By Patience Kirabo
Kampala’s propaganda media has been exploiting President Kagame’s press conference of Friday 8 last week, to level several of their usual falsehoods and smears against the Rwandan leadership.
Chimpreports – a propaganda website that works under Col. CK Asiimwe, the Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI) Director of Counterterrorism – this Monday outdid most others with an article entitled: “Rwanda-Uganda rift, Kagame blames Rwandan dissidents again.”
The website has no counter-fact against President Kagame’s charge that Uganda has been piling Rwandans into custody, violating their rights with lengthy incarcerations yet not a single Rwandan is ever tried. The website instead chooses to single out one Rwandan, Rene Rutagungira, of the hundreds of Rwandans illegally detained in different Ugandan prisons, torture dungeons and the misnamed “safe-houses”.
Chimpreports claims that officials in Kigali say Rwanda’s main interest is Rutagungira, a Rwandan civilian arrested in 2018 alongside several Ugandan security personnel. That’s a distortion because Rwandan authorities have made it clear each and every Rwandan illegally in Ugandan jails, ungazetted detention houses or torture dungeons, should be released! For each Rwandan that has gone missing, held incommunicado and so on, Rwanda’s High Commission in Kampala has written a note verbale to Ugandan authorities asking about that person.
The question people keep asking is, why is Kampala so interested in keeping people jailed, only claiming they are “spies” or they “entered Uganda illegally”, or that they were in illegal possession of weapons,” yet never afford them the chance to be heard in court? The Ugandan regime seems not to care, and neither has it ever answered any of the Rwandan Embassy’s notes verbale.
To buttress their allegations that Rutagungira – whose rights as a civilian have been further violated when he was “tried” in Makindye General Court Martial last year – was a spy, Uganda’s regime propaganda has been claiming he (Rutagungira) was behind the alleged abduction of Rwandan fugitive Lt. Joel Mutabazi. Joel Mutabazi was a wanted fugitive in Rwanda.
Uganda Police authorities handed him to their Rwandan counterparts in 2013, through a bilateral framework of cooperation between regional police forces. This was part of the fight against transnational crimes through Interpol and the Eastern Africa Police Chiefs Cooperation Organization Framework.
Uganda Police handed Mutabazi over in full view of everyone. The suspect received a fair, lengthy trial in the presence of the media and the public. Rwanda too handed over to Ugandan authorities people wanted for criminal cases back in Uganda. “These Ugandan propagandist just keep pushing this particular lie only to perpetuate the falsehood of ‘Rwandan spies in Uganda’, that’s all,” said a Kigali analyst.
Chimpreports then claims that, “Rwanda has in recent months killed or arrested leaders of rebel movements including the diaspora-based Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a slander meant to portray Rwanda as a “repressive state”.
This one too has nothing to back it. They just say it and hope people will believe it, even when in this case they do not even bother to give names.
On the other hand the Museveni regime and the anti-Rwanda groups it has made its proxies such as the Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC are accused of real crimes of terrorism, in Rwanda and throughout the region. Museveni’s CMI has been implicated in recruitment activities, to send men to RNC’s training camps in eastern Congo, though recently things have been very bad for them there. They have been routed with hundreds of their fighters losing their lives and others getting captured.
Commentators have been asking, however, why Museveni’s puppet Nyamwasa can’t disclose the whereabouts of Ben Rutabana who has gone missing since September this year. Rutabana’s family through his wife has specifically pinned his disappearance, since September this year, on the RNC’s leadership.
Rutabana, who was the RNC “Commissioner of Capacity Development” disappeared late September according to his family members. Evidence outlined in a letter by Rutabana’s family to RNC shows he was in Uganda. It is said that Nyamwasa’s henchmen such as Frank Ntwari, in collaboration with CMI are responsible for Rutabana’s fate.
Additionally, people like Sylvestre Mudacumura, former commander of the military wing of the rebel Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) was killed by security forces in Rutshuru in Congo and Musabyimana Juvenal aka Jean Michel Africa who died last week in an operation by security forces in Binza- Rutshuru near the Uganda border in DRC. All these were both killed on Congolese soil; that’s because the government of RDC is determined that its territory can no longer be the den of illegal armed groups and bandits.
Emblematic of Kampala propaganda media, they just invent stuff, turn facts on their heads and throw whatever mud they can on Rwanda.