By Alex Muhumuza
Columnist Karoli Ssemogerere of The Daily Monitor – a newspaper that practically has become part and parcel of Museveni’s anti-Rwanda propaganda war – published an article on Thursday this week claiming he was calling for Rwanda and Uganda “to exercise maximum restraint on the border issue.”
In repeating the fallacious Kampala line that Rwanda “has closed the border” Ssemogerere once again betrays only elitist Ugandan mercantilist concerns. These are summed up in the complaint that Ugandan exporters are losing business in Rwanda.
Elitist Ugandans like Ssemogerere have willingly played into the hands of the Kampala regime and its misinformation organs by completely ignoring the moral and legal issue staring them in the face – the over a thousand Rwandan nationals languishing in Ugandan prisons, torture chambers and dungeons of Uganda’s intelligence agencies.
Reading Ssemogerere’s piece – whose last sentence, by the way, is “Please Rwanda stop pouring our maize meal in garbage”– one is left wondering: is this man merely ignorant of the abductions with no arrest warrants, the harassment, the rape and torture his government has been inflicting on Rwandan citizens? Or is the writer aware of that, yet goes ahead to express more concern for his country’s maize meal?
Throughout his entire article nowhere does Ssemogerere utter a single word on the issue of harassed, mistreated, even murdered Rwandans in Uganda. Rwandans are constantly arrested on accusations of “espionage”, others of “illegal entry” and yet others of “illegal weapons possessions”. They never are accorded a fair trial. They never are allowed consular visits.
All that somehow merits no mention by Ssemogerere. He glibly talks of “blood ties between Ugandans and Rwandans”; he mentions important individuals whose identities or past are linked to one or the other country, and so on – all to support his admonitions “to exercise restraint”.
In doing so, the Monitor’s columnist is no different than most Ugandan journalists and media organs. They are all bent on ignoring the plight of those Rwandans in Ugandan prisons and in the clutches of the inhuman CMI, why?
Do Ssemogerere and his counterparts think the Rwandans that Ugandan authorities dump at the borders by the dozens are lying and have not been in inhuman detention? Do they think Moses Ishimwe Rutare – who was abducted in December 2018 when he stepped out of his church in Bugolobi to take a call on his phone and was taken after he accidentally strolled near CMI chief Abel Kandiho’s house – had tortured himself after he appeared very haggard in newspaper pictures, saying it was CMI that did it?
Judging by its egregious failure to investigate the Ugandan state for its proven crimes against innocent citizens of a neighbor state, it is obvious the so-called Fourth Estate of Uganda has become compromised by the Museveni regime, and become fully complicit in its moral corruption. It is far more concerned in establishing false equivalences between Kampala and Kigali, echoed in claims such as Ssemogerere’s that “both sides should exercise restraint”.
The central question here is, what exactly has Kigali done to Uganda to deserve a share of this mealy-mouthed heckling? From all the evidence, nothing.
Ugandans visit, live and work in Rwanda. They dominate areas of the economy like motor vehicle repair. Ugandans are employed by the hundreds as teachers in Rwanda and have jobs in workshops in different industries in different sectors.
No Ugandan in Rwanda is ever abducted, which is as it should be. No Ugandan in Rwanda ever has concocted charges hurled at him or her, then tortured. Members of the security organs do not violate the rights of Ugandans.
Even more incredible in the false equivalency games of Ugandan media is how they behave as if the 800 pound gorilla in the sitting room simply isn’t there: namely Kampala’s support and facilitation of groups bent on destabilizing Rwanda.
By now only the completely deaf and blind are unaware that RNC and FDLR, groups that have been proven to commit acts of terror in Rwanda, have the full and unreserved backing of Museveni and his state organs.
On the other hand, how have Ugandan elites – specifically those that play Museveni’s propaganda games for him, whether wittingly or not – handled the fact Rwanda backs no groups, zero, seeking to destabilize Uganda? They have shifted their blame-Rwanda rhetoric to a higher gear.
The upshot? They are a huge part of the problem.
This is how the likes of Ssemogerere only show concern for maize meals over endangered Rwandan lives.