By Alex Muhumuza
SpyReports, a Kampala-based website that’s one of the many tools of anti-Rwanda propaganda has, this Friday 17 January posted a story claiming that “Rwanda is preparing an ICC case against Uganda’s security personnel.”
SpyReports – which according to reliable sources is owned by one Wamala Raymond but is sponsored by Deborah Rwabwogo, the person in charge of “special duties” in Entebbe State House – says Kigali is doing so because of the human rights violations against the recently released nine Rwandans.
But the website – whose sponsor, Deborah Rwabwogo is the former wife of Col. CK Asiimwe the counterterrorism officer in Ugandan Military Intelligence (CMI) – then goes on to say that it wonders “how this case will stand when ‘Uganda has full records on these (nine) individuals.’” Col. Asiimwe is one of the senior Kampala intelligence officers that are directing a virulent, anti-Rwanda misinformation campaign.
Observers can already read panic in the SpyReports article, which shows no sources for its information.
The panic can be seen in the fact that the website – which on the basis of no evidence also tries to drag Rwanda into the affairs of Uganda’s People Power movement – is making its claims though Kigali has said nothing about any lawsuits at ICC.
So far Rwanda is only giving medical care to its nine citizens after their hellish experience in Uganda.
These people were arbitrarily arrested at different times by agents of CMI; and CMI affiliated security operatives like Mukama Moses Kandiho. The latter, a Mbarara-based GISO (Government Internal Security Officer) also is a brother to Brig. Abel Kandiho the CMI Chief.
The two men that Moses Kandiho arrested with no charge or due procedure, Emmanuel Rwamucyo and Augustin Rutayisire, have told how Kandiho set them up on fraudulent charges. According to Rwamucyo, one time in May 2018 Moses Kandiho kept badgering him with phone calls, asking him to meet him in town (Mbarara).
When Rwamucyo went to meet Kandiho, he drove with his friend and fellow businessman Rutayisire. Rwamucyo also had a large sum of money (US$ 40,000) in his car. As the two Rwandans were having a cup of coffee, Moses Kandiho arrived and unceremoniously informed them they were under arrest! According to the two men, Kandiho’s people drove them to Makenke Barracks in Mbarara.
While there, they were accused of “being Rwandan spies”. Later the accusation changed to “illegal weapons possession”. As they were sitting in custody in Makenke, Rwamucyo says, he heard his car drive into the place. He knows its sound, and the moment he realized someone was driving it he says he just knew he had been robbed of his money.
All the Rwandans tell how they suffered while in detention and how they were robbed of property, and especially of money.
Now after several months, some years, of horrendous physical abuse they also know they have been robbed of their health. They have scars all over their bodies. Some are like Nelson Mugabo who walks as if he is crippled. All of them are suffering trauma. They tell of torture that included: water-boarding; beatings with wire cables; being subjected to electric shock; emersion in ice baths for long periods and other inhuman treatment.
The case of businessman Rene Rutagungira in particular gained notoriety for the way he was abducted. Three CMI agents just walked into the bar in Namirembe Bakuli where Rutagungira was relaxing with friends. Brandishing guns they proceeded to drag him away, with not so much as an explanation of who they were.
While in CMI custody in Mbuya, one of Rutagungira’s torturers was former Ugandan internal security minister Henry Tumukunde. The dignitary, according to Rutagungira’s lawyer Eron Kiiza, kicked and punched the bound Rwandan and spat on him.
“Tumukunde’s acts were all in a bid to make Rene confess to things he knew nothing about,” disclosed the lawyer.
In not a single case did Ugandan military prosecutors prove their accusations, or mount a credible case against the Rwandans. The lawyers Kiiza, Gawaya Tegulle, Anthony Odur and others never tired to publicly state this fact.
In not a single case were the illegally imprisoned Rwandans given a right to have their cases publicly heard, in court.
The rights of others were further abused when they were “tried” in military tribunals. Uganda’s own Constitutional Court long ago ruled that military courts have no competence to try civilians.
It has become apparent that the panicked article of SpyReports – when it mentions Rwanda and ICC in the same breath, and claims Kigali wants to take action against Ugandan security personnel for human rights violation – is the strongest indication of a guilty conscience.
Uganda State House’s mouthpiece further inadvertently reveals this guilty mindset when it says (Rwanda)’s objective is “to have the International Community slap sanctions on Uganda and high-ranking government officials, including President Museveni.”
Only those plagued with fear of what their wrongdoing will result into can publish things like this: “as if they are pre-empting whatever charges might be mounted against them!” Kigali analysts are saying.
Kampala knows there is no way it can explain why in the first place it arrested the nine Rwandans, and hundreds of others besides. It knows it can never explain why they tortured these people, or why they did when torture is against international conventions. Neither would the Ugandan security establishment explain the robbery of the money and other property of those they abduct.
Even most difficult to explain for the Museveni regime would be why, if they had any proof of their accusations against the Rwandan nationals, they held them for lengthy periods with no trial.
These kinds of questions will have quite a few individuals in the Ugandan capital sweating bullets.