By Alain Mucyo
As the Museveni regime reels from Olivier Nduhungirehe’s revelations last Friday, during the meeting of the Ad-hoc Committee of Rwandan and Ugandan officials on implementation of the MoU at Munyonyo in Entebbe, Kampala’s propaganda media is ratcheting up the lies.
Commandpost, a website that takes instructions from Col. CK Asiimwe the director of counterterrorism in Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI) has published a piece titled “Helpless Rwandan delegation to Kampala Peace Talks Fails to prove A point Against Uganda” that reads more like a poor script of a fiction movie than a news story.
The article starts with the opening lie that the facilitators (Angola and DRC) were “left in shock after the Rwandan delegation failed to prove a single point in any of their allegations against Uganda.” From reliable first-hand accounts, and the ensuing press conference addressed by both heads of delegation of both Uganda and Rwanda, the opposite happened.
Rwanda clearly articulated the “toxic issues” at the heart of the strained relations and these were encapsulated into three. Uganda’s harboring of terror groups with intent to undermine her security; the continued abductions, torture and killings of innocent Rwandans by Ugandan security agencies with no due process, and an anti-Rwanda propaganda campaign characterized by smears and outright lies.
All these were tabled with concrete evidence, which facilitators already knew because Rwanda has since this conflict began, been clear laying out the issues.
In fact, it is the facilitators that suggested Kampala expel from their territory known leaders of anti-Rwanda terror groups “as an important confidence-building measure”. The Ugandans refused.
CommandPost’s article then claims that Rwanda was underrepresented at the meeting. The Rwandan delegation had Ambassador Olivier Nduhungirehe, the State Minister for EAC affairs as it’s head, three cabinet ministers; Gen Patrick Nyamvumba (internal security), Prof. Anastase Shyaka (Local Government) and Johnston Busingye, the Minister of Justice and Attorney General.
Others included Maj. Gen. Joseph Nzabamwita, the Secretary General of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), and Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Maj. Gen Frank Mugambage among others.
This is the delegation that the propaganda piece claims was “weak” compared to Uganda’s. Making another laughable claim, the misinformation outlet says “the Rwandan delegation refused to face the media and only wanted to enter when the media had gone out for lunch.”
But fearing what?, one would ask.
On the contrary, the Ugandan delegation fearful of what their counterparts had on them, decided to change the format of the meeting at the last minute.
The format had previously been for both delegations to have their opening statements then the facilitators before the press could be shown out for the meeting to continue in camera. This was the same format it was during the previous meeting in Kigali on September 16.
However Ugandan officials shifted the goalposts at the last minute and asked that only the facilitators speak in the opening session. During the closed-door session, irrefutable evidence was tabled, including the deep involvement of Ugandan cabinet minister Philemon Mateke in direct acts of aggression against Rwanda.
Rwanda showed Mateke’s involvement in the attack in Kinigi, Northern Province this October in which 14 civilians were killed and other people injured. Evidence showed Mateke had been in contact with the terrorists, of RUD-Urunana, before, during and after the attack in Rwanda.
“During the meeting, the entire Ugandan delegation had Kutesa speak for at least 80 percent of the time,” said a source that was present.
“When, at some point Mwesigwa Rukutana tried to make an intervention, he directed contradicted Kutesa and this was on the issue of the 46 Rwandans who were captured on the Uganda, Tanzania border,” said the source.
Rukutana, apparently, had not noticed when the Ugandan head of delegation acknowledged that indeed these people were arrested and were found to have been receiving help from Ugandan intelligence.
“He seemed to have been sleeping, then when he interjected he said that these people were arrested in Tanzania and Uganda had nothing to do with it; Kutesa was embarrassed and simply apologised on behalf of his colleague,” the source said.
Then the time came for the final communiqué, the Ugandan delegation wanted the outcome of the 7-hour meeting to be painted as a success.
But the Rwandan delegation refused to go along with deception, maintaining it would be a disservice to the people of both countries.
This perhaps explains the erratic behavior of Kutesa, who was caught wrong-footed in much of the nearly 30 minutes the joint press conference he addressed with Nduhungirehe after the meeting.
Uganda has been caught red-handed again, but its propagandists only persist in anti-Rwanda slanders.