By Alain Mucyo
The High Court in Kampala has ordered Ugandan security agencies to produce missing Rwandan fugitive and RNC official Benjamin Rutabana, dead or alive! The order is for the likes of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), Internal Security Organization (ISO) and others to produce Rutabana before a judge on February 19, 2020.
This follows an application of Habeas Corpus filed by a Kampala-based lawyer on behalf of the family.
Rutabana has been missing since September 8, 2019, while he was in Uganda at the invitation of CMI. “It is ordered that the body of Benjamin Rutabana be produced and presented by the respondents to High Court at Kampala and appear before Her Lordship Justice Esta Nambayo on the 19th day of February 2020 at 9:00am,” reads part of a ruling made by court this February 12.
Rutabana the RNC “Commissioner for Capacity Development” travelled to Uganda on 5th September 2019 through Dubai. Reliable information is that upon arrival in Kampala, he was received by one Dr. Sam Ruvuma, a prominent RNC operative in Uganda, as well as some officers of CMI.
“During his first three days in Uganda, he kept in regular contact with his wife until on September 8, when he suddenly could not be reached and his phone went off,” reads part of a letter signed by Rutabana’s immediate family members, including his wife Diane Rutabana.
Both Diane and family members have during different interviews stated they did not have any doubt Rutabana was abducted by Ugandan security. During an interview on BBC and later Voice of America, Diane Rutabana said that she believed her husband ‘disappeared’ on orders of Kayumba, with whom he had had misunderstandings.
It has been reported several times, including on RNC online discussion boards that Rutabana had quarrels with the terror group’s leader Kayumba Nyamwasa, related to how the latter was leading RNC.
The South Africa-based Nyamwasa maintains regular communication with the Ugandan security apparatus, and regularly sends emissaries to President Museveni, according to reliable reports.
“Before his departure (to Kampala), Ben had told me of the serious disagreements he was having with Kayumba regarding the way he was running RNC,” reads part of a letter written by Diane Rutabana on 13 October 2019, which she addressed to Ugandan security agencies.
The disagreement with Rutabana isn’t the first the Nyamwasa – who has been accused of embezzling RNC funds and investing it in personal businesses, as well as favoring family members – has clashed with others. He has clashed with other RNC founder members like Theogene Rudasingwa, Gerald Gahima, Joseph Ngarambe, Gaspard Musonera, and others all who have jumped ship. Nyamwasa even had some fierce quarrels with Karegeya.
Just recently, Leah Karegeya, the wife of another RNC co-founder, Patrick Karegeya resigned from the organisation citing ‘lack of direction’ and before her, another RNC commissioner and its former spokesperson, Jean Paul Turayishimiye had quit.
Those that have worked closely with Kayumba Nyamwasa know he is treacherous, vengeful, brutal, nepotistic and greedy – the same reason many have been hounded out of the terror outfit. For those that worked with him even when he was an official in Rwanda, he used to display the same character.
“Instead of jumping ship like the rest however, Ben chose to raise issues with Kayumba himself and he has paid a heavy price for that,” said a former insider of the outfit.
Following Rutabana’s disappearance in Uganda, the question many ask is how much influence Nyamwasa wields over the Ugandan security apparatus. “RNC enjoys unfettered support from the Ugandan government – so much so that Museveni himself regularly meets its officials.
That is true confirmation that of all the Ugandan ruler’s anti-Rwanda proxies RNC is first among equals. The picture that emerges with Rutabana’s disappearance is that CMI and others take their cues directly from Nyamwasa. It proves an anti-Rwanda terror outfit practically has its tentacles deep into Ugandan intelligence.
Also, a mountain of evidence shows CMI operatives working hand in hand with RNC agents have abducted innocent Rwandans by the hundreds. A lot of it has to do with a forceful recruitment strategy – to torture Rwandans into joining as recruits for the rebel group.
“If on the order of Nyamwasa Ugandan security can “
‘disappear’ someone of RNC like Rutabana; someone that even senior CMI officers like Kandiho himself have worked with, imagine what they can do to innocent Rwandans that have been abducted for the benefit of RNC!” an analyst commented.