By Alex Muhumuza
Uganda’s misinformation machine has waited a few days after Rwandan officials thoroughly exposed the duplicity of their government – which happened during the second meeting of the ad hoc committee on implementation of the Luanda MoU in Munyonyo, Kampala– to come out with another fusillade of lies.
The apparent aim of the latest round of stories from the Kampala regime-controlled propaganda outlets not only is to keep obfuscating matters, but to also sweep under the carpet how embarrassed Uganda was at Munyonyo. Its complicity in acts to destabilize Rwanda repeatedly was exposed, with piles of evidence, in front of observers from Angola and DRC.
In trying to gloss over that debacle of embarrassments – as their regime’s complicity in the activities of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC, and the genocidal FDLR, RUD-Urunana and other anti-Rwanda armed groups was laid bare – Softpower, a Ugandan website has come out with its usual bag of fictions. The website, run by Sarah Kagingo one of the main spin-doctors of the Museveni regime aims to hoodwink the public, that the wrongdoing actually is from the Rwandan side!
In the article published yesterday, Monday 16 headlined, “Details: Uganda-Rwanda talks turn comic as Rwanda rejects neutral team to verify allegations”, Softpower uses its habitual strategy (first perfected by Nazi officials in the earlier decades of the Twentieth Century): “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it.”
Softpower and all others of that ilk, all the way to the so-called mainstream media like The New Vision, Daily Monitor and others in radio and TV seem to have become outstanding practitioners of “the big lie” strategy, at least where Rwanda is concerned.
Take the claim of Softpower, in the headline alone, that “Rwanda has rejected a neutral team to verify allegations.” Any source that was at the meeting knows this is a bald-faced lie. Rwandan State Minister for the East African Community, Olivier Nduhungirehe who led his side to the talks was astonished at this claim.
He took to his official Twitter account and wrote: “What would be comical (if ever this matter could be laughed about) is for a commission to create…another commission! In Kampala we never discussed the establishment of any “neutral team”.
The minister goes on to disclose that it was Uganda that proposed the current Uganda-Rwanda Commission create another joint commission! It was nothing that came either from any of the facilitators, or observers.
Nevertheless Kampala propagandists are now introducing this straw man issue, as part of an endless effort to disguise its wrongdoing while smearing Rwanda and shoring up the false equivalency that Kigali too somehow is involved in wrong doing.
As a strategy it is becoming obvious, and it is increasingly threadbare. The people the regime used to deceive before aren’t so easily deceived now.
The latest meeting, though it too failed to produce any breakthrough – due the fact nothing can change, with Museveni so committed to his fantasies of regime change in Kigali he can’t contemplate dismantling RNC networks or put an end to persecution of Rwandan nationals – served to further expose his duplicity.
The bombshell disclosure of the day was that Philemon Mateke, Ugandan State Minister for Regional Cooperation directly is linked to the terror attack of the morning of 03, this October, in Kinigi that killed 14 people and left a number of others injured.
“The deadly terror attack was carried out by a militia group known as RUD-Urunana in the Kinigi Sector of Musanze District,” Nduhungirehe told the meeting. “Many civilians were killed with machetes and hammers. The attack was launched from eastern DRC, close to the Ugandan border and the Volcanoes National Park,” continued the minister.
He went on to reveal that an assortment of material evidence, including phone handsets and testimonies of captured attackers, was collected. “One Ugandan telephone number appeared to have been in contact with the attackers, both before and during the attack. This number has been found to belong to Hon. Philemon Mateke, Uganda’s Minister of State for Regional Cooperation,” Nduhungirehe told a hushed room.
The Ugandan officials could only sputter, issuing futile denials even as the evidence stared them in the face.
Their modus operandi always is to deny and obfuscate, then lie about Rwanda.
Museveni seemingly has instructed his people to lie at every turn.
His intelligence agencies arrest Rwandans – including grandfathers, pregnant women, or teenagers on their way to school in Uganda – and they lie that these are “spies”! Or they accuse them of being “criminals”, like Ugandan Foreign Minister Sam Kutesa kept doing during the meeting, though none of them has been heard, or convicted in a courtroom.
When operatives of Brig. Gen. Abel Kandiho, head of Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI), working with agents of Kayumba Nyamwasa in Kampala kidnap some elderly Rwandan, say a father visiting to see his son, and torture him half to death, dump him at the border, they lie that this was a “spy”. As usual it is just their word.
They will abduct someone like Rwandan businessman Rene Rutagungira as he is having a drink with friends, drag him away – due process is never their thing – and the next thing published in Kampala newspapers is that CMI has “arrested a Rwandan running an espionage ring”. The day after that, the claim has changed: now Rutagungira is accused of “kidnapping Rwandan refugees”
Of course the “court” they take him to – after several months enduring torture in Makindye – is a military tribunal, in total violation of his rights as a civilian. But Softpower and all others will keep claiming this is “a kidnapper”.
Which person do they claim Rutagungira kidnapped? “It is Lt. Joel Mutabazi!” They care less that the facts show this is an outright lie.
“But no one kidnapped Mutabazi!” Rwandan officials show. Mutabazi was handed over to Rwanda Police by Uganda Police officers in broad daylight at the border, in accordance with an international fugitives-exchange framework. Following that, the man was granted his right to a full and fair trial in Kigali, and was convicted by the law.
But no, CMI and its mouthpieces insist Mutabazi was kidnapped. Rutagungira, who was abducted in August 2017, languishes in the same military dungeon where he’s suffered physical and psychological torture this long.
The Ugandan lawyers of Rutagungira, and so many others like him victimized by the Ugandan security establishment have painstakingly showed how wrong it is to keep their clients in detention, and to keep torturing these people – beginning with the basic fact their jailers have produced no case against them.
The propagandists obviously are interested in perpetuating the regime talking points. Like the litany of lies Softpower does in in its latest piece.