Home Op-ed Ugandan state paper claims arrested armed man is a “Rwandan soldier”, but...

Ugandan state paper claims arrested armed man is a “Rwandan soldier”, but he is Museveni’s man

By Our Reporter

Ugandan state newspaper makes the strange claim that Ivan Manzi (pictured) is “a Rwandan soldier”, when in actual sense he is a deserter that’s been in RNC.

In yet another sign that the Ugandan regime’s anti-Rwanda propaganda will not be put to rest, even with initiatives such as the Luanda MoU that oblige Kampala to desist, Uganda’s state newspaper, The New Vision has published an article claiming “a Rwandan soldier in Uganda has been sent to jail for illegal possession of firearms.” Yet the person in question, one Lt. Ivan Manzi, 28, is a deserter from the Rwandan military who has been living in Uganda for the past two years.

In an article titled “Rwandan soldier sent to jail for illegally possessing firearms”, the newspaper reported that Prosecution alleges Manzi on the Second of September, this month, at Nakulabye in Kampala “was found in unlawful possession of a gun, ‘a black star pistol of Israeli make.’” It was further said that the accused had in possession five rounds of live ammunition.”

In typical Ugandan regime propaganda The New Vision clearly is insinuating that somehow Rwanda has sent an armed soldier to Uganda, where he happened to be arrested roaming around. “It is the usual foolish and baseless story put out by the Ugandan authorities,” a Kigali official that read the story remarked.

It raises the question: given the gravity of such an issue, why has Uganda on a government level not protested what would be a serious international incident, amounting to an invasion of its territory? The answer is that no such thing happened. The New Vision, just like CMI (Ugandan Military Intelligence) funded outlets of misinformation like “Commandonepost”, “Chimpreports”, “Spyreports” and others, is just publishing anti-Rwanda smears.

The truth is that Lt. Manzi – whom CMI arrested in 2018 and threw into it’s dungeons after he deserted and went to Uganda – was pressganged into joining Kayumba Nyamwasa’s RNC. The terror group is facilitated and aided by the Ugandan regime and its security agencies, one of whose main means is torture of potential recruits a few who may agree just to avoid further pain.

The deal CMI gave Manzi and a few fellow deserters was this: “if you agree to join RNC to fight Rwanda, we will stop torturing you, and give you a livelihood.”

But in its article The New Vision concocts alternative “truths”, about how Manzi got into Uganda, and what he has been up to. Reliable sources say that on 16 October 2018, Manzi was arrested in Kisoro District on accusations that he was a “Rwandan spy.” From there they transferred him to CMI headquarters at Mbuya Military Barracks where he was detained, under torture, until 30 September last year.

They then released him along with seven other RDF deserters, who had also been accused of “spying” and detained in the same place.

Reliable sources reveal that the seven individuals with whom Manzi was incarcerated are Habimana Evode, Rugengamanzi Damascene, Sezibera Emmanuel, Nteziryayo Ethanael, Mugiraneza Eric, and Ndayambaje Emmanuel. After a full year of interrogation and torture, the authorities could not get them to confess to being spies.

The source reveals that halfway into their illegal detention on 12 April 2019, the High Commission of Rwanda in Uganda sent a diplomatic communication, a Note Verbale to Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs requesting that the deserters be repatriated to Rwanda to face justice. The Ugandan authorities simply ignored the note, which is what they always do.

Instead of repatriating the deserters to Rwanda, CMI recruited them to Kayumba Nyamwasa’s group – Museveni’s main proxy in what a commentator has termed the Ugandan ruler’s “fantasies of bringing about regime change through violent conflict in Rwanda.” Our source has intimated that CMI deployed Lt. Manzi to oversee RNC activities (recruitment and mobilization) in Kakumiro District, one of the areas in Uganda with a sizable population of Ugandans of Rwandan origin.

According to our sources Manzi’s troubles must have started when he decided to engage in other activities rather than fulfill the conditions of his release (working for the RNC). He found employment as a bodyguard for Baltazar Kasirivu Atwooki, Uganda’s State Minister for Economic Monitoring.

The dignitary felt he needed protection during the just-concluded, violent, NRM party primaries in which he was campaigning for the Bugangaizi West parliamentary seat. In an election that has been characterized by running battles, gunshots, and widespread chaos, the fight for the Bugangaizi seat was no exception.

On the First of this month supporters of Fred Byamukama, Kasirivu’s opponent in the party primaries, attacked the minister’s convoy. In the scuffle that ensued, and during the pushing and shoving to extricate Kasirivu from danger, his pistol fell on the ground. Manzi, his bodyguard, picked it up. When police and army intervened, they took Manzi and the gun, registration No. UG/012801417, with a license certificate issued by Katwe Police in Minister Kasirivu Atwooki’s name.

But rather than ask Manzi why he was carrying his boss’ pistol – which would have been normal under the circumstances and given his employment as bodyguard – the Ugandan regime instead has concocted the charge that he is an armed Rwandan soldier in Uganda. And they have instructed their propaganda media to report accordingly.

This is how The New Vision has come up with its story.

The facts show Manzi was arrested in Bugangaizi as opposed to The New Vision’s false claim that it was in Kampala.

Another fact is that since it is CMI that recruited Manzi into RNC in their shared scheme to destabilize Rwanda, Manzi now is the soldier of Uganda (and its RNC proxies), not Rwanda’s. Despite everything they say, the fact remains this is a deserter who should have been repatriated to face justice in Rwanda, as requested in the note verbale to Uganda’s Foreign Ministry.

But having arrested and paraded him with the falsehoods published, CMI is also killing two birds with one stone. They are making Manzi pay for abandoning his RNC deployment, which was the condition of his release from detention and torture. This is the true “crime” that he has committed. Violating the terms of his release.

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