By Robert Rutoma
The mention of the name Frank Ntwali elicits a mixture of emotions from many who know him as one of the kingpins in the RNC. Ntwali is one of the most powerful figures in the terrorist outfit, a status he has achieved because of his nepotistic but also corrupt relation to Kayumba Nyamwasa, the head of the terrorist group.
By virtue of being Nyamwasa’s brother-in-law, Ntwali calls the shots in RNC matters – “whatever he says automatically goes,” a source told this website.
On paper for instance, one Etienne Mutabazi was supposed to be the coordinator of RNC in Southern Africa. However, Mutabazi is dominated and overshadowed by Frank Ntwali because of the latter’s relation to Kayumba Nyamwasa, according to those in the know.
These maneuvers through which Nyamwasa personalizes power within RNC have left many members of the outfit with bitter feelings, to the extent many are just quitting and defecting. Ntwali and Nyamwasa’s other relative Kayumba Rugema have ascended to the highest strata “even though nothing qualifies them better than anyone else”, according to sources in southern Africa.
“The nepotism and favoritism has seriously rocked the RNC boat, opening irreversible cracks,” added the sources. Those who dared to question Nyamwasa’s monarchical tendencies were ostracized, and some hitherto powerful members, namely, Leah Karegeya, Jean Paul Ndayishimiye, Benoit Umuhoza, and others have made an unceremonious exits.
Ntwali, as Kayumba Nyamwasa’s most trusted lieutenant, has featured prominently in major RNC operations in the region and he has also been singled out as the face of high-level plotting aimed at destabilizing Rwanda. A frequent visitor to Uganda where he often convenes high-level meetings as a representative of his brother-in-law, Ntwali has been mentioned many times by different people for different reasons.
It also has to do with the fact he is a scheming, devious fellow in his own right, according to many that have known this man a long time.
Ntwali has been mentioned as crucial in the Uganda-RNC-FDLR Rwanda destabilization triangle.
When FDLR spokesperson Ignace Nkaka, best known as La Forge Fils Bazeye, and Jean-Pierre Nsekanabo alias Theophile Abega, the head of intelligence of FDLR were arrested and handed over to Rwanda by Congolese authorities, the men disclosed they had been invited for a meeting by Uganda’s minister for regional cooperation, Philemon Mateke.
The objective? Mateke had been assigned by his boss the Ugandan ruler to bring FDLR and RNC together “to better coordinate their strategies and plans to destabilize Rwandan security. During the meeting (which took place in Kampala’s ultra-luxurious Serena Hotel on 14 December 2018) it was Ntwali that represented the RNC. The meeting, according to the two, was aimed at brainstorming on how to pool resources “to maximize the effort” against Rwanda’s security.
In what has been billed as a sign of the collapse of the RNC, and by extension, the coalition of anti-Rwanda terror forces, Ben Rutabana, the RNC Commissioner for capacity development who traveled to Uganda from Belgium on an RNC mission suddenly went off the radar three days after arrival in Uganda. The disappearance sparked much speculation, and protests within RNC top leadership, exposing already deep fissures among members of the executive committee itself.
It has been confirmed by investigations, including one by an American rights organisation International Relief and Human Rights Initiative (IRHRI), that Ben Rutabana is in the hands of CMI at the behest of Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Alarmed family members of Rutabana, led by his wife Diane, posted a letter on the Internet that categorically called out Kayumba Nyamwasa and his inner circle. They pointedly singled out Frank Ntwali for his threatening posture regarding Rutabana even before he lest Belgium, and landed at Entebbe on 05 September 2019. “If you ever step in Uganda, you will be arrested!” Ntwari reportedly threatened Rutabana one time.
But what powers did Ntwari have to threaten Rutabana, the latter too a “commissioner” in RNC like Ntwari?
Furthermore, if Ntwari could threaten Rutabana with arrest in Uganda, and when it happened the question it raises is one: who is Frank Ntwari in CMI?
More broadly, is RNC one and the same as CMI?
The answer is an apparent yes. The Mbarara-born Frank Ntwali has worked frequently with CMI to target fellow Rwandan citizens in Uganda. Several victims of torture have pinpointed Ntwari (and Kayumba Rugema) as individuals that speak Kinyarwanda “while supervising torture” in the dungeons of Mbuya Military Barracks – CMI headquarters. On the other hand, Ntwari maintains his ties in western Uganda, where he even has a large herd of cattle – according to reliable sources.
Even in South Africa Ntwari had been known to harass innocent Rwandans passing through; and has been known to terrorise selected Rwandans living in South Africa just because they have declined to be recruited as members of the terror group. In Johannesburg he stays at 7742 Gwarrie Close, Amber Field Manor, the Reeds, Centurion. Innocent Banyarwanda are advised not to get too close to that place.
He also runs an office in the same estate, at 3510 Berkheya Street, Amber Field Manor, the Reeds, centurion 0157. He travels using different travel documents, including Ugandan Passport number: A 016400.