By Alex Muhumuza
Trumpetnews, another outlet of misinformation controlled by Ugandan Military Intelligence has published an anti-Rwanda article full of distortions, most remarkably a completely made up quote attributed to DRC President Felix Antoine Tshisekedi. The article was published this Thursday, 17 June with the headline: “We need more bridges than walls in EAC, Tshisekedi slams Kagame.”
“The desperation of the Kampala regime is such that now they are fabricating words even against heads of state,” said a Facebook commentator. “Everyone knows Tshisekedi never said such a thing. But with Uganda’s trolls no lie is too great!”
DRC’s president on Wednesday in a goodwill gesture met Museveni who, according to his propaganda is “building roads within Congo to facilitate trade.”
According to this propaganda, “Uganda also is building the roads ‘to bypass Rwanda which has closed the border.’”
CMI-controlled media of misinformation is using Museveni’s posturing in Congoas another opportunity to attack Rwanda, for problems created by Museveni, analysts point out.
The alleged plan by Uganda to build a road in Congo merely is another lie (selling air in Kampala’s conman language) by Museveni however, analysts say, citing the fact Uganda has no money to build its own roads. Museveni only is trying to wriggle out of paying US$ 10 billion, and interest – which the International Court of Justice ordered Uganda to pay DRC over a decade and a half ago.
Museveni’s army was guilty of plundering and looting Congolese natural resources, and of widespread human rights abuses against Congolese civilians.
“The Congolese are not stupid; they know that the roads in Uganda are terrible, potholed wrecks in complete disrepair,” astute observers point out, adding: “so how can they believe that someone who can’t build his roads will build theirs? They are just giving Museveni time to hang himself with his own words.”
But there is another well-known cause for why Kampala propagandists are feverishly spinning misinformation around the alleged roads, and dragging Rwanda into their lies. It is the losses in hundreds of millions of dollars brought to the Ugandan economy, and Ugandan businesses following closure of Rwandan borders to heavy Ugandan commercial trucks on the First of March 2019.
Ugandan businesses were impacted, from the borders at Katuna, Kyanika, all the way to Kampala’s factories and wholesalers in places like the Kikuubo trading area.
Uganda’s media, including the mainstream New Vision, Monitor, NTV and others became fixated on misinforming the public that “Rwanda had closed the border causing untold losses”, echoing the country’s authorities.
But the facts debunk these blame games.
After Museveni got into bed with Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC and other negative anti-Rwanda group in a mutual goal to destabilize Rwanda’s security, Uganda’s security organs, CMI foremost, launched a sustained campaign of harassment against Rwandan nationals – either those traveling to Uganda, or those already resident there.
Museveni has always harbored dreams of installing a puppet regime in Kigali. When he and groups such as Nyamwasa’s went ahead with their plots to export violence to Rwanda through rebel terrorists based in the jungles of eastern DRC, they devised a forcible recruitment strategy for RNC, facilitated and coordinated by CMI.
It involved indiscriminately singling out Rwandans either on buses headed to Uganda, and abducting the victims who would end up in the torture dungeons of Mbuya Barracks (CMI headquarters), of CMI police station Kireka, or any number of “safe houses” – ungazetted places of detention. CMI worked hand in hand with agents of RNC.
CMI agents would hurl concocted accusations of “spying” or “illegal weapons possession” at these Rwandans as they dragged them awayto detain them, incommunicado, with no formal charges. Together with Kinyarwanda-speaking RNC agents, they would subject their victims to torture including severe beatings, electrocution, starvation, and sleeping in filthy conditions. The objective would be to break these innocent Rwandans, the able bodied among them, into accepting to be recruited into RNC rather than endure sustained torture.
Very many refused to, and would be subjected to further severe torture. The lucky few that CMI released would be brutally dumped at the borders.Others died.
There were countless incidents when Ugandan security forces abducted Rwandans of financial means – businessmen and women, wealthy farmers, and the like – on the same accusations of “spying for Rwanda”, illegal weapons possession, kidnap, for which they never produced any evidence.
Rwanda had been protesting through diplomatic channels to Uganda, for a period since early 2017, these brutal abuses of its citizens. The notes verbale to Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs repeatedly fell on deaf ears. Kigali then took the step to issue a travel advisory to its citizens against travel to Uganda since their security and wellbeing could not be guaranteed once in Uganda.
Following was the closure of the border to heavy Ugandan commercial trucks, though all other traffic was free to come and enter from Uganda.
Rwanda’s position was that there could be no free trade without freedom of movement of people.
But Museveni, rather than holding himself accountable for the huge losses he has caused his country opted for blame games.
“Now he is conning Congolese and Burundians that he will build roads for them, yet still dragging Rwanda in his lies!” laughed Kigali social media accounts.