rather than have to deal with corrupt individuals posing as part of this or that anti-smuggling unit. A single unit was created and given clear credentials.
Soon it became easy to uncover Katureebe’s illegal operations. He was dismissed from his job. He chose to go back to school, registering as a part time student at KIST (Kigali Institute of Science and Technology) where he graduated with a degree in commerce. In the meantime, he had been working in the registrar’s office. He would steal examinations for women in exchange for sex.
When this was discovered, he was dismissed again. He was known to have a sweet tongue though. Soon he talked his way into another employment opportunity, this time as the executive secretary of Kimihurura Sector. With no marks to steal at as a public servant, he turned to other forms of corruption, like bribery. He was also dismissed. During investigations it was uncovered that all along he had been forging paperwork, including his academic credentials.
Alongside the court case, university investigations concluded that the diploma in accountancy from a Kampala-based Association of Professional Accountancy Students (APAS) that he had used to gain admission at KIST was a forgery.
Education Minister Jean D’arc Mujawamariya rescinded his degree.
Feeling trapped, Katureebe turned to journalistic extortion with the one-time scandal paper, Umuseso. He would extort money from businessmen with the threat of exposing them for real or imagined indiscretions in Umuseso. As one might expect, he was soon arrested on extortion charges.
He soon left the country on the pretext that he was being harassed in Rwanda, because he was a relative of Patrick Karegeya, the now deceased former chief spy turned fugitive. Karegeya also had been recruited by Museveni whose senior intelligence and military officials received the disgraced former Rwandan spy chief at the common border when he fled Rwanda.
When Uganda intensified its support for Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, Katureebe worked hand in hand with Kayumba Nyamwasa’s relative, Rugema Kayumba who was the official coordinator of RNC activities in Scandinavia. It should be noted that Rugema Kayumba was for a long period the coordinator of RNC operations in Uganda, working closely with Katureebe.
Rugema Kayumba had also worked with Uganda’s security agencies, most notably CMI, to conduct armed abductions of Rwandans in the country and try to coerce them to join the RNC. Any who refused would be tortured, and some have died as a result. When asked about this, Rugema Kayumba’s reply to his critics confirms his collaboration with CMI. “I will not only work with CMI, but I will be part of them,” he crowed on his Facebook wall, underlining the intimate RNC links with Uganda’s security apparatus.
Meanwhile, Uganda’s transfer of Katureebe to its embassy in Sweden is more concrete proof of Museveni’s commitment to destabilizing Rwanda – even as in public the Ugandan ruler signs accords aimed at peaceful neighborliness.
With no claims to Ugandan citizenship, and having served in the Rwandan administration, Katureebe, a foreigner is being posted to a Ugandan embassy. That is in a senior diplomatic position that real, qualified Ugandan citizens would give an arm to have.
This raises questions, once again, about Museveni’s motives. Is his hatred for Rwanda so great that it has impeded his caution to such an extent he no longer cares about Ugandans’ suspicions about his own Ugandan nationality?
Katureebe’s appointment to a plum diplomatic posting is bound to bring Museveni’s claimed Ugandan citizenship once again into question.
Gordon Katureebe is now reunited with Kayumba Rugema to continue their work trying to realize Museveni’s ambitions to destabilize Rwanda. His brother Obed’s “RPF Gakwerere” platform will continue abusing Rwanda’s leadership on Museveni’s orders, as their brother Nathan conducts RNC operations.
It’s a Karegeya family affair run at the expense of the Ugandan taxpayer.