By Alex Muhumuza
There are several anomalies about a meeting in which Ugandan President Museveni received leaders of a pseudo-NGO called Self Worth Initiative – an organization run by two Kampala-based operatives of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC: Prossy Bonabaana and Sulah Nuwamanya Wakabirigi, who also are controlled and facilitated by Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI) in their anti-Rwanda role.
The meeting – reported on in an article yesterday, Monday 02 March, by the Chimpreports website, a propaganda tool under the control of Col. CK Asiimwe the CMI Deputy Director in Charge of Counterterrorism (who also is the handler of Bonabaana and Nuwamanya) – took place in Uganda’s State House on 24th last month. According to the article, the meeting’s purpose was mainly for Museveni to “advise Bonabaana and Nuwamanya to stop their advocacy work against Rwanda”.
This, the reader is told, supposedly is to be done as part of “confidence building measures to restore relations with Rwanda”.
Museveni himself chaired the meeting, according to Chimpreports, something that points to the first serious anomaly. How does a head of state meet with members of terrorist groups sworn to destabilize the security of neighbors; more so when the same head of state has been proclaiming his “intent to resolve differences” with the neighbor?
According to the Chimpreports’ article, titled, “EXCLUSIVE: Stormy State House Meeting as Museveni Orders Closure of Self Worth’s Advocacy Wing to re-instate Rwanda Ties”, the Ugandan ruler began by telling Bonabaana and Nuwamanya: “The Rwandans are saying you are supporting RNC, you need to close this organization.”
To parse this statement is to know that Museveni said it for media consumption.
He said it to make it appear as if he indeed is acting on the concerns of Rwanda, among which are the activities for which Self Worth Initiative (SWI) is a mere front. Kigali has made it clear during the many meetings that have taken place since the signing of the MoU in Angola by the two heads of state last year, that Bonabaana and Nuwamanya’s main work with SWI is mobilization and outreach activities for RNC in Uganda. Their task is garnering as big a membership for RNC as they can, mainly through intimidation, in Kinyarwanda-speaking populations throughout Uganda.
It is evident the Ugandan ruler already is lying in the very way he frames his first “piece of advice” to the two RNC agents. “The Rwandans are saying you are supporting RNC”, he says, as if he doesn’t know that very well! Bonabaana and Nuwamanya are run by his military’s intelligence organ; which in turn works hand in hand with RNC – Museveni’s most important proxy group in his long-harbored plans of destabilizing Rwanda, and his dreams of “regime change” in Kigali.
Museveni’s pretense of ignorance about Bonabaana and Nuwamanya’s activities raise a simple question. After all this time – when his hostile designs on Kigali have repeatedly been publicly exposed; and privately through diplomatic channels when the Rwandan embassy in Kampala has through numerous notes verbale raised complaints about the many provable hostile acts of Kampala against Rwanda – whom does Museveni think he can fool with simplistic statements regurgitated by CMI propaganda tools?
Our inquiries over time have revealed that the two – Bonabaana and Nuwamanya – are well-protected CMI/RNC operatives.
Another of Nuwamanya and Bonabaana’s briefs is to attack Rwanda with endless mud-slinging social media posts, which they do quite regularly with vitriolic unproven allegations. These directors of the pseudo NGO, SWI moreover only are two of a large cohort of well-protected, and well-facilitated members of the Museveni regime-sponsored anti Rwanda effort.
Among others who enjoy even more protections one can count Charlotte Mukankusi, the RNC “Commissioner of Diplomacy”. The woman has been travelling regularly to Kampala on a Ugandan passport, something the regime denied at first. Then recently it bizarrely admitted the accusation to be true, when the state-owned New Vision newspaper proclaimed: “Mukankusi’s passport canceled”!
Among the many other RNC agents that enjoy Ugandan taxpayer largesse are the Mbarara-based Pastor Deo Nyirigira, the so-called Chairman of the RNC “Uganda Province”, his son Felix Mwizerwa, a prominent recruiter for the group, and so many others. All work on the same “Rwanda project” of Museveni’s, much as he was pretending in his State House talk to two of its operatives that he “has no idea” they are with RNC.
Analysts will have read in wonder how in fact Museveni – in a meeting that also was attended by Mateke, and CMI chief Brig. Abel Kandiho among others – gave Bonabaana and Nuwamanya a platform on which to tarnish Rwanda. This they did with long discredited smears.
These operatives who pretend that their “NGO” “provides support for widows whose spouses were incercerated in Rwanda”, once again revived the canard that “Bonabaana’s husband Rwema Gendarme was killed in Kigali”. This woman has shamelessly been peddling this lie a long time.
The truth of the matter is that her husband, a Congolese Munyamulenge, left Bonabaana to go back to his ancestral country, probably to join RNC in the forests of eastern DRC. Whatever the case, Ugandan media mouthpieces have given the woman space, whole pages to accuse Rwanda of the disappearance, with zero evidence.
A notorious example was a full-page article published in The New Vision in August under the headline: “Woman hunts for husband kidnapped four years ago”. It was so full of bizarre contradictions and incompetent lies it left the reader helpless with laughter. To get a good idea, here is the link for a rebuttal of this piece of fiction https://virungapost.com/bonabaana-slips-on-a-banana-peel-of-a-lie-in-ugandas-govt-paper/
During the meeting in Museveni’s State House, Bonabaana, on the basis of her allegations of supposed Rwandan crimes, then went ahead to ask Museveni (apparently in reference to the ongoing quadripartite talks): “What is Uganda getting in exchange since Uganda seems to accept all Rwandan demands?”
Nuwamanya also got his turn to speak; and to level his wild allegations too. “All Kagame is looking for is a way to resume his killings of innocent refugees and asylum seekers, and all his perceived critics in Uganda”, said the man who left Kigali after he became unemployable.
In the annals of diplomacy this could be the first time a head of state gave members of terrorist groups a platform, in State House no less, to spout their propaganda and misinformation against another state with the full intention to give such propaganda publicity, yet his government ostensibly is involved in talks “to bring peace”. Observers in Kigali were thunderstruck.
In the first place the very people Museveni was sitting with in that meeting – Nuwamanya, Bonabaana, Mateke and Kandiho among others – are part of a string of individuals Kigali has named as active perpetrators of anti-Rwanda terrorism. Kigali has outlined its complaints against them, with evidence, throughout the meetings to implement the Luanda MoU process.
Abel Kandiho and his CMI in particular have been running an egregious campaign or terror targeting Rwandan nationals visiting Uganda, or those already resident there. The abductions, illegal detentions, and torture of innocent Rwandans are what led to Kigali issuing an advisory against her citizens crossing to Uganda.
In Philemon Mateke’s case, he has masterminded terror attacks into Rwanda. One is the attack in Kinigi District last year that killed over a dozen civilians (and during which 19 of the attackers lost their lives). Evidence gathered from the terrorists themselves – five of whom were captured alive – included a phone handset, which Mateke was in touch with before and during the attack.
Yet these very people could have a lengthy chat with Museveni and his security officials in State House, and walk freely out of there!, some observers in Kigali said in wonderment. “These people should been arrested for prosecution and have their SWI disbanded, if Museveni at all is serious about what he says that he wants to do his part to normalize relations.
“Instead he is hobnobbing with them, jovially!” exclaimed a reader.
In fact Museveni ended up advising the RNC agents, “to tone down their stance; to do things more discreetly!”
But how can that solve problems? People ask.
Logic would dictate that the only obvious solution would be to arrest these people; make them stand trial for acts of terrorism; and disband their groups.
Failure to do that, Museveni only is deceiving himself, the collective record of his failed tricks against Rwanda shows.