By Alex Muhumuza
Another Rwandan citizen has escaped the clutches of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s Rwanda National Congress. Gakwerere Moses who looks in his early thirties says “only God’s own intervention saved me from those groups that are fighting Rwanda! I have left several Rwandans behind and terrible things are happening to them!”
He came back late last week, when Ugandan authorities dumped him at the border – which is the usual way of deporting innocent Rwandans.
The tale of Gakwerere, a resident of Kanyinya Sector of Nyarugenge District – is a cautionary one: Rwandans should heed the government’s warning against going to Uganda. If it is business Rwandans want to do, let them look for it in another country, he advises. Uganda has become really dangerous!, he emphasizes.
He went to Uganda on 7 January this year, legally and through a recognized border post – Kagitumba. He proceeded to Gulu District where he had work. Then on 13 March, he says, he decided to travel back home. He boarded a bus on the long journey to Kampala. When the bus got to Luweero it broke down.
He says since he was hungry he went to an eatery in the town, with a bunch of other people, to get some lunch. In the eatery he says he ordered something, then he got a phone call from his wife in Kigali. “When I began to speak in Kinyarwanda some two men picked interest in me,” said Gakwerere. He narrates that the men approached him and addressed him in fluent Kinyarwanda.
“They greeted me; asked me where I was coming from and where I was going, but since we were speaking the same language I wasn’t worried at all,” Gakwerere said. After they had finished their food Gakwerere paid and went out, followed by the strangers. They then invited him to go with them in their vehicle saying, “since we too are going to Kampala we can give you a lift!”
Gakwerere says he was glad to accept the kind offer. “But the next time I regained consciousness, I was in Kampala in the Kireka police station!” The men apparently had drugged him. Kireka police station is notorious for being a torture facility affiliated to Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence, CMI.
They began interrogating Gakwerere: “When were you a soldier? Tell us what years you were a soldier!” Gakwerere said he had never been in any army. They then ordered him to take off his shoes and belt, and to hand them his wallet. They relieved him of his bag as well.
They then took him outside and shoved him into a vehicle, which drove to Mbuya Barracks. That is the headquarters of CMI.
He says that at the place he found many other Banyarwanda prisoners there. He remembers personally counting more than 40 of them. “Most were in a very bad state, moaning from pain, others had untreated injuries that looked like they were sustained from beatings with wire. I thought my life had ended!”
Everyday they interrogated me, “how do you compare the security forces of Rwanda with those of here (Uganda)!” I would tell them, how can I know such things? Me who isn’t a member of the security forces! Then they would say, “For your own good you better join us!” He in turn asked them, but joining you, who!?
But Gakwerere thinks he was particularly lucky not to suffer horrendous torture like others, perhaps because some of his guards had taken some liking to him, he explains. He says they talked in Kinyankore all the time, which Gakwerere speaks like a native. Then one morning, one of the guards beckoned him to come out, and asked him, “If we were to release you, would you go home?”
Gakwerere says he looked at the guard in disbelief then replied: “Of course I would go home. That’s where I was going in the first place when they captured me!” The following day they put him into a vehicle and drove him back to Kireka to pick his stuff. But when he checked into his bag he realized the RNC fellows had taken all the money he had been carrying, Ushs 700,000.
“I honestly didn’t know that something like this could ever happen to me. What have I ever done to be abducted by Ugandan security services? I am just so lucky to be alive!” he exclaimed.
“Uganda no longer is a place for Rwandans; if you have been doing business from there, try doing it elsewhere. It is something very dangerous to be a Rwandan going to Uganda, or already there!” He added that, much as he is a civilian, he has seen for himself that the Museveni government is hosting people fighting Rwanda. “Yes, I am not a security person but even a blind person will see that there are Banyarwanda fellows using Uganda to prepare to fight Rwanda.
“You can see it in the fact that it is people that speak Kinyarwanda who are abducting innocent Rwandans and trying to intimidate them into joining them.
“Let me even say it more clearly – these are Kayumba’s people! Even the Banyankore I was speaking with told me that. They would say, ‘so aren’t you joining them?’”
Meaning to join Kayumba of course!, Gakwerere concludes.