By Jackson Mutabazi
All of a sudden the misinformation specialists of Yoweri Kaguta Museveni are intensely interested in the health of Rwandan Foreign Affairs Minister Richard Sezibera.
It began with rumors earlier this week by Commandpost – a website and troll Twitter account affiliated to Ugandan Military Intelligence, CMI, as well as Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC – that Sezibera was “admitted in critical condition after poisoning”. Commandpost had nothing to substantiate its allegation.
A few days later, on 8 August, Ofwono Opondo the Uganda Government Spokesperson chose to amplify Commandpost’s allegation by quoting it, which he did in a tweet on his official handle. This act was consistent with the tradition of Museveni government officials acting bizarrely over the years.
In what capacity did Opondo tweet about the health of the official of another country? Everything in Uganda under Museveni seems to function in ways contrary to the norms in most other governments on earth. As a prominent Rwandan Twitter account asked, was Opondo also jumping over to become the spokesman of Rwanda by announcing supposed health updates of Kigali officials?
No one knows. What is clear beyond doubt is that Ofwono Opondo the spokesperson of the Government of Uganda is quoting and re-tweeting an account with affiliations to RNC – a group whose goal is to destabilize Rwanda, and which has perpetrated terrorist attacks in the country with grenade blasts.
It has long been a matter of open knowledge that Museveni has chosen to work with, and provide all kinds of support and facilitation to groups plotting to bring armed conflict back to Rwanda. A UN Group of Experts on DRC in December last year detailed how Uganda is one of the main sources of recruitment for rebels of the so-called P5 grouping in eastern Congo.
CMI and RNC obviously imagine that spreading and disseminating misinformation about any Rwandan official is something that will hurt Rwanda. Opondo – who cannot be acting without the permission of his boss – apparently thinks the same.
Not to be outdone, ChimpReports another paid propaganda mouthpiece of the Museveni regime yesterday, 9 August jumped onto the story, heavily insinuating the same “poisoning” scenario. It too with nothing to substantiate this preposterous claim.
ChimpReports – the same group that a few months ago reported that a platoon of Rwandan soldiers had crossed into Uganda, to Kisoro “looking for food and drink” but when challenged to provide photographic or video evidence, never could – outdid even itself with its article on Sezibera.
The piece read like a eulogy – going as far as detailing aspects of Sezibera’s educational and professional background.
But going by its record ChimpReports might as well have claimed Sezibera was in Kisoro.
Based on nothing much more than the last time Minister Sezibera wrote a tweet or posted something on his WhatsApp account, ChimpReports then spins a tall tale all with the clear intention – just like Ofwono Opondo, and Commandpost – to implicate the Rwandan leadership in some kind of foul play.
“These minions of Museveni’s truly are incredible,” commentators in Kigali said. “Their regime is busy openly murdering people like Ziggy Wine and other supporters of people power, and other Ugandans but they somehow think anyone will pay attention to their desperate lies about Rwanda?”
Others wondered, “Supposing Minister Sezibera was not well, in what way would that be something extraordinary? Isn’t the Minister a human being with the same vulnerabilities as all other human beings?”
The behavior of Museveni’s propagandists on this issue has only revealed the extent of desperation in regime circles as the citizen pressure of Ugandans bears down on them, observers conclude.