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Yesterday — February 16th 2019VIRUNGA POST

Kampala mouthpiece’s latest attempt to drag Rwanda into Uganda’s problems badly fails

By virungapost

By Rutore Samugabo

Kampala’s unrelenting efforts to drag Rwanda into problems of its own doing – while tarnishing Kigali with all sorts of concocted smears of “Rwandan spying”, or “Rwandan plans for war against Uganda” – are behind a lead story on the Chimpreports website.

Titled, “Inside story: ‘Rwanda penetration’, power struggles trigger storm at MTN”, the lengthy article however does nothing like showing “Rwandan spying”, or proof to back even one of its several smears against Rwanda.

In this current piece on the MTN saga, Chimpreports has persisted with the fictitious narrative that “Rwandan espionage” was a factor in the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence’s deportations (using the cover of Police) of senior MTN expatriate managers, because one of the deportees, Annie Tabura, is a Rwandan national.

In its latest article on the MTN kerfuffle, Chimpreports makes a whole cloth out of a number of un-collaborated fictions, basically regurgitating the misinformation that its spymasters are feeding it.

Chimpreports says, “It is alleged Bilenge (Annie Tabura) would take confidential call data of prominent Ugandans to Rwanda”. This immediately raises the question: why didn’t the authorities charge her with that offense? Annie is on record telling the media, local and regional, that no one charged her with anything. No one in CMI or Police has come out to say why. This in turn resurrects the simple question overall: how does a state accuse one of espionage but sends the supposed spy away without questioning them?

Another allegation by the website is that “Rwanda reportedly had a plan to infiltrate Ugandan towns, especially around Kampala with soldiers who would be supplied with guns to start an armed insurrection from Central Uganda. This begs several other questions: who are these “soldiers”? Where were they seen? Was anyone captured, “supplying the guns” and if so who?

M7and CEO

Uganda government extortion of MTN behind multinational’s woes, while regime covers up with unfounded allegations of “espionage” against Rwanda.

The website sheds no light on what is a very serious allegation. That indicates it is another piece of fiction, and part of a wider false equivalence game by Kampala about the causes of soured relations between Uganda and Rwanda.

Part of the strategy is to claim (none-existent) diplomatic “initiatives” by Kampala to Kigali that are alleged to have “collapsed” – thereby, by insinuation, turning Kigali into the culprit of the supposed collapse of those diplomatic initiatives that never happened in the first place. Such are the misinformation games of Kampala.

The causes of soured relations are squarely the responsibility of Kampala, all objective facts show.

For reasons only Kampala knows, it is hosting, assisting and facilitating RNC, a group that has openly declared war on the legitimate administration of Rwanda. Also, it is Kampala that is in the habit of illegally arresting, abducting, incarcerating on false charges, or torturing ordinary Rwandans, daily.

The dragging of Rwanda by CMI into the MTN saga – much as it is part of a wider strategy to keep smearing Kigali – has the parallel purpose of obscuring the regime’s extortionate tactics to squeeze millions of dollars out of the giant telco.

By now it has become obvious to the public that behind the whole saga – during which the Government of Uganda has by now even deported the CEO – is a calculated Mafia-like tactic to make MTN cough up millions.

The strong suspicion that the whole fracas was about money emerged with reports that when the telco’s license expired last year, Kampala demanded a steeply increased fee to renew it. First the regime wanted a hundred million (US) dollars, according to Ugandan media reports. Then it demanded they pay 58 million dollars, “but with an additional 200 million invested in infrastructure and facilities”.

When MTN did not pay up, it was around that time that harassment and deportations of of its senior managers begun, culminating in that of its Kampala CEO.

Veteran Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango Obbo wrote in a tweet on Thursday: “What is this we are hearing that telco MTN Uganda’s CEO Wim Vanhelleputte was dragged to the airport in handcuffs and is likely to be deported? Are the vampires finally moving to seize MTN?”

Everyone knows whom Obbo is referring to when he says “vampires”. Everyone that has seen them for the last 33 years knows how money hungry they are.

The regime having once again been badly exposed reacts with even more lies, and misinformation – with Rwanda bearing the brunt of it as usual, and as shown in the Chimpreports article.

Its latest article, like similar other Kampala mouthpieces, is the clearest indication that the Kampala regime will stop at nothing to drag Rwanda into it’s endless mess, including corruption driven persecution of foreign investors

Before yesterdayVIRUNGA POST

More deported Rwandans recount horror tales of mistreatment, torture in Uganda

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

Brutal and unlawful deportations of Rwandan citizens by Ugandan authorities are showing no signs of slowing down, going by developments at the borders, Virunga Post can exclusively report.

In the past two days alone another 20 Rwandans citizens – among them a little baby of only a few months with her mother – have been dumped intermittently by Uganda Police at Gatuna, Kagitumba and Cyanika border posts.

This Tuesday, 12 February 2019, Uganda Police dumped nine Rwandans (of them Mukandayisaba Marthe, 26, who was with her child Kizere Dorisi) at Gatuna. This lady, together with the others, has been in Luzira Prison in Kampala after the police arrested them and they were sentenced to prison on grounds of “illegal entry”.

Uganda imprisoned these people for wrongful entry although it was reported that all of them, at the different times they were arrested, had temporary passes to enter Uganda. Also, they had their identity cards that clearly indicate they are citizens of Rwanda, a member state of the EAC Common Market.

Some recently deported Rwandans have disclosed to Virunga Post that Ugandan authorities are even in the habit of tearing up a travel pass when someone shows it, and then arresting that person for illegal entry!

Analysts have repeatedly stated that Uganda is arresting and jailing Rwandan citizens in clear violations of the EAC protocols that guarantee their freedom of movement (including settling in any member state should they wish so), just like Ugandans move into Rwanda, and many even settle.

“The Community really has to question this unlawful, brutal, inhumane and discriminatory treatment of citizens of Rwanda, an EAC member state, by Ugandan authorities,” said a prominent commentator in the region.

The group that was dumped at Gatuna (together with Marthe and her baby) had been in Luzira prison, some of them as long as one year, on the same concocted charges of “illegal entry”.

They recount the horrors they encountered in prison, performing quasi slave labor that included working in farms, digging for hours. Yet, the tortured looking Rwandans recounted, even when the time they were sentenced was over Ugandan authorities persisted in keeping them at Luzira longer, prolonging the torture of hard labor and physical abuse.

On the same day, 12 February 2019, that these people were dumped at Gatuna, Uganda authorities deported five Rwandan citizens at Cyanika that had been suffering torture in Kisoro Prison. They too had committed no criminal offence in Uganda other than the usual concocted charges of “illegal entry”. This accusation has become a favorite by Uganda authorities in their campaign of harassment of innocent Rwandans.

Corrupt Uganda border authorities as well as corrupt police officers on their part have seen a “golden opportunity” to cash in on Kampala’s deliberate policy of hostility against Rwanda, and against Rwandan citizens.

“Bribery is one of the ways that can save someone from further torture!” Victims of Uganda’s ongoing violent discrimination against Rwandan nationals at the borders have consistently said. Failure to pay a bribe can mean two years in a Ugandan prison, said Kayihura Ponsiani, 53, of Burera District who was in Kisoro Prison from January 2018 up to January 2019..

Even then, according to Kayihura who says he saw everything, ‘Abagande’ (Ugandans) did, “They have to mistreat you first! They have to lock you up for several days and even months even before one can pay a bribe.”

Once you become a prisoner, Kayihura added, “You will be digging, making bricks, and if you don’t dig fast enough or if you get tired you will be beaten up!” The food they give you is “rotten kawunga and beans full of weevils!”

Some people will pay the Ugandan authorities bribes to save themselves from these terrible violations of their human rights.

Turatsinze Alexis, 21, of Burera District who was jailed just this month, 6 February 2019, in Kisoro paid a bribe of 1.5 million Ugandan shillings, so they released him, to deport him instead. The same happened to Nsengimana Florentin, 23, of Gakenke District. He too paid up 1.5 million shillings.

But even small bribes can get one out, which, according to observers is the clearest indication there is no reason behind the suffering of Rwandans beyond the mere fact of who they are. Niyomugabo Fred, 16, of Burera District could only find 30,000 shillings (that’s about Frw 7,000) to pay, and was let go to be deported.

“It is sad that this is how our government prefers to treat the citizens of Rwanda, which has welcomed us; imagine if the government here also retaliated by arresting and torturing us,” said a Kigali-based Ugandan.

The pattern continued yesterday, 13 February 2019 when Uganda authorities dumped five Rwandans at Kagitumba Border Post.

These had been incarcerated at Ntungamo Prison in western Uganda. They said there were very many Rwandans that they had left in Ntungamo Prison – up to 200 of them “doing slave labor!”

The pattern of arrests on pseudo illegal entry charges, as well as abductions, harassment and imprisonment of Rwandans at the borders has gone steeply up in the brief period since Kampala made the decision to militarize its border with Rwanda.

The Ugandan regime, in its deliberate policy of hostility against Uganda’s southern neighbor, last year in December appointed a senior military officer, Maj. Gen. Apollo Kasiita to head the Immigration Department. The claim was that they are “tightening up operations”.

But their actions speak far clearer than words. The aim is to target Rwandans, just for being Rwandans.

Museveni’s inner circle excesses reflect an ongoing coup against his regime

By virungapost

By Rutore Samugabo

Some members of Uganda’s top military brass too are now coming out to add their voice to those of the country’s leadership which has been consistently deceiving Ugandans that there is some “external threat” against the country.

The Commander of Uganda’s Presidential Guard, the Special Forces Command (SFC), Maj. Gen. Don Nabasa, on Monday 11 February 2019, repeated the same baseless propaganda and slanders against an unnamed country (not difficult to guess that he was talking about Rwanda, since it is Rwanda that Kampala has decided to turn into the scapegoat for its numerous failures – even as it in fact is Uganda which is openly engaged in acts hostile to her neighbor).

That was in a speech during a military celebration where he appeared together with the Uganda Air Force Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen. James Birungi.

The media quoted Gen. Nabasa saying that, “there are external forces working against Uganda and planning to overthrow the government. External forces are looking and they don’t want us to develop!”

Lapsing into the most blatant sycophantic mode, this general said, “We have the oil here, beauty of the country, stability, development and above all a precious leader. They think maybe if they get the precious leader out there will be disorganization.”

For starters those that heard the speech were left scratching their heads. UPDF officers or soldiers are not supposed to engage in political speeches, especially of the propaganda or sycophantic kind. That supposedly is against the Ugandan constitution and the UPDF Act. Moreover, Nabasa seems to brag that he is knowingly violating the law.

“That a general could make such bootlicking statements that admit to knowingly breaking the law is another reflection of how low these people have sunk; it actually is a reflection of the general lawlessness of the NRM regime,” said an analyst.

In fact being a General should not exempt him from the law; instead it should compel him to serve as an example to lower ranked officers to respect laws.

Keeping with the propaganda theme of his speech, Nabasa then claimed (of the alleged external forces), “they won’t come physically; they will send money and people, like the ones of late being deported…”

This man was repeating some slanders against some senior MTN expatriates – a French national, a Rwandan and an Italian – who last month were arrested and deported in the most dubious ways. CMI – under the cover of Uganda Police – issued a statement that the three allegedly posed a threat to national security. Yet there was no trial. They were just put in detention following several hours of harassment, and deported to their respective countries in a matter of hours. “If they were planning a coup why didn’t they charge them in courts so that the public gets to know the gravity of their offenses and why is it such a secret that only CMI and SFC claim to know why innocent people are being framed and abused?,” asked a journalist who has reported on this cover-up.

The questions on every one’s lips were: “How can that happen in matters of national security?” “Why no trial, if the police had proof?”

Facts soon emerged that behind the deportations was a game of extortion by the Kampala regime to squeeze millions of dollars out of MTN in license renewal fees. But such is this regime and all its operatives that they will keep repeating the discredited lies, like Gen. Nabasa did.

He claimed they were “giving money to youth”, which was one of the many lies people like Sarah Kagingo, a chief regime propagandist was pushing through her websites, claiming the deported Rwandan “was running an espionage ring, distributing money”, among many other unproven claims.

To many Ugandans against whom their own state has declared war, it was beyond astonishing to hear the general urging parents, to “tell their children examples of failed states due to war, so that they understand the importance of keeping the peace”.

The Kampala regime is at war with the majority of its citizens. Those very children the man is talking about daily see how the government clobbers MPs like Bobi Wine almost killing him; they see how they shoot his supporters, or chase down and torture any Ugandan that is a “People Power sympathizer”; they have seen how the supporters of Besigye are harassed, chased down and injured or maimed. People see how even prominent citizens, such as the head of the Commission of Inquiry into Land Matters, Justice Catherine Bamugemereire, can be threatened by junior, Kalashnikov-wielding UPDF soldiers, to prevent her from doing her job.

Observers ask how a Ugandan army general can dare talk about peace in a country like this; a country that in addition is convulsed by out of control corruption, and unrestrained thieving by regime insiders, the prime exhibit being the inner circle around the first family itself, plus every other ill of a badly mismanaged state.

No “external force will bring down that leadership, it will be brought down by its own criminality, and unpopularity with the public,” commented a Ugandan who says the frustration is felt by millions of people.

Even the oil that the regime is boasting about, they have been talking about that since well before Kenya discovered its own crude. Now Kenya is exporting the stuff, but the Kampala regime people are still bragging about what’s still in the ground.

In any case, according to analysts, other than the regime bosses and its inner circle or close insiders, which Ugandan will ever benefit from that oil? The president and his brother-in-law foreign minister are already taking bribes – as proved in a New York court recently – selling the oil while it still is in the ground!

“Things like this are what will end this regime. They are talking about threats to stability because they know that instability has been creeping up as a result of their excesses. They now are covering up by alleging coups by ‘external forces,’ said a Kampala-based journalist.

List of Rwandans illegally detained in Uganda

By virungapost

Just like the others who were victims of harassment in Uganda, these innocent people have been subjected to all sorts of torture while detained incommunicado in CMI illegal detention centres. The Ugandan authorities have never tried them for any crimes nor have they made a statement to the authorities. They have denied them consular access as is standard diplomatic procedure and have consistently ignored Rwanda’s call to have its citizens released.


Below is the list:

A horror tale of the inhumanity meted on Rwandan nationals by Ugandan operatives

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

Within the past one week Ugandan security agencies, Police and Immigration, have victimized a total of 42 Rwandans – six of them children – that happened to be travelling to Uganda, and others that already had been in the country – incarcerated in different illegal detention centres.

The Ugandan authorities apprehended some twelve Rwandan passengers that were travelling on a Jaguar company bus en-route to Kampala, and took seven of them to the cells of Kisoro Police Station while five were transported to unknown locations.

On February 5, 2019 authorities did this without bringing charges against the Rwandan travellers, some of them teenagers that, according to our sources, were going to visit parents. The authorities arrested these people knowing they had been cleared at the borders to continue on their way. They would deport and dump them at the Cyanika border, Rwandan side.

That alone is a fact that indicates their arrests, abductions and torture in cells was simply because they were Rwandan, said our sources on the ground.

The following day on February 6, when Uganda security agents dumped those victims at Cyanika, they later dumped five other Rwandan nationals at the same border post. Two of these were women with babies – Yankurije Florentine, 33 who spent one night in the jail with her child Kabalisa Jackson of 5 months, and Tuyisenge Beatrice, 30, of Rubavu District who was locked up for one night with her 1-year old infant, Irampumuriza Isaac.

According to our sources, these people said they were charged with “illegal entry”, though according to the EAC Common Market laws, all citizens of the bloc should have equal protection to travel in any of the member countries without hindrance of harassment.

However a pattern has become very clear over the past two years or so that where Rwandan citizens are concerned, Kampala is not prepared to follow any laws – whether EAC laws, international laws, or its own laws.

Next on the victim pile-up of Kampala’s illegal mistreatment of Rwandan nationals, Uganda authorities dumped 11 Rwandans at the Gatuna Border: 5 adults and 6 children. These people had been in custody in Mubende.

Upon further verification whether Uganda had indeed jailed 6 children together with their parents, for two months, it was confirmed by our sources that indeed it had happened.

Ugandan media websites or social media accounts aligned to the Kampala regime often tell their readers that “the security agencies are arresting Rwandan spies”.

Yet when one asks how it is possible for instance to claim a man of 62, like Bihibindi Simon – one of the people dumped at Gatuna – who can hardly read is “a spy”, or how children 1 year old too can be locked up, it becomes clear the only aim is to harass Rwandans merely for their nationality.

Some have latched on the “opportunities” presented by their government’s policy of victimization of Rwandans. They are “exploiting the opportunity” by extorting bribes. Some of the victims have testified that when they arrest them, they demand bribes “to let them free”.

Someone that saw her life might become more terrible after three days in detention, and decided to pay the bribe was Dusabirema Pauline of Rwanda’s Ngororero District. She had been locked up at Kisoro. She says she paid up the equivalent of Frw 120,000, upon which they released her from her cells (and deported her).

Another person that paid up was Niyonteze Jean de Dieu who, lucky for him, must have found “one of the hungriest policemen in Uganda”. The man accepted the equivalent of Frw 7500 to release him.

Of the more sad victims of the Kampala harassment policy against Rwandan nationals, some can be found in the group that was dumped at on 9th February 2019 at Cyanika Border.

Among this group of six people were Nduwayezu Emmanuel, 62, and Maniriho Aimable, 58. Nduwayezu was an old man that was arrested in Kisoro in August 2017 while, he says, he was on his way to visit his sister in Bunyoro. They arrested him in Kisoro but took him for detention in Kabale. The same thing happened to Maniriho.

This story is consistent with accounts of bribery whereby failure to pay can mean the being transferred any of the detention centres.

It is beyond belief! People who get to hear these stories tend to exclaim. “How do you imprison 60 year olds, or nursing mothers together with their babies? What inhumanity has overtaken Ugandan rulers!”

The unceasing harassment of Rwandan nationals however is taking a more ominous turn. Virunga Post reported an incident that happened a couple of days ago in Rubanda, western Uganda whereby two Kalashnikov-wielding operatives accosted three Rwandan traders in their Fuso truck. After taking their papers, the two men ordered the Rwandans to follow them (in their truck).

The Rwandans clearly saw that this was a life and death matter and jumped out of their truck and dashed for the bushes. They say they walked the whole night in the dangerous bushes until they entered Rwanda at the Cyanika Border. They said they have been importing wood from Uganda since 2017.

When they ran for their lives, they left their truck behind.

They are now appealing for help to get their vehicle back.

ILLEGALLY DETAINED IN UGANDA

By virungapost

Just like the others who were victims of harassment in Uganda, these innocent people have been subjected to all sorts of torture while detained incommunicado in CMI illegal detention centres. The Ugandan authorities have never tried them for any crimes nor have they made a statement to the authorities. They have denied them consular access as is standard diplomatic procedure and have consistently ignored Rwanda’s call to have its citizens released.
Below is the list:

French intelligence echoes FDLR/RNC Kampala meeting reports

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

On January 25, the French Intelligence journal “The Indian Ocean Newsletter” published an article titled, “Uganda: Philemon Mateka’s Hutu-Tutsi front against Kagame.” This was days after this website had published details of the 14-15 December meeting convened by Uganda’s Ministerof State for Region Affairs, Dr Philemon Mateke, in Kampala aimed at reinforcing the working relationship between the FDLR and the RNC. Indeed, both organisations sent delegations led by Frank Ntwali (for the RNC) and Ignace Nkaka aka LaForge Bazeye Fils (for the FDLR).

While this website had broken the news of the Kampala meeting, it wasn’t until the FDLR representatives were nabbed at the Bunagana border on the way from Kampala and transferred to Kinshasa that details of the Kampala meeting started to emerge, as they began to sing like canaries. Moreover, with unconfirmed reports that they were transferred to Kigali, it was expected that more information regarding their previous visits to Uganda and dealings with the Museveni government would leak. Unsurprisingly, the authorities in Uganda are said to be in trepidation about these developments: The more they sing, the more apprehensive Kampala becomes.

In the past, authorities in Kampala have relied on its propaganda websites – mainly Sarah Kagingo’s Soft Power, Chimp Reports, and other obscure online blogs – to outright deny or spin previous regular meetings over the last two years between senior Ugandan security officers and FDLR and RNC representatives. However, with such high-level FDLR representatives from such a meeting nabbed, these websites have been uncharacteristically silent on the matter of the Kampala meeting from which they were returning.

They have neither tried to deny our detailed reporting on the subject, nor the reports of the French intelligence paper that confirms that indeed this meeting did take place in Kampala on December 14 and 15, including the specifics regarding the commitment of the Ugandan authorities to support both the FDLR and RNC with logistics following the merger of what they presume to be monolithically ethnic rebel groups of Hutus and Tutsis, respectively. Indeed, our reporting noted that the Ugandan leadership had emphasised this point: A willingness to come into the open regarding their support for the rebellion on condition that it is able to present itself as consisting of both ethnic groups.

The rabidly anti-Tutsi genocidal ideology of the FDLR was cause for its reservations to openly enter into such a formal alliance, given its supporters’ radical elements implicated in the genocide against the Tutsi in the 1990s. Mateke, however, reassured FDLR representatives that its interests would be preserved, urging them to focus on the shared goal amongst Uganda’s leadership, the RNC and the FDLR, underscoring that the ideological issues could be sorted later, once the primary goal of destabilizing Rwanda had been achieved.

Mateke offered himself as the guarantor of their ideology, telling the FDLR representatives of his long-standing relationship with President Habyarimana. In other words, he would not sacrifice the cause in which they, himself included, have been invested for decades. He noted he had previously “been active in the UPC in the 1980s, becoming Minister of Education in the Obote 2 government which had expelled thousands of Rwandans during Yoweri Museveni’s Bush War against the regime,” the Newsletter notes.

“Philemon Mateke is coordinating the creation of a Tutsi-Hutu political front,” reported the French Intelligence sources in The Indian Ocean Newsletter. The Newsletter also notes that “the initiative got underway in September 2018.”

Clearly, then, Mateke was not picked to liaise with the FDLR by hazard. Also, having assured the FDLR of his support for their ideology, Mateke was confident when contacting FDLR commander Gen Pacifique Ntawunguka, alias “Omega”, with the news he had a “special message for him,” asking him to send a delegation of senior officers to Kampala to engage with RNC delegation on this matter. It is this delegation –led by the outfit’s chief spokesperson Ignace Nkaka, aka LaForge Bazeye Fils, and including Lt Col Nsekenabo Jean Pierre, alias Abega Kamala, the head of FDLR military intelligence officer, that was intercepted and found itself spilling everything, much to the horror of their Kampala hosts.

Three Rwandans in narrow escape from Kalashnikov-wielding Ugandan operatives

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

Three Rwandans narrowly escaped Uganda in the evening of Saturday, 10th February 2019 following a frightening incident involving two unidentified Ugandans who they say, “were in a Ugandan vehicle with dark-tinted glasses, and were armed with a submachine gun”.

According to the Rwandans, Habimana Juvenal, 31, Nduwamungu Felix, 52, and Bizimana Cyprien, 36, all three of them from Musanze District, they were travelling in their Fuso truck, registration number RAB 655H when the incident happened – around 40 minutes past 3, Ugandan time. The two men, with a gun but in civilian attire, stopped them and demanded to see their papers. These Rwandans say they are traders who normally buy wood from Uganda and bring it to Rwanda, a business they say they have been doing since 2017.

They narrate that the two men after taking their papers, told them to follow them. Habimana, Nduwamungu and Bizimana say that they pleaded with the men and asked them to let them proceed on their way, but the men were adamant that the Rwandans follow them. They did so, up to the Rubanda District Police where the two operatives proceeded to talk to the DPC (District Police Commander).

They narrate that they have been hearing stories of abuse of Rwandans which had them convinced they would not survive this place. They say they were sure there was a plot to kill them. So they immediately decided to dash for the forests, on foot, leaving their truck behind. They walked through the night until they came to the Cyanika Border Post in Rwanda.

According to our sources, the men are at Cyanika where they are appealing for assistance to get their truck back, as well as their papers and documents. The latest information we have is that Rwanda Revenue Authority was trying to talk to its Ugandan counterpart, but up to now no progress has been made.

The plight of the three Rwandans is only the latest incident of a pattern of illegal arrests, abductions or intimidation of Rwandan nationals by Ugandan security services. For the past few weeks there has been an escalation of incidents whereby Rwandans that have been illegally detained only to be dumped at the border posts by Ugandan authorities. It has become a daily occurence.

Virunga Post has been bringing you details and updates of these incidents in which even old men and mothers, some with children of a few months, have been abducted, jailed and tortured. This website is gathering more information on the matter and will keep its readers updated about these developments shortly.

Three Rwandans in narrow escape from unknown Ugandan operatives

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

Three Rwandans narrowly escaped Uganda in the evening of Saturday, 10th February 2019 following a frightening incident involving two unidentified Ugandans who they say, “were in a Ugandan vehicle with dark-tinted glasses, and were armed with a submachine gun”.

According to the Rwandans, Habimana Juvenal, 31, Nduwamungu Felix, 52, and Bizimana Cyprien, 36, all three of them from Musanze District, they were travelling in their Fuso truck, registration number RAB 655H when the incident happened – around 40 minutes past 3, Ugandan time. The two men, with a gun but in civilian attire, stopped them and demanded to see their papers. These Rwandans say they are traders who normally buy wood from Uganda and bring it to Rwanda, a business they say they have been doing since 2017.

They narrate that the two men after taking their papers, told them to follow them. Habimana, Nduwamungu and Bizimana say that they pleaded with the men and asked them to let them proceed on their way, but the men were adamant that the Rwandans follow them. They did so, up to the Rubanda District Police where the two operatives proceeded to talk to the DPC (District Police Commander).

They narrate that they have been hearing stories of abuse of Rwandans which had them convinced they would not survive this place. They say they were sure there was a plot to kill them. So they immediately decided to dash for the forests, on foot, leaving their truck behind. They walked through the night until they came to the Cyanika Border Post in Rwanda.

According to our sources, the men are at Cyanika where they are appealing for assistance to get their truck back, as well as their papers and documents. The latest information we have is that Rwanda Revenue Authority was trying to talk to its Ugandan counterpart, but up to now no progress has been made.

The plight of the three Rwandans is only the latest incident of a pattern of illegal arrests, abductions or intimidation of Rwandan nationals by Ugandan security services. For the past few weeks there has been an escalation of incidents whereby Rwandans that have been illegally detained only to be dumped at the border posts by Ugandan authorities. It has become a daily occurence.

Virunga Post has been bringing you details and updates of these incidents in which even old men and mothers, some with children of a few months, have been abducted, jailed and tortured. This website is gathering more information on the matter and will keep its readers updated about these developments.

Chimpreports can’t deny abuse of Rwandans; aims for coverup

By virungapost

By Rutore Samugabo

One of the Kampala regime’s mouthpieces, Chimpreports has come out, on Friday 8, January 2019, with a lengthy article “EXCLUSIVE: Arrests, Military Gestures Strain Uganda, Rwanda Relations” that aims to validate the most recent harassments, abductions and torture of Rwandan citizens travelling to Uganda.

Chimpreports begins that, “On February 7, 2019, Ugandan security operatives raided a Kampala-bound Jaguar bus for a routine inspection. During the search, several Rwandans were picked from the rest of other travellers and detained at Kisoro Police Station. This followed a tip-off to Ugandan intelligence about a trip of suspected Rwandan state agents to Uganda”.

But who are these “agents”? Virunga Post has in the past few days been bringing its readers updates about Rwandans who have suffered incarceration at Kisoro Police Station and other places in Uganda. They include people that cross into Uganda for ordinary visits to relatives. Some are people well over 50-years old from rural areas neighboring Ugandan districts. Some are women that have travelled with children as little as 5 months. Some are teenagers going to visit a parent that lives in Uganda. And so on.

One thing that is becoming clearer, following the escalating numbers of abductions, is that the border of Uganda and Rwanda has become much more dangerous for Rwandan citizens.

Uganda’s Immigration Department, headed by Brigadier General Apollo Kasiita and heavily deployed with senior military officers, seems to have decided to militarize Uganda’s borders with Rwanda.

Kasiita and his immigration department appear to have been integrated into the CMI, ISO, and Police competition for access to funds that must be justified by dubious operations, including abducting, harassing, and jailing innocent Rwandans.

No one will stop it because it justifies Kampala’s policy of hostility that is essential in efforts geared towards destabilizing Rwanda.

A telltale sign that harassment of Rwandans is a tool in this strategy is that none of all the arrested people are ever brought to courts of law and charged with the alleged spying.

Elsewhere in Chimpreports’ lengthy piece, it implies that Rwanda hired Kitata’s Boda Boda 2010 motorcyclists to assassinate prominent Ugandans from Muslim clerics, to the late police spokesman Andrew Kaweesi, MP Abiriga, police officer Kirumira, and so many others. However, the sophisticated weaponry and firing precision used in these assassinations always pointed a finger at highly trained operatives in the mould Special Forces Command (SFC) as prime suspects. It is an open secret that the authorities in Kampala use the boda boba operators to deflect attention from the true killers.

A key aspect of the deflection is to maintain confusion by obscuring the real causes of bad relations between Uganda and her southern neighbor: Uganda’s support, facilitation and sponsorship of groups that have openly declared war on Rwanda.

One of the earlier Rwandan sacrificial lambs to the Kampala lie, also mentioned in the CMI coverup, is Rene Rutagungira whom CMI forcefully abducted in 2017, and whose whereabouts aren’t clear up to now. Chimp Reports created the fiction that “Lt.” Rutagungira (he is a civilian), was a “Kigali operative” heading “a sleeper cell” responsible for the alleged abductions and that it is the reason he was abducted, locked up, and tortured. They abducted him and then accused him of abduction!

Chimpreports however prefers to regurgitate Kampala intelligence claims that some of these people were in “illegal possession of firearms”. It specifically names Peter Siborurema, Emmanuel Rwamucyo a businessman in Isingiro (western Uganda), Augustine Rutayisire, Eric Rugorotsi and Bernard Kwizera. Most of the people were arrested in broad-day light in public places (some in restaurants, taxi parks, and in bars, as was the case for Rene). It beats imagination how someone can go out for lunch carrying a machine gun or an AK-47 that CMI often claims to have found in their possession.

One thing Kampala’s misinformation organs never mention is that CMI is an active participant in the recruitment activities for RNC. So when they approach someone, like a Rwandan businessman in Uganda, and ask him to join RNC or contribute money and he refuses, they “fix him”. They plant guns on him and charge him with illegal possession of firearms. It has happened to a number of Banyarwanda that refused to be party to RNC activities, either to be recruited as fighters or as contributors of funds.

On the other hand, Kigali hosts no anti-Uganda groups on its territory; facilitates none, and has shown itself far above such things. The gravest thing Chimpreports can accuse Rwanda of is that “Kagame was seen wearing military attire recently, therefore that is a show of hostility!”

Which begs the question: Between Uganda’s facilitating of an active rebellion on the one hand and President Kagame’s wearing military attire – that any other head of state in the world can do as commander in chief (and Museveni does on the regular) on the other, who is involved in a “show of hostility?”

The Congo factor

An important aspect of the Chimpreports article is its timing.

Why now? People are asking. Is Kampala frantic with worry about what FDLR officials Ignace Nkaka aka LaForge Fils Bazeye and Theophile Abega – widely reported to be in the custody of Kigali after Kinshasa reportedly deported them – are revealing about Kampala’s role at the nexus of anti-Kigali hostilities in the sub-region?

What a speaker of FDLR and head of its intelligence have to tell interrogators must “seriously scare Kampala”, said the analyst who preferred anonymity.

The purpose of the Chimpreports story could be for Kampala “to get ahead of the curve” on developments that could further implicate it in wrongdoing.

Yet Kampala’s complicity in wrongdoing is apparent in many ways. The UN group of Experts on Congo report, in addition to Burundi, diplomatically says that “a certain country in East Africa facilitates the rebel network” (bent on destabilizing Rwanda).

That country is Uganda, all the facts clearly indicate, including President Museveni’s own admissions on the Kikagati group.

One of the claims in Chimpreports’ article is that on 1st February, President Museveni at State Lodge Nakasero met with the UN’s Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Burundi, Michael Kafando. It says the official carried “a special message” from Secretary General Antonio Guterres, “appreciating him (Museveni) for ‘his endless efforts towards keeping the East African region safe’”.

Yet there is no record anywhere to show that the UN head thanked the Ugandan leader for regional stability. Rather, analysts point out, the fact that the envoy visited following the recent publication of the UN report is strong indication that he came “to warn Museveni against destabilizing the region.”

Kampala must be getting especially desperate as it’s scheme to destabilize Rwanda gets known to the world.

LIST OF RWANDANS ILLEGALLY DETAINED IN UGANDA

By virungapost


Just like the others who were victims of harassment in Uganda, these innocent people have been subjected to all sorts of torture while detained incommunicado in CMI illegal detention centres. The Ugandan authorities have never tried them for any crimes nor have they made a statement to the authorities. They have denied them consular access as is standard diplomatic procedure and have consistently ignored Rwanda’s call to have its citizens released.
Below is the list:

UPDATE: Uganda authorities demand bribe to release abducted Rwandans

By virungapost

The Ugandan authorities demanded that the victims pay a bribe in order to be released. Pauline Dusabirema had Rwf120,000 on her while Jean de Dieu Niyonteze had Rwf7,500, which they offered before being deported at the Cyanika border.

The remaining five have since been relocated to an unknown detention centre.

READ ORIGINAL STORY: https://virungapost.com/2019/02/07/ugandan-authorities-apprehend-rwandans-in-a-passenger-bus/

Ugandan authorities apprehend Rwandans in a passenger bus

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza.

Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in the evening of Tuesday, 5th February, working together with Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and Uganda Immigration stopped a Jaguar company bus that was travelling from Rwanda to Kampala and took a group of Rwandan travellers out of the vehicle.

According to our sources, these people had transited through the Cyanika Border Post and were cleared by Uganda immigration to proceed on their journey. This news website learnt that the group of Rwandans then were later transferred to Kisoro Police Station.

The security agencies as usual did not tell the Rwandan travellers what they arrested them for, according to more reliable sources.

We were able to get the names of seven of them. They are: Dusabirema Paulina, Niyonteza Jean de Dieu, Mugisha Bategejo Christopher, Umuhire Joselina, Imanishimwe Boaz, Niyitegeka Gilbert and Kilangama David Matayo.

This still is a developing story and we’ll bring you more details as they become available.

LIST OF RWANDANS ILLEGALLY DETAINED IN UGANDA

By virungapost

Just like the others who were victims of harassment in Uganda, these innocent people have been subjected to all sorts of torture while detained incommunicado in CMI illegal detention centres. The Ugandan authorities have never tried them for any crimes nor have they made a statement to the authorities. They have denied them consular access as is standard diplomatic procedure and have consistently ignored Rwanda’s call to have its citizens released.
Below is the list:

Uganda government rides roughshod over EAC laws to victimize more Rwandans

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

Uganda Police this morning dumped 11 Rwandans at Gatuna Border Post in a continued pattern of rounding up, arresting or victimizing Rwandans in the neighboring country.

Before today’s – Thursday, 7 February 2019 – incident, this website yesterday brought you details of a dozen Rwandans that were arrested from a Jaguar company bus – which was going to Kampala earlier this week – and taken to an unknown location.

We also brought to light another story of five Rwandans – four of them women with two children, respectively of one year, and five months – that Uganda Police had locked up in Kisoro Police Station. They were dumped at the Cyanika border post Tuesday this week, and made their way back home.

This morning this news website has learnt of how the 11 Rwandans (dumped at Gatuna today) spent two months in the jail at Mubende. “This is one of the more inhumane incidents since they were jailed all that time with little children, some only a year, or below”, our sources disclosed.

The victims include Bihibindi Simon, a man of 52, his wife and their 4 children. Their only offence, it is said, was that “they were in Uganda illegally” – although the East African Community’s founding protocols, especially in its articles of free movement of labor and goods, stipulate that proof of nationality of a member state protects against arbitrary arrests, detention or deportation.

The others who have been illegally (as per EAC laws) detained at Mubende are Mazimpaka Muhammad, 31, of Nyanza District; his wife Nyiransabimana Clarisse, and their two children Patrick, 1 year old, and Munezero of only a few months. The last one is a lady called Kayirere Julienne, 41.

These people said they were only looking for opportunities.

This is the same way that many Ugandans cross into Rwanda looking for work, business and other opportunities, say observers. However no Ugandan national in Rwanda is abducted, harassed or jailed, “only because they are Ugandans”.

Uganda authorities now jail Rwandan women and their little children

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

In what is beginning to look like a wholesale targeting of Rwandan civilians by Ugandan security agencies, now even women and children are falling victim and spending time in jail.

Latest news from the border post of Cyanika between Uganda and Rwanda in Northern Province is that today, Wednesday 6, February, Uganda Police deported five Rwandans among them two children.

These Rwandans had been in police jail cells in Uganda’s Kisoro District for a number of days, ranging from 1 to 6 days. They say that they were released with no charges.

These include Namahoro Assuma, 37, of Musanze District. This lady had been in Uganda since 1997 in Masaka with her Ugandan husband. She had spent one day in Kisoro Police Station.

Another victim of the latest arbitrary arrests is Muhirwa J. Paul, 33, of Burera District. Muhirwa a trader was in Uganda for business when he was arrested in Kisoro and jailed for six days.

Rwandans who were deported from Uganda.

Yankurije Florentine, 33, was another lady who had travelled to Uganda because of familial ties. She has been in Bunyoro with her husband, and was visiting Rwanda when she was arrested on Tuesday, 2nd February in the Kisoro area. This lady who hails from Gakenke District spent one day in jail together with her child of 5 months, Kabalisa Jackson.

Another of the victims is Tuyisenge Beatrice, 30, of Rubavu District. She too was in the Kisoro Police station jail for one day, and she too was with her child, Irampumuriza Isaac of one year.

The fifth victim, Nyiramahirwe Annonciata, 29 of Burera District had gone to visit her brother in Kyankwanzi District in Uganda when she was arrested and she too spent one night in Kisoro Police Station.

Earlier in the day this website had brought you news of about a dozen other Rwandans in Kisoro that were taken off a Jaguar company bus travelling to Kampala and transferred to Kisoro Police Station. Our sources confirmed that they were arrested in a joint CMI, ISO and Police effort and currently are detained in unknown locations.

The security agencies as usual did not tell those people what they arrested them for, according to reliable information reaching us.

More and more Rwandans continue to fall victim to arbitrary arrests or abductions, and torture while in Uganda.

Ugandan security agencies apprehend Rwandans in a passenger bus

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza.

Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in the evening of Tuesday, 5th January, working together with Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and Uganda Immigration stopped a Jaguar company bus that was travelling from Rwanda to Kampala and took a group of Rwandan travellers out of the vehicle.

According to our sources, these people – twelve of them – had transited through the Cyanika Border Post and were cleared by Uganda immigration to proceed on their journey.

According to information reaching this news website, the group of Rwandans was later transferred to Kisoro Police Station. They are currently detained in unidentified locations.

The security agencies as usual did not tell the Rwandan travellers what they arrested them for, according to more reliable sources.

This is a developing story and we will be bringing you more details as they become available.

ALSO READ: https://virungapost.com/2019/02/06/list-of-rwandans-illegally-detained-in-uganda/

By virungapost

Ugandan security agencies apprehend Rwandans in a passenger bus

By Alex Muhumuza.

Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in the evening of Tuesday, 5th January, working together with Internal Security Organisation (ISO) and Uganda Immigration stopped a Jaguar company bus that was travelling from Rwanda to Kampala and took a group of Rwandan travellers out of the vehicle.

According to our sources, these people – twelve of them – had transited through the Cyanika Border Post and were cleared by Uganda immigration to proceed on their journey.

According to information reaching this news website, the group of Rwandans was later transferred to Kisoro Police Station. The latest information we have so far is that some have been deported and others detained in unidentified locations.

The security agencies as usual did not tell the Rwandan travellers what they arrested them for, according to more reliable sources.

This is a developing story and we will be bringing you more details as they become available.

Also Read: https://virungapost.com/2019/02/06/list-of-rwandans-illegally-detained-in-uganda/

LIST OF RWANDANS ILLEGALLY DETAINED IN UGANDA

By virungapost

Just like the others who were victims of harassment in Uganda, these innocent people have been subjected to all sorts of torture while detained incommunicado in CMI illegal detention centres. The Ugandan authorities have never tried them for any crimes nor have they made a statement to the authorities. They have denied them consular access as is standard diplomatic procedure and have consistently ignored Rwanda’s call to have its citizens released.
Below is the list:

Tribert Rujugiro: walking in the footsteps of Cecil Rhodes

By virungapost

By Albert Rudatsimburwa

On Tuesday January 29, the Daily Monitor published a story, “We are never motivated by profit margins alone,” profiling, “Africa’s tobacco mogul Rujugiro.”

Mr. Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro is painted as a humble humanitarian and peace-loving PanAfrican, who puts the greater good above everything else and driven by the model of Corporate Social Responsibility, the likes of Bill Gates and Michael Bloomberg.

Rujugiro is no Michael Bloomberg. Here’s why.

The name Pan African Tobacco Group (PTG) says the obvious.

Rujugiro is explicitly saying that his company “has always been a Pan African group as opposed to being a Rwanda company” and goes on to detail the “crucial contribution” that he has been able to make on “the continent.”

It is in the public interest to present an accurate picture of who he is and how he has gotten to where he is.

It is true that Rujugiro launched his businesses in the 1970s in Burundi. It is there that he piloted his business model to great success.

It is to this model that he owes his status as a “mogul.” A few examples illustrate how the model works.

Rujugiro learned very early on that the nature of the state can determine the fortunes of an individual and those of a company.

In a country lacking strong accountability, it is possible to circumvent the law and to ride roughshod over its institutions.

Specifically, he learned that by befriending the political elite (corrupt by disposition) in such a country, it is possible to lock out competition and enjoy monopoly power. Equally important, you can avoid taxes.

Rujugiro was inseparable from the Burundian political elite, particularly the cabal around then President Jean Baptiste Bagaza that ruled that country for a decade in the 1970s.

Burundians were impoverished, but Rujugiro and this elite thrived. This in a nutshell, is the business model on which he excels.

Rujugiro’s closeness with the Bagaza elite made him a target of the Pierre Buyoya regime that replaced Bagaza.

Along with the previous Minister of Finance Albert Muganga and one for Mining Isidore Nyaboya, he was jailed at Bubanza Central Prison.

In March 1990, Rujugiro conspired with an army officer, poisoned the guards, and the two fled to South Africa, where the latter soon died in a mysterious accident.

In South Africa, Rujugiro’s warped version of “Pan Africanism” took root. He replicated the business model that had brought him so much success in Burundi, penetrating into the elite network with vast business interests across much of Southern Africa.

In his book,“ The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in power and Out of Prison,” South African journalist Jacques Pauw details a network of Tobacco smugglers in Southern Africa, explicitly listing Rujugiro as a central actor in this new “black gold.”

“Tobacco smuggling doesn’t just deprive the state of taxes and duties, but it often masks other crimes, including money laundering, fraud, drug smuggling and human trafficking.”

Moreover, “the smuggling of tobacco costs government 3bn Rand because of tax evasion, money laundering and corruption,” Pauw writes.

As in Burundi, Rujugiro conspires with the elite to deprive the state of revenue that ordinarily should go into the public purse to transform people’s lives; instead, the money is diverted to private gain.

Such smuggling has earned Rujugiro “Profit margins [that] approach 1,000% in an industry that has grown into one of the largest organized criminal enterprises.”

This contradicts his claim that his investments are not profit-motivated. On the contrary, the obscene profits in this “black gold” enterprise helped to attract “assassins, arms-dealers, and gangsters,” according to Pauw.

As a result, South Africa is among the “top five countries in the world with the highest incidence of trade in illicit cigarettes.”

But South Africa is not Burundi. The South African Prosecution Services came knocking on Rujugiro’s door in 2007.
They were investigating tax evasion amounting to seven million dollars and soon charged him with 25 counts of money laundering and six counts of tax fraud.

An arrest warrant was issued while Rujugiro was on a business trip in the United Kingdom where he was arrested, held and adorned with a leg electronic tag.

He was then repatriated to South Africa to face the charges. South Africa attached his Mastermind Tobacco Company, located in Wilsonia, South Africa.

A few years later, Rwanda similarly moved against Rujugiro on tax evasion charges, confiscating his properties.

Rujugiro was, among other things, caught smuggling tobacco using ambulances. On September 13, 2005, a land cruiser ambulance with his employees Antoine Kayiranga, Octave Mutijima, and Javier Gahizi was stopped in the then Kibungo prefecture, searched, and was found with contraband cigarettes.

A case file was opened on September 19, 2005 in Nyarugenge district court. In subsequent interrogation the suspects admitted to have been working on Rujugiro’s direct orders.

Busted in both South Africa and Rwanda, Rujugiro moved to Nigeria where he continued the same business practices: He was given concessions on condition he builds a factory in three years, took the benefits and reneged on his promise – six years and counting into the deal.

The results there were no different from those of every place he has ever operated.

In Uganda, like everywhere else, taxes that he should be paying into public coffers are never paid; instead, Rujugiro pays off highly placed individuals.

It is these same individuals who provide exceptional security to him and his sons and to his publicist David Himbara whenever they are visiting.

Their security detail often rivals that of visiting foreign dignitaries. This was the case when Himbara was in Kampala last November with a film crew to produce a documentary promoting his employer Rujugo’s purported image as a philanthropist.

The above are Rujugiro’s real “pan-African” footsteps, not those his publicists, like Himbara, are trying to push in all these recent puff-pieces in The Daily Monitor and a few other newspapers across Africa.

Has he done some good? The individual beneficiaries would certainly claim so. However, whatever good he may have done has certainly come at much greater cost than any benefits.

It is difficult to separate Rujugiro’s business model –that subverts state accountability and costs the state revenue – from the great human suffering that results from a decayed social welfare infrastructure in areas like education and health.

Those who benefit most from Rujugiro’s business model would rather go abroad for medical care, where they also send their children to be educated.

When you take this into account, Rujugiro’s self-claimed “crucial contributions” on the African continent ring hollow.

Finally, Rujugiro can also be particularly vengeful. Which is why he must be taken on his word when he says that his entry into Uganda is not entirely “motivated by profits alone.”

If this is in reference to his machinations against a neighbouring country where his smuggling schemes were thwarted and exposed, then this would be the sole accurate part of The Daily Monitor’s Rujugiro puff story.

Source: The New Times

Deported MTN staffer’s shocking ordeal at the hands of lawless CMI agents

By virungapost

By Rutore Samugabo

Annie Tabura – one of the senior staff with MTN Uganda that were controversially arrested and deported from Uganda at the beginning of last week – has categorically called allegations that she was spying for Rwanda “rubbish”!

Describing her ordeal at the hands of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in an interview that lasted more than two hours, Annie Tabura says that when she got back to Rwanda and read “the rubbish that they had written”, she wants to make some things clear. “It is MTN that sent me to Uganda, not the government of Rwanda!’ she said.

“MTN is a multinational that rotates its employees any way it sees fit,” says Annie who was General Manager, Sales and Distribution at MTN Uganda. She remarks that the company rotates all its employees, even Ugandans!, just like any other multinationals in its employ to where their skills may be best deployed.

Also, she added, “I and Olivier Prentout (a Frenchman) were in the commercial department. We were involved in sales figures, growth of the customer base and so on, so we get nowhere near systems.

“It is therefore just false to say that we “were listening to conversations! Where would we even get the time?”

Annie – who throughout the interview cut the figure of a traumatized person, sometimes breaking into tears, but managing to compose herself – disclosed that throughout all the time from when they arrested her at her workplace, up to when they took her to the cells, and from there to the airport, the CMI men never told her a single reason why she was under arrest.

It reached a point when she began badgering them, asking them what she had done to deserve the treatment they were meting out on her, but “they told me nothing at all!”

A nasty surprise at Entebbe

The story of Annie’s tribulations in her last hours in Kampala reads like a script for a bad Nollywood film.

To listen to her tell it is to feel pity for Uganda, given the picture that emerges of how the country’s “security operatives” work. The whole saga paints a clear picture of country being run in lawless ways – with security organs such as CMI and others still addicted to the same methods as those of Idi Amin’s State Research Bureau or Obote’s National Security Agency (NASA).

For Tabura and Prentout, their particular ordeal began when they arrived at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on a flight from Rwanda where they had been attending a company conference for a few days. That was on Saturday 19 this month.

Tabura says when she presented her passport to an immigration official at one of the counters, he examined the document, asking her “how long are you going to stay in Uganda?” She replied, “I am a resident.”

Annie says the next thing the man said was that there was something he was not seeing clearly. “But you can check in my passport; I have a valid work permit,” Annie told him. So he kept examining her passport, “then he finally wrote ‘resident’”.

“The guy was talking to me; saying things like ‘are you a good neighbor or a bad neighbor!’” Tabura says. That in hindsight should have started the alarm bells ringing in her mind.

By then she was getting concerned because Prentout “was spending too much time in one place, in front of the same counter and he had not moved an inch since presenting his passport.

So Annie walked over to him and asked, “what’s wrong; why are you taking so long?”

Tabura says her colleague kept insisting, “everything will be OK Annie, we have done nothing wrong!” But OP – as his colleagues call him by the initials of his names at MTN Uganda – was puzzled too. Even the official supposed to be processing his passport had stepped from his counter.

Finally Prentout insisted Annie go, “since each of us have drivers. I will join you later.” Annie agreed but she became more concerned when upon leaving she noticed someone had moved Olivier from the original counter and now he was standing in a more secluded place, in front of what looked to be some small offices.

Annie joined her driver but on her way, a few minutes from the airport, when she called his phone it was off. It was all strange and a bit alarming, but Annie still could not bring herself to believe anything could be wrong. Perhaps the battery of her colleague’s phone was down.

It in fact happened that Prentout’s driver became really concerned after waiting so long, yet his boss was not coming out. So he went in and inquired, “only to be informed that Olivier had been arrested!” (They would keep Prentout in the airport, until Monday night, when they boarded him on a KLM flight back to his country).

Annie’s nightmare grows

Tabura was in for another shock soon. That is when she got a call from her home – Speke Apartments in the Kololo suburb of the Ugandan capital – by management informing her that the police wanted to talk to her. “It was the deputy commander of some police station that I did not catch very well, looking for me,” Annie narrates.

It was afternoon and she was at the home of a friend, so she told management to tell the police she wasn’t around.

“They hung up, but a few seconds later called again, saying, ‘he is here; he wants to talk to you.’” She says she told the man she was not around, and asked if they could talk on the phone, but he refused.

“I then realized things were serious; they had taken my colleague and now they were coming for me! What was this about!”? Tabura asked herself.

She decided to call her CEO and said, “You are the CEO of this organization, so you must be knowing what is going on! They arrested Olivier and now they are coming for me!”


MTN Uganda’s new CEO, Wim Vanhelleputte.

The CEO replied, “Annie, I wish I knew, but I have no clue!” When she got back to her apartment, where she lives with her children, in the evening, the police had left. But in the morning as she was taking the kids to school she says she saw two police cars parked in the compound, full of police people, “as if they are going for a war!”

“I thought, oh my goodness; these guys are coming for me! I don’t want them to arrest me in front of the kids!” To Annie’s amazement however, the cops rushed out of their cars and straight passed her to another car. It was apparent they did not even know the person they were supposed to arrest!

Annie drove away, relieved that at least they wouldn’t take her in front of her children. Yet her relief did not last long.

The police were already at MTN head offices looking for her. She had gone for a meeting at another of the company’s offices, MTN BAT. But she soon reasoned, “I cannot hide forever; let me face these people and ask what they want from me!”

So she called her CEO and told him she was coming. “He said OK, but wait a little bit as we make sure our company lawyers are here so that we talk to the Police in their presence.”

Abduction

However when she arrived at her place of work, she saw that it was surrounded by the police. They had come in two cars; a police car and a civilian vehicle. When she got out of hers in the basement parking, about 10 police, some in uniform, some in civilian attire came running towards her.

“Are you Madam Annie?” one asked. He appeared to be the leader of the group. She said yes.

“You are under arrest!” he barked.

All right, Annie said, “where is the arrest warrant?”

They did not produce a warrant, Tabura says. He only said, “Just follow us.”

The man wasn’t in uniform. Also, it was the same person that had talked to her on the phone telling her he was deputy commander of a police station that she has forgotten which.

The police vehicle was a pickup, and the civilian one was a van with tinted windows. Tabura says they bundled her with three of the security operatives – two men and one woman – in the back seat of the van. They were carrying her off with no kind of procedure at all.

She says it was highly uncomfortable in the back seat with the three police.

Her misery however was compounded when one of the men told her to bend forward and put her head between her legs. “Already it was badly crowded and I didn’t know how I could do what they were ordering.

“But the guy said, ‘Madam, this is not a joke – you have to do it!”

“I do not know how I did it, but I managed though it was torture!”

She said the commander told her they were going to Jinja, so Annie thought they were taking her to prison in Jinja. Fortunately for her, she had taken the precaution of apprising the Rwandan High Commission in Kampala of her situation, and she had instructed her CEO to call the embassy in case something like this happened.

It came to her as a great relief when, about five minutes into their journey, the commander “got a call from someone, which seemed to confuse him.” All the time Annie was in her highly uncomfortable position but she could hear some of the talk in the car.

She guessed the MTN people must have informed the High Commission of what had happened and they in turn must have called Ugandan authorities. “Right about then the commander told the driver to change direction.” But from then, the guy kept getting phone calls, and telling the driver to stop, upon which he would get out to talk, Annie narrates. Then they would change direction. At some point Annie thought the pain of her uncomfortable position would kill her.

She begged that they allow her to sit upright, no matter how briefly. “OK you can but no more than one second!” one of the men said as he shoved his gun in her side.

After driving around for a period of time some of the men began saying they were hungry. So the driver stopped at a shop. They bought something to eat in the shop, and came out. They also came out with two handkerchiefs, which they knotted together and blindfolded Annie.

“Then they also put handcuffs on me; it was as if they were just remembering!” says the lady who at that point in her tale is struggling with tears.

The vehicle drove off again

CMI jail cells

“When we next stopped and they removed the blindfold, I lost hope! We were in a place of overgrown grass and derelict vehicles that looked like they had not moved for years. I thought they had brought me there to kill me!” By then they had long taken her two phones away from her, she says.

This was the Kireka Police Station for CMI!, they told her shortly. Uganda Military intelligence controlled this place. Next they began to record the items she had on her, in a book. “The guy who was writing down my stuff on a desk, when I saw his badge, it said: “State House.” What have I done, Annie asked herself fearfully.

Next they ordered her to remove her shoes, which she did, and they also told her to remove her belt. “Only then did I learn that they were going to put me in a jail cell!” Tabura shivers.

Two men led her to her cell, which she describes as small and very smelly. There was a small mattress on the floor in the corner with a dirty bedcover, and some stinking toilets. After a few minutes she realized there were people in an adjacent cell.

They were speaking in Kinyarwanda. “Real Kinyarwanda and I thought, oh my God, what will happen to them!”

One of them tried to speak to her, and offered her some bottled water but she declined.

Annie’s story of those Banyarwanda who happened to be locked up in a CMI jail tallies with the fact of the many abducted, and “disappeared” Banyarwanda whom they arrest with no warrant and hold incommunicado.

Deportation

To Annie’s relief, after some hours in the cell, the men that had locked her up came back and told her, “We are taking you home!”

They gave her back some of her stuff (they still had her phones and bank credit cards) and drove with her to the airport. “I once again asked them: what have I done that you have treated me like this and disregarded my human rights? What are you charging me with?”

She says that the men, and woman told her nothing. The woman told her she was “only on duty”.

At the airport, the Rwandair flight they had booked her on was a few minutes from takeoff. The CMI fellows completed the deportation procedures, handed her back her phones and credit cards, and gave her passport to Rwandair officials. Annie boarded, still wondering at what she had done that her life be so disrupted.

It was the following day, on Tuesday that Uganda Police (same as CMI in this case) issued the press release that has become infamous by now.

The statement, signed by Uganda Police Spokeswoman Polly Namaye said: “Security agencies in collaboration with immigration officers “had been investigating the two foreigners ‘over their engagement in acts which compromise national security’.

“We strongly believe that the deportation of the two foreigners who were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives has enabled us to disrupt their intended plans of compromising national security.”

These statements came under immediate public scrutiny because “they just did not sound right”. Doubt was raised by the fact Prentout and Tabura had been detained only a brief period and deported, with no trial. How was that possible for people accused of such grave offences?

Annie Tabura is adamant these are total fabrications, reiterating her innocence.

The publics, of both Uganda and Rwanda, are only now learning more about the “money struggles” between the Kampala administration and MTN. The multinational’s license expired September last year, and they’ve been renewing for thirty days, or sixty days since then. The first time, the government told them they had to pay US$ 100 million, which they reduced to 58 million, with condition they invest a further US$ 200 million. Talks are still ongoing.

“What has happened to MTN whose officials have been arrested or deported – including the Company’s general manager, Mobile Money, Elsa Muzzolini in addition to Annie and Olivier – is a game of extortion by a regime inner clique. This clique wants a much bigger cut!” said an analyst anonymously. “The message to MTN is, pay up and your troubles will end!”

Another observer added: “in the case of Madam Annie, the regime saw an additional opportunity in its continuous campaigns to harass Rwandans, while tarnishing Rwanda with false claims that Kigali is causing insecurity in Uganda.

“That is what falsely arresting Tabura (in particular) was about; it is the endless efforts at mudslinging Rwanda,” concluded the analyst.

Deported MTN staffer’s shocking ordeal at the hands of lawless CMI agent

By virungapost


By Rutore Samugabo

Annie Tabura – one of the senior staff with MTN Uganda that were controversially arrested and deported from Uganda at the beginning of last week – has categorically called allegations that she was spying for Rwanda “rubbish”!

Describing her ordeal at the hands of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) in an interview that lasted more than two hours, Annie Tabura says that when she got back to Rwanda and read “the rubbish that they had written”, she wants to make some things clear. “It is MTN that sent me to Uganda, not the government of Rwanda!’ she said.

“MTN is a multinational that rotates its employees any way it sees fit,” says Annie who was General Manager, Sales and Distribution at MTN Uganda. She remarks that the company rotates all its employees, even Ugandans!, just like any other multinationals in its employ to where their skills may be best deployed.

Also, she added, “I and Olivier Prentout (a Frenchman) were in the commercial department. We were involved in sales figures, growth of the customer base and so on, so we get nowhere near systems.

“It is therefore just false to say that we “were listening to conversations! Where would we even get the time?”

Annie – who throughout the interview cut the figure of a traumatized person, sometimes breaking into tears, but managing to compose herself – disclosed that throughout all the time from when they arrested her at her workplace, up to when they took her to the cells, and from there to the airport, the CMI men never told her a single reason why she was under arrest.

It reached a point when she began badgering them, asking them what she had done to deserve the treatment they were meting out on her, but “they told me nothing at all!”

A nasty surprise at Entebbe

The story of Annie’s tribulations in her last hours in Kampala reads like a script for a bad Nollywood film.

To listen to her tell it is to feel pity for Uganda, given the picture that emerges of how the country’s “security operatives” work. The whole saga paints a clear picture of country being run in lawless ways – with security organs such as CMI and others still addicted to the same methods as those of Idi Amin’s State Research Bureau or Obote’s National Security Agency (NASA).

For Tabura and Prentout, their particular ordeal began when they arrived at Entebbe Airport in Uganda on a flight from Rwanda where they had been attending a company conference for a few days. That was on Saturday 19 this month.

Tabura says when she presented her passport to an immigration official at one of the counters, he examined the document, asking her “how long are you going to stay in Uganda?” She replied, “I am a resident.”

Annie says the next thing the man said was that there was something he was not seeing clearly. “But you can check in my passport; I have a valid work permit,” Annie told him. So he kept examining her passport, “then he finally wrote ‘resident’”.

“The guy was talking to me; saying things like ‘are you a good neighbor or a bad neighbor!’” Tabura says. That in hindsight should have started the alarm bells ringing in her mind.

By then she was getting concerned because Prentout “was spending too much time in one place, in front of the same counter and he had not moved an inch since presenting his passport.

So Annie walked over to him and asked, “what’s wrong; why are you taking so long?”

Tabura says her colleague kept insisting, “everything will be OK Annie, we have done nothing wrong!” But OP – as his colleagues call him by the initials of his names at MTN Uganda – was puzzled too. Even the official supposed to be processing his passport had stepped from his counter.

Finally Prentout insisted Annie go, “since each of us have drivers. I will join you later.” Annie agreed but she became more concerned when upon leaving she noticed someone had moved Olivier from the original counter and now he was standing in a more secluded place, in front of what looked to be some small offices.

Annie joined her driver but on her way, a few minutes from the airport, when she called his phone it was off. It was all strange and a bit alarming, but Annie still could not bring herself to believe anything could be wrong. Perhaps the battery of her colleague’s phone was down.

It in fact happened that Prentout’s driver became really concerned after waiting so long, yet his boss was not coming out. So he went in and inquired, “only to be informed that Olivier had been arrested!” (They would keep Prentout in the airport, until Monday night, when they boarded him on a KLM flight back to his country).

Annie’s nightmare grows

Tabura was in for another shock soon. That is when she got a call from her home – Speke Apartments in the Kololo suburb of the Ugandan capital – by management informing her that the police wanted to talk to her. “It was the deputy commander of some police station that I did not catch very well, looking for me,” Annie narrates.

It was afternoon and she was at the home of a friend, so she told management to tell the police she wasn’t around.

“They hung up, but a few seconds later called again, saying, ‘he is here; he wants to talk to you.’” She says she told the man she was not around, and asked if they could talk on the phone, but he refused.

“I then realized things were serious; they had taken my colleague and now they were coming for me! What was this about!”? Tabura asked herself.

She decided to call her CEO and said, “You are the CEO of this organization, so you must be knowing what is going on! They arrested Olivier and now they are coming for me!”

The CEO replied, “Annie, I wish I knew, but I have no clue!” When she got back to her apartment, where she lives with her children, in the evening, the police had left. But in the morning as she was taking the kids to school she says she saw two police cars parked in the compound, full of police people, “as if they are going for a war!”

“I thought, oh my goodness; these guys are coming for me! I don’t want them to arrest me in front of the kids!” To Annie’s amazement however, the cops rushed out of their cars and straight passed her to another car. It was apparent they did not even know the person they were supposed to arrest!

Annie drove away, relieved that at least they wouldn’t take her in front of her children. Yet her relief did not last long.

The police were already at MTN head offices looking for her. She had gone for a meeting at another of the company’s offices, MTN BAT. But she soon reasoned, “I cannot hide forever; let me face these people and ask what they want from me!”

So she called her CEO and told him she was coming. “He said OK, but wait a little bit as we make sure our company lawyers are here so that we talk to the Police in their presence.”

Abduction

However when she arrived at her place of work, she saw that it was surrounded by the police. They had come in two cars; a police car and a civilian vehicle. When she got out of hers in the basement parking, about 10 police, some in uniform, some in civilian attire came running towards her.

“Are you Madam Annie?” one asked. He appeared to be the leader of the group. She said yes.

“You are under arrest!” he barked.

All right, Annie said, “where is the arrest warrant?”

They did not produce a warrant, Tabura says. He only said, “Just follow us.”

The man wasn’t in uniform. Also, it was the same person that had talked to her on the phone telling her he was deputy commander of a police station that she has forgotten which.

The police vehicle was a pickup, and the civilian one was a van with tinted windows. Tabura says they bundled her with three of the security operatives – two men and one woman – in the back seat of the van. They were carrying her off with no kind of procedure at all.

She says it was highly uncomfortable in the back seat with the three police.

Her misery however was compounded when one of the men told her to bend forward and put her head between her legs. “Already it was badly crowded and I didn’t know how I could do what they were ordering.

“But the guy said, ‘Madam, this is not a joke – you have to do it!”

“I do not know how I did it, but I managed though it was torture!”

She said the commander told her they were going to Jinja, so Annie thought they were taking her to prison in Jinja. Fortunately for her, she had taken the precaution of apprising the Rwandan High Commission in Kampala of her situation, and she had instructed her CEO to call the embassy in case something like this happened.

It came to her as a great relief when, about five minutes into their journey, the commander “got a call from someone, which seemed to confuse him.” All the time Annie was in her highly uncomfortable position but she could hear some of the talk in the car.

She guessed the MTN people must have informed the High Commission of what had happened and they in turn must have called Ugandan authorities. “Right about then the commander told the driver to change direction.” But from then, the guy kept getting phone calls, and telling the driver to stop, upon which he would get out to talk, Annie narrates. Then they would change direction. At some point Annie thought the pain of her uncomfortable position would kill her.

She begged that they allow her to sit upright, no matter how briefly. “OK you can but no more than one second!” one of the men said as he shoved his gun in her side.

After driving around for a period of time some of the men began saying they were hungry. So the driver stopped at a shop. They bought something to eat in the shop, and came out. They also came out with two handkerchiefs, which they knotted together and blindfolded Annie.

“Then they also put handcuffs on me; it was as if they were just remembering!” says the lady who at that point in her tale is struggling with tears.

The vehicle drove off again

CMI jail cells

“When we next stopped and they removed the blindfold, I lost hope! We were in a place of overgrown grass and derelict vehicles that looked like they had not moved for years. I thought they had brought me there to kill me!” By then they had long taken her two phones away from her, she says.

This was the Kireka Police Station for CMI!, they told her shortly. Uganda Military intelligence controlled this place. Next they began to record the items she had on her, in a book. “The guy who was writing down my stuff on a desk, when I saw his badge, it said: “State House.” What have I done, Annie asked herself fearfully.

Next they ordered her to remove her shoes, which she did, and they also told her to remove her belt. “Only then did I learn that they were going to put me in a jail cell!” Tabura shivers.

Two men led her to her cell, which she describes as small and very smelly. There was a small mattress on the floor in the corner with a dirty bedcover, and some stinking toilets. After a few minutes she realized there were people in an adjacent cell.

They were speaking in Kinyarwanda. “Real Kinyarwanda and I thought, oh my God, what will happen to them!”

One of them tried to speak to her, and offered her some bottled water but she declined.

Annie’s story of those Banyarwanda who happened to be locked up in a CMI jail tallies with the fact of the many abducted, and “disappeared” Banyarwanda whom they arrest with no warrant and hold incommunicado.

Deportation

To Annie’s relief, after some hours in the cell, the men that had locked her up came back and told her, “We are taking you home!”

They gave her back some of her stuff (they still had her phones and bank credit cards) and drove with her to the airport. “I once again asked them: what have I done that you have treated me like this and disregarded my human rights? What are you charging me with?”

She says that the men, and woman told her nothing. The woman told her she was “only on duty”.

At the airport, the Rwandair flight they had booked her on was a few minutes from takeoff. The CMI fellows completed the deportation procedures, handed her back her phones and credit cards, and gave her passport to Rwandair officials. Annie boarded, still wondering at what she had done that her life be so disrupted.

It was the following day, on Tuesday that Uganda Police (same as CMI in this case) issued the press release that has become infamous by now.

The statement, signed by Uganda Police Spokeswoman Polly Namaye said: “Security agencies in collaboration with immigration officers “had been investigating the two foreigners ‘over their engagement in acts which compromise national security’.

“We strongly believe that the deportation of the two foreigners who were using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives has enabled us to disrupt their intended plans of compromising national security.”

These statements came under immediate public scrutiny because “they just did not sound right”. Doubt was raised by the fact Prentout and Tabura had been detained only a brief period and deported, with no trial. How was that possible for people accused of such grave offences?

Annie Tabura is adamant these are total fabrications, reiterating her innocence.

The publics, of both Uganda and Rwanda, are only now learning more about the “money struggles” between the Kampala administration and MTN. The multinational’s license expired September last year, and they’ve been renewing for thirty days, or sixty days since then. The first time, the government told them they had to pay US$ 100 million, which they reduced to 58 million, with condition they invest a further US$ 200 million. Talks are still ongoing.

“What has happened to MTN whose officials have been arrested or deported – including the Company’s general manager, Mobile Money, Elsa Muzzolini in addition to Annie and Olivier – is a game of extortion by a regime inner clique. This clique wants a much bigger cut!” said an analyst anonymously. “The message to MTN is, pay up and your troubles will end!”

Another observer added: “in the case of Madam Annie, the regime saw an additional opportunity in its continuous campaigns to harass Rwandans, while tarnishing Rwanda with false claims that Kigali is causing insecurity in Uganda.

“That is what falsely arresting Tabura (in particular) was about; it is the endless efforts at mudslinging Rwanda,” concluded the analyst.

CMI abducts yet more Rwandans in Kampala

By virungapost

By Jackson Mutabazi

Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) this Monday, 28 January, arrested a Rwandan couple and mother and father of three little tots, aged 9, 6 and 3 years respectively. Darius Kayobera and his wife Claudene Uwineza were picked up at towards midnight from their business premises on Musajjalumba Road in Kampala.

According to information reaching this news website, Kayobera has been doing business in the neighboring country the last seven years, and owns a string of saloons in Rubaga, where he also has a commercial building.

Read: LIST OF RWANDANS ILLEGALLY DETAINED IN UGANDA

As has now become customary whenever CMI pick Rwandans, information we have is that its agents picked up the couple on fabricated allegations that they are “spies of Rwanda”.

It now an established modus operandi of CMI the last few years to abduct Rwandans or to dispense with all legal procedures while arresting them. Our news team has over the past almost two years reported on dozens of cases whereby CMI or the Internal Security Orgsnisation (ISO), and Uganda Police move onto any Rwandan travelling to, or resident in Uganda.

Claudene Uwineza .

The CMI, or ISO agents, or the police, then just tell the Rwandan victims to “get into the car!” They do that with no arrest warrant; no reading of charges against whoever is arrested, and so on. Many times those ‘arrested’ are physically bundled into the vehicle with the ‘arresting’ agents just pulling out their guns on the victim but declining to identify themselves. Often, the victim is then blindfolded before the vehicle sets off, driving all over town before alighting with the detainee in various ungazzetted ‘detention centres’ (the notorious ‘safe houses’). In many of the cases and almost as a matter of routine, these abducted Rwandans have been tortured, “on the basis of nothing”, said one Munyarwanda victim of CMI torture.

In most of these cases, they will abduct the victim to throw him or her into one of the CMI “safe houses” or other places of sequestration. Yet, according to all researchable cases, in none of them have the Ugandan operatives proven anything against a single Rwandan – fathers visiting children, traders, businessmen who happen to be transiting through Uganda, bus conductors and others. Ugandan security agencies have never produced in court or convicted any Rwandan of anything. Including the charge of spying for which Ugandan security operatives are victimising Rwandans as a matter of routine.

Darius Kayobera .

Yet, the harassment of innocent Rwandans just continues, unabated. Darius and Claudine are merely the latest victims.

It is now beginning to sink into ordinary Ugandans and Rwandans that have previously doubted it whenever told that the goal of Ugandan security agencies basically is to just harass Rwandans that this is indeed the reality. “How is it possible that of all the people they have arrested, interrogated and tortured, they have not come out to try anyone publicly in court, so everyone can see the truth for themselves,” said a Ugandan analyst in a phone interview.

As Darius and Claudine are incarcated, it is imperative that the Ugandan authorities understand the safety and welfare of the couple’s three young children they have separated from the care and love of their parents must be paramount. They must provide Rwandan consular officials full access to both these children and their parents.

The Hidden reasons behind Uganda Minister Bahati’s unproven allegations

By virungapost

Junior minister’s claims that Rwanda “harassed Ugandan businessmen” can’t stand simplest scrutiny

By Rutore Samugabo

Uganda’s State Minister of Finance in charge of Planning David Bahati has been repeating allegations that imply there is “harassment of Ugandan businessmen by Rwandan authorities” at Katuna. Bahati has gone ahead to claim that the foreign ministers of Uganda and Rwanda will be “sitting to find lasting solutions to the instability at the Katuna border”.

Chimpreports, a favorite conduit of Museveni regime talking points, wrote that Bahati was speaking at the thanksgiving of one businessman Bernard Nzeirwe when he (Bahati) said the foreign ministers of both countries would meet over the supposed “harassment of Ugandan businessmen in Rwanda”.

These statements prompted analysts to express doubts about Bahati’s allegations. There have been no reports, either in the Ugandan or regional media, of any citizen of Uganda being unlawfully arrested in Rwanda, abducted or harassed. The Ugandan High Commission in Kigali has brought no such issue to public notice.

The next problem with the story of Bahati, which the Mayor of Katuna Town Council Nelson Nshangabasheija also repeated, is that the examples they gave were of two moneychangers – whom they admitted were arrested, but released “after a few days”.

The mayor said the “most recent victim” was one Denis Karyamagwaki who was “arrested on the Rwandan border side on 22 December 2018, before being released days later”. Another Ugandan arrested according to the allegations was Justus Tweyogere, “some time back by Rwandan security”.

People were left wondering: how can it be defined as harassment for one to be arrested and released, yet he quietly goes back home and says nothing, whether through the media, or through his government’s representatives?

It becomes even fishier “when the story is coming out more than a month after the alleged incident,” observed a Rwandan that read of it. “Why is Bahati saying this now?”

An influential Rwandan Twitter account @KalindaMwene said, in part, “those kinds of complaints, whether true or not, more likely are invented to create a sort of moral equivalence with the systemic abuse they are inflicting on Rwandans.”

Several media reports continue to detail numerous examples of how Ugandan security forces, more specifically CMI, have launched a campaign of arrests, abductions, torture and all kinds of harassment of Rwandans travelling to Uganda, but whom they never prove a crime against.

“To see Bahati trying – whether indirectly or not – to compare the terrible things that have happened to Rwandans to the arrest of two Ugandan moneychangers makes me so angry!” said a Rwandan lady that requested anonymity to speak freely. “How do we even know those moneychangers were not involved in real crime!” she asked.

The Foreign Minister of Rwanda Richard Sezibera seemed to be unaware however of the “meeting between foreign ministers” that Bahati talked of. That was evident in a tweet he wrote. Sezibera sent it out in response to a Ugandan Twitter account, @CommandPostUG after it alleged, “Minister Bahati Decries Torture, Maiming of Ugandan businessmen by Rwanda security operatives at Katuna Border.”

It was a wild allegation by an obscure account, quoting things that not even Bahati had said. Not even the mayor. Yet, more likely to clear the air, Minister Sezibera challenged it: “Please send details through official channels. Happy to follow up, find out if this is true and let everyone know of results thereof and actions taken.”

An analyst said that that particular account, @CommandPostUG probably is the several Uganda regime misinformation outlets “flooding the social sphere with lies to tarnish Rwanda. Or to create false equivalences between the criminal activities of Ugandan operatives with Rwanda’s, though the latter have never done a wrong thing to a Ugandan,” said an observer.

“One doubts whether they can respond to Sezibera’s challenge and produce proof of anything they are saying,” added the observer.

According to yet more analysts, Kampala could be trying to create a smokescreen to divert attention from the recent arrests of two top FDLR bigwigs, arrested by DR Congo as they were coming from Uganda “for briefing”.

The fact that it is only now that a Ugandan official is making unproven allegations of “harassment of Ugandans in Rwanda” could be a calculated move “to shift the conversation away from how senior FDLR people were apprehended at Bunagana while coming from a trip to Kampala”.

It is obvious Kampala is jittery that the representatives of the terrorist groups have been spilling the beans about their ties to the Kampala regime in a very big way!

NRM wastes anniversary on promoting Kayumba

By virungapost

By Patience Muvunyi

On January 26, the National Resistance Movement (NRM) celebrated its anniversary for the capture of Kampala in 1986. It marked 33 years with President Museveni at the helm. It is customary that newspapers in Uganda write sponsored articles that highlight the party’s achievements since coming to power and this time was no different.

However, what is rather unusual is how The New Vision, the state newspaper, was deliberate in profiling Kayumba Nyamwasa, the renegade former general now in exile who heads the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) that has declared war on Rwanda. Reading between the lines suggests that either the authorities in Uganda knew that this profiling would incense Rwanda but chose to do it anyways, or they are embarking on a public relations effort to make Uganda’s support for the former general acceptable to us.

Kayumba Nyamwasa is the only assistant district administrator profiled in the piece titled “NRM special district administrator team,” which raises questions about what is so special about him when the newspaper found no need of highlighting other assistants who also served at the time. District administrators were not Kayumba’s colleagues since he was junior to them. In other words, there are other such colleagues of theirs they could have profiled; moreover, these who were omitted are Ugandans. Instead, efforts were made to trace an obscure assistant – who is not even a Ugandan – but who also happens to be in exile and has declared war on his own country.

It is the classic case of trying to conceal a fake note among a pile of real currency. By lumping Kayumba (the fake note) in a group he does not belong to (the cash bundle) the aim was to nostalgically talk about Kayumba while using the rest as camouflage. It’s also akin to money laundering. What interest do the Ugandan authorities have in laundering Kayumba Nyamwasa?

The answer seems to be that they want to make him acceptable to Ugandans. The shared scheme between the RNC and Museveni’s government to destabilise Rwanda requires that someone acceptable to Ugandans is found with whom to drive a wedge between the people of the two countries.

This explains why the state media is profiling Kayumba Nyamwasa on Uganda’s NRM liberation day and why they speak about him as someone who is really missed as an NRM cadre. Indeed, one wonders whether it is a recruitment overture intended to rehire their “loved cadre.”

In this relationship, Frank Ntwari, Kayumba’s brother-in-law, has played the role of go-between, frequently shuttling from South Africa, where both reside, to Kampala running errands between Kayumba and the Ugandan leadership, including planning and coordinating coalition meetings with the FDLR and other anti-Rwanda groups.

Inciting Ugandans against Rwanda

For more than a year now, the Ugandan authorities have intensified their scheme to destabilise Rwanda, targeting ordinary Rwandans for harassment, torture, and deportation. They have in addition gradually stepped up their efforts to incite Ugandans against their brothers and sisters in Rwanda.

The introduction of Kayumba Nyamwasa as someone Ugandans should hold in esteem is the next logical step: To make the Ugandan authorities support of his criminal scheme acceptable to Ugandans in order to further their shared cause of destabilising his home country, Rwanda.

The article in the New Vision has further opened the lid on the conflict between Rwanda and Uganda by introducing another aspect that suggests that the latter has formally began the process of seeking popular support for Kayumba Nyamwasa and his Rwanda National Congress.

It should not surprise anyone that the laundering of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s image will be matched with the intensification of the harassment of Rwandans, by particularly targeting those who reject entreaties to join the effort to destabilise their country, which has been the pattern for more than a year now.

As national and regional attention was on the NRM as it celebrated its anniversary, it chose to launder Kayumba Nyamwasa as someone they are proud to associate with and one they remember nostalgically. Most of the real special district administrators they profiled in order to conceal this Kayumba Nyamwasa whitewash campaign are no longer alive. However, the NRM does not have to talk about Kayumba as if he is unavailable, unemployed, and ready and willing for hire to continue serving them.

Ugandan state newspaper props up Nyamwasa in puff piece

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

An article in Uganda’s state newspaper, The New Vision, of Saturday 26 January 2019 ran the following heading on page 18: “Special District Administrators were a mix of military and civilian cadres, well-informed about the ideologies of the National Resistance Movement.”

Amongst the “cadres” singled out for mention is Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa. Under the picture of a youthful-looking Nyamwasa The New Vision writes a short bio that begins, “Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa was an assistant district administrator for Gulu District in northern Uganda”, before it goes on to list other posts Nyamwasa has held either in Uganda or Rwanda.

In this group, Nyamwasa is the only assistant district administrator mentioned in this gallery – which raises the first red flag. Why the special treatment of this man by the vision, yet there were very many other ADAs that were equally, if not more capable? This cannot be mere coincidence, say analysts that have seen the article.

More questions crop up immediately when one is through with this piece in the state media of Uganda.

For one thing it is no secret that today Kayumba Nyamwasa is the leader of a terrorist movement that is intent on bringing armed conflict back to Rwanda. The whole world knows Nyamwasa’s RNC is a terrorist organisation, busy recruiting to bring war to a democratically elected government. A recent UN report has reported its activities in minute detail.

Furthermore credible reports last year surfaced that representatives of the RNC and FDLR (Interahamwe and Ex FAR remnants) met last December in Kampala with high-level representatives of President Museveni. On the agenda was better ways to coordinate the rebel activities of both organizations against Rwanda.

This was disclosed by FDLR spokesman and deputy chief of intelligence Ignace Nkaka aka LaForge Bazeye Fils under questioning by DRC authorities when they arrested him at Bunagana, when he was coming back from Kampala. The information Nkaka disclosed to the Congolese authorities was further conclusive proof of the Museveni regime’s complicity in activities to destabilize Rwanda, and how tightly linked the regime is with Kayumba.

Is it coincidence that this is a man The New Vision is upholding as a “good cadre”?, many are wondering.

Rwanda has complained very many times about the activities of Nyamwasa and RNC. The Rwandan government has raised the issue very many times with its Ugandan counterpart through diplomatic channels. Kigali had, and has proof that Uganda is at the forefront of supporting, sponsoring and facilitating RNC in all its activities that are geared towards bringing death and destruction back to Rwanda.

Uganda has denied these things. Yet Rwanda has on many occasions provided proof that it is. A prime example is the group of Rwandan youths that upon being apprehended in December 2017 by Uganda border police at the Kikagati frontier with Tanzania confessed they were recruits headed for RNC training camps in eastern DRC. They were travelling with forged papers, which was what raised immigration officials’ suspicions.

Upon close questioning they confessed it was the Museveni regime’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) that provided them the forged papers, transportation and other assistance. All those are proven acts by the state of Uganda, which Rwanda has shown. Also it is well known that RNC leaders whenever in Kampala are treated in the same manner and protocol usually accorded dignitaries visiting from other states.

It is well-known that Rwandan fugitive businessman Tribert Rujugiro, one of RNC’s chief financiers is a business partner with President Yoweri Museveni’s younger brother Salim Saleh. The first brother is a partner in Rujugiro’s tobacco processing plant in Arua, northern Uganda, holding 15 percent of the company’s shares.

All this is clear indication that the Museveni regime is doing everything it can to destabilize the Rwandan administration, whether directly or indirectly, said a long-time observer of Uganda-Rwanda relations.

“Therefore for The New Vision to come out and run this piece which places Nyamwasa into such a favorable light in the eyes of Ugandans, even when he is busy planning terror on Rwanda just shows how complicit Museveni is in RNC activities,” said the analyst.

It is evident that the newspaper’s inclusion of Nyamwasa amongst those “well-informed with the ideologies of the movement” is a means to further sanitize him in the Ugandan public, “it amounts to building up his favorability in public and campaigning for him”.

“This is obvious ‘building up of Kayumba Nyamwasa’s image in Uganda, and it cannot have happened without the blessing of the highest authorities,” said a source in Kampala.

Mafia patrons want to take over MTN

By virungapost


By Alex Muhumuza

For almost a week Uganda’s propaganda papers have been trying to spin the harassment of MTN staff by the country’s security forces. They seem to be unsure, however, about the theme they should push. As a result, they have been all over the place, with a story that seems to change each day. Nevertheless, one of the themes that has emerged appears the most plausible, although its leaking also seems to have been unintended.

The real story behind the spin leaps out from a closer reading and splicing together of the different accounts about this saga. This is less about national security as is alleged; it is more of a vulgar case of the usual shakedowns that have become common place in Museveni’s Uganda: leveraging political power as well as control of security services and of paid-for propaganda outlets to shape the narrative.

The story has shifted from one allegedly focussed mainly on national security, that was initially pushed, to one that now appears to centred on a more mundane Ugandan theme of the shakedown. In what has become a recurring staple, Rwanda was again used as a convenient misdirection from what was reality at stake: A domestic intrigue involving “mafia patrons”, as their own blogs put it.

Read: The propaganda and extortion games behind MTN Uganda’s troubles.

The extortion plot was set in motion on Saturday, 19 January, with the arrest of MTN Uganda’s chief marketing officer Olivier Prentout, a French national, at Entebbe airport as he returned from a business trip. It was followed two days later by the arrest of the company’s head of sales and distribution, Annie Tabura, a Rwandan national, at the MTN offices in Kololo, Kampala. The general manager of the Mobile Money unit of the corporation was also arrest. The MTN staff were arrested by the usual “unidentified security personnel,” according to MTN’s press release. After being briefly detained, all three were deported to their respective countries.

With the persons who could tell the real story behind the saga removed from the country, the Ugandan authorities let loose with their propaganda websites outcompeting each other to publish volumes of diversionary stories they were being fed through the Uganda Police to the effect that the arrests were intended to “disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security.”

While the biggest propaganda heavy lifting was by Sarah Kagingo’s Soft Power, there was also great enthusiastic contribution from Chimp Reports, both of which were repeating Uganda Police press release claims, treating them as though they were court verdicts rather than what they actually were: Dictation from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

Chimp Reports, after a long-winded effort to spin the story to accuse Rwanda, let the cat out of the bag when, towards the end of its article, it pointed to the problem as originating from Uganda’s “Mafia patrons” who were unhappy with MTN.

Another CMI propaganda website, “the edge”, added a further piece of the puzzle reporting that MTN had “annoyed some people in Uganda by sponsoring the Nyege Nyege festival.”

Who are the Mafias?

While references to “Mafias” in Uganda usually points to Gen Salim Saleh and Foreign Minister Sam Kuteesa, respectively brother and brother-in-law of President Museveni, the president himself seems to be part of this syndicate, according to information published by the Daily Monitor. On 23 January in Davos, President Museveni met with MTN’s CEO, Robert Shutter, and revealed more information on the heist that these propaganda websites had been dancing around, “Museveni insists MTN must sell shares to Ugandans,” is how the headline of the Daily Monitor read the following day. When you link the stories you start to understand who the Ugandans are on whose behalf Museveni is shaking down the company for shares: it is the “Mafia patrons” that Chimp Reports inadvertently revealed to the public.

The fast-growing Mobile Money business is an extremely profitable business in Africa, and Uganda is no exception. There are now more funds sloshing around telcos’ mobile money networks in many African countries than in the traditional financial sector. Not only is it a huge growing sector that generates massive amounts of profits, it also provides an excellent opportunity for those needing to launder vast amounts of corruption-derived cash.

Read: MTN officials deported for lack of evidence

MTN has remained stubborn, however. It insists that those who buy its shares must be clean. They must, in other words, not be part of any Mafia. “I think we should reward people [by selling shares] who have toiled for their money. I am talking about people in pension funds, nurses and teachers who I trust their sources of money,” Mr Charles Mbire, MTN Uganda Chairman told the Daily Monitor, adding, “you will end up getting stolen money” to buy shares in the company. Mr Mbire, in other words, fears his company being used by the Ugandan Mafia to launder the proceeds of their corruption-derived wealth, tainting both his company and himself with that association.

With that, the ball was thrown back into the Mafias’ court. The deportees were merely necessary collateral damage to impress the MTN top managers with how serious the Mafia were. The deportations were merely public cover for the attempted heist which needed to be disguised under the convenient catch-all national security shield.

Not everything in Uganda is as you are intended to see. Scratch a little, and there is another layer just below that tells the real story of what you are seeing.

The propaganda and extortion games behind MTN Uganda’s troubles.

By virungapost

By Rutore Samugabo


The Museveni administration’s organs of propaganda have stepped up the tempo in their demonizing of Rwanda in the aftermath of the arrests and deportations of top MTN Uganda staff – one of them Annie Tabura, a national of Rwanda.

A website called ‘edge.ug’ was at it on Wednesday this week – echoing Sarah Kagingo’s ‘Softpower’ website – when they published articles smearing Rwanda which, when one compared them, obviously were written by one person.

Read: MTN officials deported for lack of evidence

It is evident then that ‘Softpower’ and ‘edge.ug’ are one and the same thing – confirmed when you look at Softpower’s article titled “departed Rwandan built mobile money networks” and edge.ug’s deceptively titled “tracing Kigali hand and Bobi Wine rise in MTN saga”. Whole paragraphs from one to the last are published word for word in the other.

Kagingo has “excelled” at mudslinging Rwanda this time, just as she has excelled at smearing individuals, groups, or countries that the Kaguta regime keeps turning into enemies. This regime has been lambasted so many times as corrupt, criminal and incompetent that the only remaining strategy is to scapegoat its problems. It is the only way they see to maintain legitimacy.

Therefore it is not surprising that Rwanda, as usual, is bearing the brunt of the lies created in the aftermath of the MTN staff fracas – because Rwanda has become Kaguta’s favorite scapegoat.

Edge.ug accuses Annie Tabura of running a network in Uganda of “refugee kidnappers”, “killers”, “coordinating female Kigali intelligence operatives” into Uganda who “pretend they are sex workers”, and a whole litany of other things. But they did not try her in a court – she or the other victims of the forces behind MTN Uganda’s current troubles.

What makes the anti-Rwanda propaganda so vicious is that it is orchestrated by powerful but self-hating Banyarwanda groups in Kampala, beginning with Museveni and his wife (the parents of both Museveni and Janet Museveni are Banyarwanda), on to regime insiders like Sarah Kagingo whose parents are Banyarwanda. Yes, one can try to run away from the facts, but they are stubborn things. So is the mother of the chief tormentor of Banyarwanda in illegal detention centres, Brig. Gen. Abel Kandiho. She is a Munyarwanda. In fact, if you want to know someone with Banyarwanda blood in Uganda just make a list of the people who are most vicious in their attitude against Rwanda.

Anyone that wants to understand the true reasons behind the shocking animus of the Museveni administration towards Rwanda needs to know that. NRM/Museveni insiders run a country as if they would be disowned – and deported – if their true ethnicity became established. As if they are paranoid.

With Museveni, people have always whispered that he is a Rwandan, and that he was just an adopted son of the late Amos Kaguta. That is a big threat to the Ugandan leader, and it makes him hate Banyarwanda even more. According to opinion, that is what makes him demonstrate his hatred, via all the scapegoating of all Uganda’s problems on Rwanda. It helps him evade responsibility or accountability while, he hopes, it also shows he is a true “son of the soil”. In other words President Museveni attempts to incite anti-Banyarwanda bigotry in Uganda.

That is the circular reasoning behind much of the current standoff – purely of Museveni’s doing – between Kampala and Kigali.

The same applies to the Kagingos and others like them. They outdo each other in demonizing Rwanda and creating harmful lies against Uganda’s southern neighbor, to show their bona fides as “true Ugandans.”

Their government goes as far as hosting and facilitating terrorists groups on Ugandan soil whose purpose is to kill Rwandans and destabilize the Rwandan government. The facts of that are not hidden; they are only a simple Google search away.

Sponsoring terrorist groups is one of a multi-pronged effort to destabilize the current administration of Rwanda. Misinformation and propaganda is the other major prong of that nefarious effort. So is scapegoating.

Read: Uganda Police press release on deportations is a cover-up for CMI abuse.

In Kagingo’s current smears against Kigali, her websites imply amongst other things that “Rwandan spy networks in Uganda” are behind the deaths of prominent Ugandans, even though they have never conducted proper investigations into the deaths of those same prominent Ugandans, which suggests they know who the killers are and are protecting them.

How does one pin a crime they have not solved on another? Guesswork? They do not explain. They simply hope, as one analyst said, to throw as much dirt at Rwanda as they can and hope some sticks.

The allegations against Annie are in the same vein. Unproven, unsubstantiated, and therefore mere dirt. For if they had some facts, why did they deport her after no trial? Why in fact did they not try in a court of law all the other MTN staff they are busy deporting?

The facts that are emerging show the whole saga has been engineered by the Museveni cabal, specifically the inner circle of the president in Mafiosi family heist; a shake down for cash.

It achieves a number of objectives, according to analysts. “Number one, to aid in the ongoing propaganda war against ‘a neighboring country. Secondly, to shake MTN down for millions of dollars,”

Information from Uganda telecommunications circles shows that MTN Uganda’s 10-year license expired on January 20, 2019 and the company wants to pay US$ 58 million to have it renewed. President Museveni however is adamant that the telco pay US$ 100 million.

“The Ugandan leader is a man who recently was implicated in a US court of taking a bribe of half a million dollars, imagine then what he is planning to scam from renewing MTN’s license!” said the analyst.

It is emerging that the ongoing arrests, deportations and harassment of staff of the giant telco are extortion tactics. “Pay up what the big chief wants, or life will get much tougher for you!” is the message.

In the meantime Softpower, edge.ug and the myriads of other Kampala-affiliated propagandists are busy with allegations that some of the staff were “Rwandan spies”, or sponsors of Bobi Wine and so on. That serves as nice cover “to disguise” the extortion, while it kills two birds with one stone, by mudslinging Rwanda.

Do not be surprised if MTN pays up soon and the whole brouhaha quiets down. Then the (adopted) son of Kaguta will be smiling all the way to the bank, while the Kagingos clap and dance.

MTN officials deported for lack of evidence

By virungapost

By Alex Muhumuza

Reading through the Kampala regime’s several propaganda outlets, one would be excused for thinking its security agencies had outed a major spy network in Uganda, and as usual they point their fingers at Rwanda.

Softpower, a website that serves as one of the many propaganda and misinformation outlets of the Ugandan state – this one run by long-time Museveni regime insider Sarah Kagingo – has been publishing a series of articles implicating Rwanda in the cases involving three senior MTN Uganda staffers who were detained and deported to their respective countries. : Olivier Prentout, a national of France, Elisa Musolini of Italy, and Annie Tabura of Rwanda.

In these articles, Softpower has been busy regurgitating Uganda Police’s press release that the MTN staff were “engaging in activities that compromised Uganda’s national security” and that they were “using their employment as tools to achieve their ill motives,” and that, “their deportation has enabled us to disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security.”

The most logical question to ask about all these sensational allegations by a known propagandist for the Museveni regime however is this: why are they making all these allegations, yet they let the alleged “spies” leave after only a couple of days? “In which world do you arrest suspects, accusing them of such a serious offence as endangering national security, but let them go in less than 48 hours?

What makes everything bizarre is that in most criminal cases the authorities are in a rush to apprehend suspects and witnesses to the crime; however, the Ugandan authorities are busy deporting the suspects and witnesses. What this communicates is that there is no evidence against the alleged suspects and that the aim is to humiliate MTN for whatever reason that the regime in Kampala is not telling the public.

Observers are wondering, why not charge these two individuals in courts so that the world can know and even hear the charges themselves? The fact is that there is no evidence, which explains why questions that every reputable media outlet is asking in this whole saga are not being answered.

The Daily Monitor in an article of Wednesday 23, said it asked the (Uganda) Immigration Spokesperson why “people deemed to have endangered national security would not be arrested and prosecuted instead of deportation,” adding that, “with police authorities and other security agencies unwilling to disclose wider details of the alleged crime, we could not independently establish how and when MTN employees incited violence. It was not clear why the suspects were not arraigned in court to face trial.”

“No government official explained how the two MTN officials had allegedly worked clandestinely to jeopardize Uganda’s security,” concluded the Monitor.

From the look of the Softpower article, one would suspect that by dredging up all the crimes they are trying to pin on Rwanda. Interestingly, the authorities in Uganda are saying that the Italian and French nationals were acting on their own; however, the Rwandan is charged with acting on behalf of her country! If there is an incentive for others to act on their own and there was any such possibility, then a Rwandan could also act on her own, if at all she did. Sarah Kagingo seems to think her readers have no brains.

She further attempts to frame MTN by attributing falsehoods to its press release. Kagingo implies that MTN admitted that its staff had transgressed and that it commits to abide by the law in future. However, the actual statement says that MTN officials were “arrested by unidentified security personnel,” which comes nowhere near to an admission of fault; moreover, if MTN officials don’t know who arrested their staff, who then did they confess the transgressions to? Sarah Kagingo needs to do better if she is to spin the regime’s lies to cover up systematic abuses.

Mafia Pat-down

Chimpreports, the other propaganda mouth piece that CMI relies on, was not to be outdone by Kagingo’s Softpower. Chimpreports also refers to “high value suspects” without asking why there is no trial against them to bring to light the evidence.

It then contradicts itself by revealing what might be the real reason for the harassment and deportation of the three people. The website went ahead to reveal that Prentout’s issues could have stemmed from how he “had annoyed some people in Uganda by sponsoring the Nyege Nyege festival”.

That, according to analysts, could be closer to the truth. After all these people – Prentout and Annie – work as marketing and sales executives. From these “none technical positions, how could they get the authorization to ‘eavesdrop’ on to the calls of anybody let alone those of senior officials of the government or army?,” said a former senior employee of a telecom corporation.

Other people say “MTN Uganda has refused to pay some hefty bribes to some ‘big shot Ugandan mafias’, and so ‘the mafias’ are making it pay!” Similarly, its contract to operate in Uganda is due for renewal and it seems like this is nothing more than a pat-down by what Chimpreports calls “Mafia patrons.”

This revelation is likely what placed the giant telco’s current troubles, only saw a golden opportunity to smear Rwanda with the mud, something that has become standard practice whenever domestic problems in Uganda worsen.

Why else would the authorities in Uganda be in such rush to get rid of the witnesses to the alleged crime? What do they fear they might say? Let the authorities take the evidence to court instead of tasking Sarah Kagingo to try this case in the court of public opinion. After all, these are “high value suspects.”

LIST OF RWANDANS INCARCERATED IN UGANDA

By virungapost

Below is the list of Rwandans who are currently illegally incarcerated in Uganda.

Just like the others who under went similar humiliations, these people have been subjected to all sorts of torture and some risk being permanently incapacitated. The Ugandan authorities have neither released them nor brought them to justice. The Ugandan authorities have deliberately and consistently ignored Rwanda’s call to have latter’s citizens released.

S/N NAME DETAINED DATE DAYS IN CUSTODY STATUS
1 RUTAGUNGIRA Rene Aug 5, 2017 480 days Tortured by CMI held for 120 days incommunicado and later framed with charges at military court martial he is still detained at MAKINDYE.
2 SIBORUREMA Peter Mar 11, 2018 175 days Detained by CMI HQ MBUYA
3 RWAMUCYO Emmanuel May 26, 2018 145 days Framed with charges of illegal possession of fire arm and Detained at MAKINDYE
4 RUTAYISIRE Augustin May 26, 2018 145 days Framed with charges of illegal possession of fire arm and Detained at MAKINDYE
5 MULINDWA Joseph May 14, 2018 133 days Detained by CMI MBUYA
6 RUGOROTSI Eric Oct 25, 2018 87 days Detained at CMI
7 KWIZERA Bernard Dec 15, 2018 38 days Detained at CMI
8 MUHAWENIMANA Damascene Dec 15, 2018 38 days Detained at CMI
9 TWAHIRWA David Dec 15, 2018 38 days Detained at CMI
10 ISHIMWE Moses Dec 22, 2018 30 days Detained at CMI
11 KAYIBANDA Rogers Donne Jan 11, 2019 11 days Detained at CMI

Uganda Police press release on deportations is a cover-up for CMI abuse.

By virungapost

By Jackson Mutabazi.

A press release by Uganda Police says that two foreign nationals, Olivier Prentout a citizen of France and Annie Tabura a Rwandan, have been deported from Kampala “over their engagements in ‘acts that compromise national security’”.

The press release says Prentout and Tabura were “working with a leading mobile telecom company”, and that they were using their employment “as tools to achieve ‘their ill motives’”.

Sarah Kagingo’s Soft Power that is one of the propaganda arms of CMI that conducted the arrest immediately twitted, “Uganda’s security deport 2 senior MTN staff including a Rwandan for compromising national security.”

The initial question any reasonable person asks himself is why the need to emphasize that the arrested person is Rwandan if indeed her being Rwandan wasn’t the reason for her arrest in the first place. Secondly, as journalist Sarah Kagingo should know that these two individuals remain suspects at best and she should say that they are allegedly being charged and place the suspected crime also in quotation marks such as “compromising national security.” But this is not expected of her since her job is to try to normalize CMI’s continued harassment of Rwandans in Uganda.

But Sarah can be forgiven, she is a paid tool of CMI’s abuse. What’s unforgiven is that the Uganda police does the same thing as Sarah. She treats the two as convicted criminals in its press. Yet, it doesn’t refer to any court process that was initiated through which such pronouncement would be warranted. This is beyond being unprofessional. But it speaks volumes in regards to the use of security organs to abuse ordinary people and then to put its reputation on the line by facilitating a cover-up.

Simple logic shows that these were victims of harassment. They were arrested by CMI last Saturday, January 19 and been deported on Monday, January 21? Did police carryout investigations on an allegation as serious as “compromising national security” in two days? Why deportation and not prosecution for such a serious crime?

Isn’t it obvious to anyone with a brain that these innocent people were arrested and deported out of sheer harassment?

Yet here we are with the police press release, which accuses, tries, judges, and sentences (through deportation) two individuals who have had no chance whatsoever to speak for themselves.

Information this website has is that Annie Tabura was an employee of MTN Uganda. The company is a multinational that employees different nationals from all over the world, and stations them however it sees fit.

At MTN Uganda, Olivier Prentout has been the chief marketing officer. Annie has been the sales manager.

Which raises the first question: what do people in sales departments do whereby they would be in a position “to spy”? Neither of the two people is a technician, or someone expert in manipulating equipment. One also has to ask oneself regarding Prentout: why would a national of France be spying on Uganda?

Finally, in its press release the Uganda Police commends the Directorate of Immigration for “strengthening screening procedures at all border points…that has enabled us to disrupt their intended plans of compromising our national security.” However, when the same Directorate of Immigration intercepted recruits of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) who were being facilitated by CMI to cross the border on their way to the RNC recruitment center in South Kivu, the 46 suspects who actually confessed to the crime were released. Actual criminals are not deported to Rwanda but innocent people going about their lives are harassed without end.

Uganda regime now “advertising” for refugees.

By virungapost

By Jackson Mutabazi

The “corruption cake” that Uganda’s Office of the Prime Minister exploits from refugees has become too sweet, new developments on Ugandan borders indicate.

“The cake” has become so sweet to the extent the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) is now advertising for refugees on the borders of Rwanda and Uganda. This “advertisement” is in the form of UNHCR notices written in four languages: Kinyarwanda, English, French and Swahili.

In fact it is not merely advertising, it looks like active encouragement of Rwandan communities along the borders. Under the UNHCR logo, it says, “Welcome to Uganda”. “If you are an asylum seeker report immediately to Immigration Office, the office of the Prime Minister, or UNHCR,” it begins, then proceeds to mention that “services are free, ‘no fee’ is required'”, “no need to bribe officials”, and so on.

Which raises the question: since Rwanda is peaceful, and has been peaceful over the past two decades why the need to put up such notices on its borders?

The purposes could be about two, if one has been following the Museveni regime’s manipulation of Uganda’s refugee population.

Read: How Uganda’s corrupt elite dipped into £151MILLION of UK aid cash: UN review exposes catalogue of dodgy land dealing, expenses fiddling and overpayments in East African nation

The first is scams – through OPM – to fleece the UN of millions of dollars. News readers will remember that in December last year OPM was implicated in a massive, international corruption scandal.

A UN report detailed how OPM scammed money meant to help refugees through inflating refugee numbers, claiming fuel consumption quantities almost twice what they used, and so on. That was according to a UN audit.

An article in the UK Daily Mail said, “shocking investigation reveals how corrupt Ugandan officials are manipulating refugee statistics in order to con the UK out of millions”.

The article noted that the Museveni government had “massively inflated refugee numbers in Uganda by 320,000”. The purpose of these “ghost refugees” according to the Daily Mail, is for the Uganda government to receive millions in aid, which the Museveni regime then embezzles.

Anyone that knows the Museveni administration knows that high corruption like this is par for the course. “They embezzle millions of dollars that international donors send, which are meant for those “ghost refugees”. They claim more millions meant for fuel and forge the accounts books.

“Do not forget that this is Uganda, a country where the head of state himself can be exposed as having accepted a bribe of half a million dollars,” commented an observer.

The fact that they are now “advertising for more refugees means they want to “expand the cake” continued the analyst, who requested anonymity to speak freely.

With the regime so determined to milk the refugee “cash cow” then, it is logical that they are now advertising for refugees on the border.

It is apparent to any person that Rwanda is one of the most stable, secure, peaceful countries in Africa. So why would any Rwandan become a refugee now? It just does not make sense.

UNHCR itself in 2009 signed a secession clause that was to take effect in 2018. That meant all Rwandan refugees were to lose refugee status by then, because all the conditions that made anyone flee no longer existed in Rwanda. There was no war, no ethnic strife, no discrimination and other things like that.

Read: UNHCR statement on the refugee response programme in Uganda

The UN through UNHCR – the UN agency for refugees – had verified those facts after exhaustive, on site investigations. All Rwandans were supposed to go back home.

But instead the Museveni government, on its own, decided to ignore UNHCR’s recommendations. Also, the Kampala regime refused to assist in the orderly repatriation of Rwandan refugees.

Probably they did not want “the cake to be reduced”.

“The asylum space is not closed for Rwandan asylum seekers,” said Hillary Onek the Uganda Minister of Disaster Preparedness. Yet he did not explain whether he thought there was any reason any Rwandan should fear to go back home.

The second purpose why the Kampala regime does not want refugee status for Rwandans to end is because camps are good recruitment grounds for RNC terrorists.

The government of President Museveni, more specifically his intelligence services have been proven to be working hand in hand with RNC.

They recruit fighters within refugee camps whom they transport to training camps in Minembwe, DR Congo.

Such anti-Rwanda cross-border movements – with masterminds in Bujumbura reportedly coordinating recruitment for the terrorist RNC as well – have been detailed in an exhaustively investigated report by the UN Group of Experts of the Congo. It was released on 31 December, just the preceding year.

Read: Midterm report of the Group of Experts on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (S/2018/1133)

RNC led by Kayumba Nyamwasa, it is well-known, wants to bring war and instability back to Rwanda.

Incidents of recruits travelling to Minembwe, DRC, from refugee camps in Uganda using fake papers – provided by chieftaincy of Military Intelligence – have been reported in regional media.

“Therefore it is not surprising that Uganda (through manipulation of UNHCR) is now encouraging more Rwandans to become refugees,” said an analyst.

“Forget about repatriating Rwandan refugees, they are too useful for President Museveni and his various partners!”

Barnabus Taremwa lies in job application to Museveni

By virungapost

By Patience Muvunyi

Bernabus Taremwa has recently been writing a series of articles in the form of open letters in the ChimpReports. Initially he posed as a “concerned citizen” whose interest was helping to restore relations between Uganda and Rwanda. Eventually, he dropped the pretence, revealing his real motives: He wants a job.

“I also suspect you don’t have many advisors you believe in. Remember during the wedding of comrade Noble Mayombo many years back, you told us you take advice from only three people. Number one was Noble Mayombo, the second you said was Gen Kale Kayihura and number three was Amama Mbabazi,” Taremwa writes in his job application then continues, “However, as we all know one is dead and the other two are out of action. From this context I imagine you may be in a dilemma of getting a trusted advisor.”

At this point the reader begins to suspect Taremwa as a “concerned citizen” has someone in mind for the job. He does. It is: Barnabus Taremwa. He proposes himself for the position of Museveni’s “trusted advisor”.

As a Ugandan citizen, Taremwa is well within his rights to solicit for a job from his president. However, he shouldn’t conceal his sollicitation under some pretext of a noble cause of trying to help repair relations between two countries. Indeed, he compounds his mistake by proffering unsollicited advice to President Kagame on what he should do. It would be much more preferrable for him to wait for his application letter to get him the job and then start to advise the person from whom he is seeking employment.

Taremwa motivates his job application by implying he could replace Andrew Mwenda who, he says, is “the last friend” the two presidents share, which, presumably, explains his unsollicited advice to the two men.

He strengthens his job application by showing his potential employer that he is a man who is prepared to lie to protect him, especially by the way he tries to minimise the torture inflicted on Gatsinzi, a person he admits to knowing and to have shared comradeship.

In the same breath, Taremwa manages the contradictory feat of condemning and justifying torture. He totally ignores, moreover, the fact Gatsinzi’s letter was written not only on his own behalf, but also on that of hundreds other Rwandans who have faced similar abuse at the hands of CMI, which Taremwa tries to deceitfully pass off as an isolated incident where “operational hiccups by security agencies like the case of Gatsinzi are making a bad situation worse.”

Cyemaire Emannuel, Abinshuti Alex, Bayingana James, Nsekanabo Lando Ali, Byaruhanga Nduwamungu Vianney, Dinah Kamikazi, Agasaro Vanessa, and Jessica Muhongerwa, are among the hundreds who have been tortured by CMI, and on whose behalf Gatsinzi was writing. Taremwa knows this very well, but dishonestly pretends otherwise on his job application.

If Taremwa believes such lies will curry favour with Museveni, then he must know his prospective employer better than readers do. Normally, a job application is strongest when the applicant’s value are well matched with those of the prospective employer.

Taremwa cites Rama Isibo who repeats Museveni’s diversionary statement that the problem between the two countries can be solved by “using the phone,” a statement he made at his joint press conference with President Kagame in Entebbe on 25 March 2018. Both feed into Museveni’s clearly calculated misdirection, which they want to pass off as some kind of discovery of their own.

Taremwa seems to think that by labelling Rama, a senior six diploma holder, as a “Rwandan intellectual” and crediting him with a statement originally made by Museveni, this will be treated as coming from some kind of Rwandan authority, and therefore as wisdom to rely on to fix “the silent war.”

Taremwa is not done lying on his job application. He invokes an “obscure site” Kigali uses “to accuse Uganda”. Someone posing as a non-partisan “concerned citizen” turned job applicant seems to forget he is supposed to disguise his motive for writing in some pretence of neutrality and instead ends up treating Museveni as the victim, when the evidence overwhelmingly shows the contrary.

Taremwa accuses Virunga Post of ‘peddling propaganda’ that allegedly undermines these efforts by its articles. He is unable, however, to point to anything Virunga Post has written without evidence, given that everything this website has published has been proven true by the concerned parties, such as the recent report of the meeting between the FDLR and RNC in Kampala, confirmed by the FDLR officers themselves after their interception by the Congolese authorities at the Bunagana DRC-Uganda border post.

Finally, if Taremwa was as neutral as he wanted to pretend in his job application he would have raised issue with CMI-linked sites that have specialised in hurling insults at Rwanda’s leadership. The many sites he could have directed his ire at include Sarah Kagingo’s Soft Power (and her anonymous accounts, Gareth Ofungi, etc), Spy Reports, and of course Chimp Reports itself, the website Taremwa used to publish his job application.

An honest employer would reject Taremwa’s job application. But then again, Taremwa must know the person from whom he wants that job would see nothing wrong with his dishonesty on his application.

Museveni sends Kutesa to Kigali with empty package 

By virungapost

By Mary Mugisha

Last month on 25 October, Uganda’s Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, visited Rwanda as President Yoweri Museveni’s special envoy to his Rwandan counterpart President Paul Kagame. This was the second such visit this year, apparently aimed at thawing the relationship between the two countries. However, it was unlikely that such visits would yield any results in the face of the same Museveni’s determination to destabilize his neighbour to the south as well as the continuing harassment of Rwandans in different parts of Uganda.

After the first such visit this January, the people of the two countries were keen to observe for any changes in the relations between the two countries, to see if there were any really tangible signs of change as far as the torture and harassment of Banyarwanda by Museveni’s intelligence agencies were concerned. However, and to the surprise of many, the very opposite happened soon after Kutesa returned from Rwanda. More innocent Rwandans in Uganda were detained for no apparent reason and sequestered in “safe houses” outside any legal controls, where they were tortured, with the lucky ones subsequently dumped on the border with Rwanda. Lucky because many others have disappeared after their abduction, leaving disraught relatives, friends and work associates wondering about their whereabouts and even whether they remain alive or have been killed.

It was some sort of clampdown against ordinary Rwandans going about their business in Uganda. Indeed, the harassment and torture of Rwandans by shadowy operatives of Museveni’s security organs is best exemplified by the widely reported incident early last month in the lead up to Kutesa’s visit. A Rwandan businessman, Patrick Niyigena was in Kampala preparing to travel to Nairobi by bus when he was abducted by agents of the Internal Security Organization (ISO).

In Niyigena’s case he was lucky to escape with his life, but is not so sure about his long term health after the ISO men that took him to a ‘safe house’ and tortured him badly, stealing his money in the process, and injected him with a substance into his arm that he is still unable to identify. After he came back to Kigali he has been appealing to the government to help him travel overseas for tests to identify the nature of the substance he was injected with and, where appropriate, obtain the needed treatment.

Cases like this have left Rwandans deeply uneasy. Significantly, Kutesa’s visits have done nothing to reduce that unease. Thus far, the only hopeful moment came from Anna Adeke, Uganda’s youth member of parliament, who tabled a motion in the House demanding that the security minister come to parliament and explain “the status of some Rwandan nationals who have been arrested and detained by security forces and not presented before court” detailing how the links between the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) and the rebel Rwandan National Congress (RNC) have negatively affected ordinary Rwandans in Uganda and were seriously eroding Uganda’s relations with a neighbour and fellow EAC member.

“As long as the Ugandan authorities do not address serious issues like this, what is the reason of Kutesa going to Kigali?” asked an analyst who was reacting on the subject of Kutesa’s visit to Kigali.

Analysts also contend that another issue that has to be resolved if visits like the foreign minister’s are ever to have meaning is that of several fugitives that participated in the Genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda who have found sanctuary in Uganda. None of these suspects has been apprehended, and they are going about their lives without any authority lifting a finger against them despite their criminal history being known by Ugandan authorities.

Why criminals find Uganda to be a safe haven is worth consideration. As a matter of fact, it seems clear that Museveni is “signalling to fugitives they have nothing to fear in Uganda and that they are indeed welcome to stay,” according to another analyst.

According to sources from Kigali, of the about 1000 active arrest warrants against genocide fugitives worldwide, around 250 of them are for those who reside in Uganda. Not a single one of them has been apprehended by Ugandan authorities. In fact, even those suspects who had previously needed to hide when they were still in such other countries as Malawi and Zambia have since relocated to Uganda, perceiving it to be safer for them because once there they don’t have to remain in hiding.

It is said that these people, who live in several areas all over the country, like Fort Portal, Kasese, Mubende and others, have set up businesses and others have even joined local politics.

“How can something like this happen? If even Europeans have the decency to arrest and repatriate genocide suspects, why not Uganda?” is the question most Rwandan genocide survivors ask. “Museveni is not the person we thought he was; otherwise, how can those who killed our loved ones get protection from him?” asked a genocide survivor from the former Murambi Commune, where some of the worst massacres took place and today is a site of one of the country’s most horrifying genocide museums.

Analysts also agree that unless Museveni gives up on his ambition to destabilize Rwanda by facilitating the recruitment for Kayumba Nyamwasa’s terrorist organization (the RNC) and similar outfits, then “no matter how many visits to Kigali by Ugandan officials, it will show Museveni is not honest in his words or intentions,” said a retired journalist, who added, “What Museveni needs to do is to put an end to these acts of sabotage, not to send special envoys with empty packages.”

Museveni propaganda tool pounces on a few misguided tweets to tarnish Kigali

By virungapost

By Mark Martin Karuhanga

In a sensationalist bid to further tarnish Rwanda – as part of a wider agenda to turn it (Rwanda) into “the bad neighbor” – Chimpreports, a Kampala CMI-sponsored website has pounced on a series of tweets by one Rama Isibo, using them as a weapon to beat Rwanda with.

In an article published this Sunday, 13 January, Chimpreports begins: “Rama Isibo, an independent minded Rwandan intellectual has tasked his government ‘to pick up the phone and talk to Kampala’ about the worsening relations between Rwanda and Uganda.’”

But what would one expect of Chimpreports, which after all is merely one of the several Museveni-regime misinformation outlets? Just look at how they already are turning this Rama Isibo into “a public intellectual”! Wonders never cease!

So now to become an intellectual all you have to do is write some tweets, and a blogpost? I have searched to see what books, or academic papers the so-called intellectual has written, and I can’t find any. Only ranting tweets, and equally ranting blogposts on something called Igiceri.

Maybe Chimpreports will revise the definition of intellectual. Just kidding, they know exactly what they are doing – which is trying to lend credibility to an obscure “Tweep”, in their tireless efforts to tarnish Rwanda.

Isibo makes a series of mind-boggling claims in his tweets, amongst them that: GoR (Government of Rwanda) “needs to do more to help Rwandans imprisoned and tortured in Uganda”; that “we need to pick up the phone and ‘talk to Kampala about this’”; that “sending hidden messages in the press will not do, nor do we need military escalation or war games to start another round of tension.”

Continuing in that vein, Rama tweets claims that GoR does not mind more Rwandans being arrested, “‘coz (sic) it confirms our beliefs and gives us cause to go to war’, “so please TALK with our neighbors, no more ‘cold war’”. Notice the emphasis?

This man’s tweets are pure gold for any pro-Museveni propagandist news organ, or social media users in the pay of that regime.

Which brings us back to Chimpreports that has skillfully exploited the clueless Isibo’s utterances, in effect to say: “You see! Even “Rwandan intellectuals are saying that Kagame and his government are the real trouble causers!”

But lets leave Rama’s misinformed rants and Chimp’s propaganda use of them to look at the facts. How many times has the government of Rwanda, through its diplomatic mission in Uganda, “picked up the phone” to intercede on behalf of Rwandans arrested by Museveni’s dreaded CMI or ISO, and held incommunicado?

Too many times, and if one wants the facts. They are are there in plain sight. In 2017 in the Kampala neighborhood of Bukasa, CMI picked and detained three Rwandans: Bayingana James, Nsekanabo Lando Ali and Byaruhanga Nduwamungu Ali. CMI took them to Mbuya where they interrogated and tortured them for three months.

During all that time the Rwanda High Commissioner to Uganda endlessly rang Ugandan authorities, and the Foreign Affairs Ministry inquiring about the Rwandan citizens – how they were, what their offence was and so on. To no avail.

Perhaps Chimpreports would like to ask the head of the Rwandan Diplomatic Mission in Kampala. But establishing the facts isn’t what they want.

Very many Rwandans have suffered a fate similar to these three Rwandans. Yet however many calls Rwandan High Commissioner to Uganda Frank Mugambage has made, that has not saved the CMI and ISO victims.

Perhaps Isibo wants Mugambage to go with his phone to Museveni, kneel down, call and ask the Ugandan leader to save Rwandans from CMI and ISO. Who knows?

Just last Thursday, one Rogers Donne Kayibanda, a Rwandan that travelled from Kigali to attend his brother’s civil wedding ceremony was abducted and taken away by people said to be from CMI operatives. That happened in the Kisaasi neighborhood of the Ugandan capital.

Rogers’ family says the Rwandan ambassador has already intervened on their behalf, just like he has done so many times before when Rwandans have been unlawfully arrested. He has written a “note verbale” to the Ugandan Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

One wonders, if the Ugandan authorities choose to ignore him again, what would those who claim that “Rwanda is not lifting the phone to help Rwandans” expect Mugambage (therefore Rwanda) to do? Kneel down to the Ugandan authorities? Somehow, I doubt whether even that would work!

At this juncture, one begins to wonder: why is Rama, and those echoing him, not asking why Museveni’s operatives are abducting, arresting, harassing, torturing, and locking up so many Rwandans – including women, fathers going to visit their children in Ugandan schools, and so on?

Instead of Chimpreports doing it’s supposed journalistic duty to look at both sides of the story, they have instead seen an occasion to repeat the lie that the Rwandans arrested in Uganda are suspected of spying for Kigali.

Really? A father that goes to visit his child in a secondary school is a spy in what way?

A businessman that’s only transiting through Kampala to Nairobi – such as Patrick Niyigena whom CMI abducted from Kampala bus park in October last year as he was waiting to board his bus to the Kenyan capital – is a spy in what way? Yet even after Niyigena showed them his ticket, and business documents proving he was going to purchase refrigerator parts, they still abducted him, took him to a safe house and tortured him. They also took his money, US$ 2400 and didn’t return it.

Perhaps the CMI fellows saw him with the dollars and “decided” he was “a spy”? Who knows?

Maybe Rama Isibo would have made a magical phone call and sorted that injustice. Other than that, how do normal humans deal reasonably with CMI or ISO?

But even if CMI or ISO in fact were looking for spies, is that the way professional intelligence services do their work, resorting to open criminality and breaking international laws?

We could go into the many other ways that prove the hostility of the Museveni regime towards Rwanda – other than the harassment of its citizens – such as its determination to hinder EAC initiatives, in rail and air transport, and other infrastructural projects, because they could also benefit Rwanda.

Yet in all this, you will not see a single example of Kigali retaliating. You will not hear of a single Ugandan that Kigali has abducted. You won’t hear of Kigali opposing any project that would benefit Kampala.

Rwanda only protests the injustices emanating from Museveni and his administration.

But some individuals will see fault only with Rwanda.

CMI agents abduct yet another Rwandan

By virungapost

By John Mugabi

Security operatives of the Museveni regime have kidnapped yet another Rwandan in Uganda.

These are some of the Rwandans CMI kidnapped, held incommunicado, tortured and later dumped at the border.

The victim is one Rogers Donne Kayibanda of Kabeza in Kigali. The young man had travelled to Kampala on Thursday 10, this month to attend his brother, John Kayibanda’s civil wedding ceremony. That was in the Kisaasi neighborhood of Kampala.

It was while he had gone to relax in a Sauna with friends that men reported to be agents of Museveni’s dreaded Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence picked him.

No one knows where they took Rogers, and his relatives in Kabeza where he lives with his uncle, a certain Mr. Gapfizi, are very worried what may happen to him.

Rogers’ relatives in Kampala have reported the case to the police while the Rwandan High Commission in Kampala is preparing a “note verbale” to Uganda’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

CMI and other Ugandan spy agencies like internal Security Organization (ISO) have in the recent past made it a habit to arrest, abduct and torture Rwandans, so much so that it has almost become endemic.

Media has been full of reports of Rwandans that suffered abuse while in custody of CMI or ISO. These are either Banyarwanda that live in Uganda, work there or run businesses. Or Rwandans that travel to Uganda for different purposes.

Many are traders. Others go to visit for any different reason, or just to relax.

Those finding themselves in CMI or ISO hands will report torture, to the extent some have ended up in wheelchairs. They will suffer inhuman interrogation. “Uganda really has to re-examine this behavior of its spy agencies in regard to innocent citizens of a neighbor,” said a regional security analyst.

Rogers’ case is the latest among very many whereby Rwandans are languishing in Ugandan prisons, or CMI and ISO “safe houses” across Kampala. They accuse the victims of being “spies of Kigali”.

But, many ask, if a Rwandan father is visiting his child in a Ugandan school, or goes to a relative’s wedding, in what way is he a spy?

Yet CMI or ISO are known to arrest such people.

They have also arrested Rwandan businessmen that were only transiting through Kampala to Nairobi, even when such businessmen proved they had tickets to Nairobi.

Ugandan security has arrested dozens of Rwandans travelling in buses, as happened last year in districts such as Kisoro, and thrown all of them in jail.

The fact is, there is a campaign of harassment against Rwandans, and “spying is just an excuse”, said one Rwandan gentleman that survived a CMI safe house.

A simple Google search will come up with several media reports describing these incidents. On the other hand, there has not been a single incident of Rwandan police or other security organs abusing the rights of Ugandans, not even one slap.

But several Rwandans have been abducted in Uganda, physically abused or tortured, yet the authorities never take the lawful step to notify the Rwandan diplomatic mission in Kampala of arrests of its citizens.

Yet on Thursday last week, Barnabas Taremwa, an influential Ugandan businessman penned a letter in Chimpreports a Ugandan website implying that “there are problems between Uganda and Rwanda”, as if leaders of both countries are equally at fault.

A simple examination of events, like the aggressive behavior of Uganda’s security operatives against Rwandans; like Kampala’s disruption of freedom of movement of Rwandans; like such serious issues as the Museveni regime hosting and facilitating anti-Rwanda terror groups clearly indicate the problem is Museveni’s, alone.

“Taremwa’s letter is only an attempt at creating a false equivalence between Museveni and President Kagame! Taremwa has to question more closely the behavior of Museveni, and his security apparatus who are against Rwanda,” said an informed observer.

Museveni’s support for Rwanda dissidents continues as FDLR captives spill details of Kampala meeting

By virungapost

By James Wakabi

Last week this website reported on a meeting in Kampala between Ugandan senior security officials and high-level RNC and FDLR representatives in Kampala at President Museveni’s invitation. The meeting, which took place at the Kampala Serena between December 14 and 15, was coordinated by Philemon Mateke, Uganda’s state minister for regional affairs.

The elderly gentleman had a special message from President Museveni for the two terrorist outfits. On December 15, the FDLR delegation led by its spokesperson and deputy chief of intelligence, Ignace Nkaka (aka LaForge Bazeye Fils), was arrested by DR Congo authorities at the Uganda-Congo border post of Bunagana. They transported him first to Goma, then on to Kinshasa for questioning.

Ugandan authorities expected the apprehended official would “sing” under interrogation. Their fears would turn out to be right.

We can reveal that on President Museveni’s instructions, Hon. Mateke contacted the FDLR commander Gen. Pacifique Ntawunguka alias “Omega” informing him of the need to deepen working modalities between the FDLR and the RNC and asked him to send a delegation of senior officers to Kampala to engage with the RNC delegation on this matter.

Colonel Nkaka’s team included Lt Col Nsekenabo Jean Pierre alias Abega Kamala (FDLR intelligence officer).

Read: Museveni, Rudasingwa, in a panic fit as Habyarimana plane case crashes in Paris

According to information from impeccable sources, upon arrival in Uganda on 14 December they were received by the FDLR liaison officer, Lt Col Nkuriyingoma Pierre Celestin. The latter took them to Hotel Mubano in Kisoro, which is owned by none other than Philemon Mateke.

The officers then travelled overnight to Kampala arriving there the next morning. After they had refreshed themselves at the home of their liaison officer in Nakulabye, Mateke picked them up and took them for breakfast at his wife’s restaurant in Lugogo, before proceeding with them to his offices at Sir Apollo Kagwa Road.

There, the old man briefed them in preparation for their meeting with the RNC representatives.

Our sources reveal that the captured FDLR officers told interrogators that Mateke then proceeded with them to the Kampala Serena, where they found the RNC delegation led by Frank Ntwari – Kayumba Nyamwasa’s brother in law and the RNC’s so-called commissioner for refugees and human rights.

The questioning of these FDLR officers has also corroborated information this website previously reported that the meeting between the two groups was chaired by Mateke.

They however disclosed key details regarding President Museveni’s “special message”, which Mateke had delivered to the group.

Read also: Museveni’s about-turn from Nyerere’s dream of a united region

This underscored their shared general interest. The special message also included Museveni’s emphasis that the two anti-Rwanda government groups needed to continue to work together, especially in maintaining the perception that they are a force that includes both Hutus and Tutsis.

The objective, continued Museveni’s message, would be to gain support needed to popularize the rebellion in the international media and to bring attention to their shared cause.

“Museveni is prepared to take the risk provided that they furnish him diplomatic cover that suggests that this is a broad-based rebel outfit with legitimate grievances,” according to an analyst familiar with politics of the region who happens to be aware of these goings-on.

Mateke sought to bring his credentials to the table by reassuring the FDLR delegation that his support for their cause goes far back to the time of Habyarimana with whom they had worked closely, particularly in efforts geared at discrediting the RPF struggle in the late 1980s and the early 1990s.

Most importantly, Museveni’s commitment for a “lasting solution” to their shared problem seemed to delight the representatives of the two outfits, who reassured the “messenger” that they were ready to close ranks in line with his guidance.

As this website has reported, it is common practice for RNC senior officials to travel to Kampala where they are accorded protocol and armed security that at times is beyond what under normal circumstances is accorded even special visitors of the state.

Indeed, their meetings with senior officials in security circles (particularly CMI and ISO) confirms that in the goals of FDLR and RNC, Museveni sees a shared interest worthy of serious investment.

However, the delight that resulted from Museveni’s December 14-15 Kampala meeting turned out to be rather short-lived for the FDLR men that DRC authorities nabbed as they crossed over from Uganda.

Soon after, they were ready to spill the beans by the time they arrived in Kinshasa, via Goma, which is one of Museveni’s worst nightmares.

I came to terms with who I am; so must Museveni

By virungapost

By Sophie Natukunda

I read about politics often, whether in local or international media. I have been a keen follower of politics and political actors for close to three decades. In all this time, I have resisted from publicly commenting on public affairs.

However, when I read Bernabas Taremwa’s letter on the “silent war” between Uganda and Rwanda, I thought my own experience may point us to the real problem. At the root of the “silent war” is a problem that myself I confronted until I found inner peace when I accepted myself for who I am. It is a problem that most people in similar circumstances face, however with different remedies and effects.

My family was born in a place called Umutara in Ndorwa (Umutara w’Indorwa) in Rwanda. This is the same area where President Museveni originates, as he told parliament on June 20, 2018. I, like Museveni, have had a difficulty reconciling with what it means when we claim our heritage to be Umutara and are confronted with the reality that Umutara was not among those areas of Rwanda that were annexed to Uganda during the Berlin Conference.

As a young girl in secondary school I hated visiting our village in Mpororo. Whenever I asked them stories about their parents, my grandparents, they would bring up Umutara. I wanted to hear about our grandparents but without hearing about Umutara and Rwanda. They were almost nostalgic about this place. But it wasn’t until I was a grown man that I found the courage to listen to this story. I came to discover of a mass exodus of people from Rwanda to the area that became Uganda. This area of Mutara was dominated by cattle keepers. When colonialist passed a decree to immunize their herds of cattle, there was strong resistance.

Read: Bernabus Taremwa asks what is fuelling the silent war; here’s the answer

My grandparents were among those who protested. They believed that this was a colonial conspiracy that wanted to rid them of their cattle, to impoverish them so that they could turn to tilling the land. The only life they had known was cattle keeping and hadn’t a clue about tilling, which they considered to be an occupation of the lower class. In essence, they were fighting for their status.

They fled up north with their cattle. Among those who fled was Mzee Ntarushoke, the grandfather of Janet Museveni. Ironically, Ntarushoke was among those who had been selected by the colonialists to immunize the cattle, “gutera Igikatu” in Kinyarwanda.

It became a popular saying that people were fleeing “Igikatu cy’a Ntarushoke” or Ntarushoke’s injections. This is the past that many of us had a difficult time coming to terms with, especially as young men and women battling an identity crisis. Were we Bahima like our parents had wanted us to conceal ourselves in order to integrate in Ugandan society, or were we Banyarwanda like our grandparents were nostalgically telling us.

In other words, we were conditioned to be two people depending on circumstances: something else in private and quite another in public. We were severely punished whenever we mistakenly brought the private part of ourselves into the public and vice versa. However, as the ability to live a double live became instinctive, the internal conflict with the self-worsened, an identity crisis due to the demand to deny who you are in order to gain acceptance and the validation of belonging.

My own experience showed me that as the stakes rise, so does the anxiety. This is why I have always been sympathetic to President Museveni. His reflexes whenever there is an internal crisis in Uganda remind me of my own trials and tribulations as a young child, and later in life whenever I had something of significance to lose as a result of who I am.

President Museveni and President Kagame have had cordial – if not friendly – relations for almost three decades now. Any problems they had before didn’t stop them from visiting each other. Kagame’s family has visited Museveni’s in Uganda. Museveni has visited Kagame at his private home in, ironically, Mutara (on Lake Muhazi). Kagame also gifted Museveni with ten cows, the specificity of the gift being a great symbol in Museveni’s private (Rwandan) and public (Ankole) cultures.

Then things fell apart in Uganda. The breakdown of public goods and run away corruption, among other ills, brought out Museveni’s – as it did to all of us at some point in our struggle with identity – basic instincts. He was faced with the alternative of fixing the country or responding to a country that was saying “omunyarwanda tumukonye” (we are sick of the Munyarwanda).

Museveni took this expression of resentment rather literary. He believed that Ugandans were fed up with the Banyarwanda. In fact, they were fed up with him. So, he believed he could fix this resentment by proving to Ugandans that he was also tired of Banyarwanda. And since Museveni’s strongest voting constituency – stronger than the Bahima – constitutes of the Banyarwanda in areas like Sembabule, Kiboga, Mpororo, etc (whom he tells during the night that he is one of them) he thought he could confuse Ugandans by targeting another set of Banyarwanda: those in Rwanda.

Museveni has decentralized this resentment beyond himself by clutching onto Rwanda. In my childhood I, with Rwandan parentage, was among the kids who spoke the most fluent Runyankore. I would pre-emptively point out another kid to accuse of being a Munyarwanda and encourage other bullies to follow my lead as we beat him up. For people like us, it’s a survival instinct.

Karegeya is the Osama bin Laden of Rwanda, not Khashoggi!

By virungapost

By Hubert Mugabo

The headline in The Guardian newspaper of Britain, dated 15 January 2019, says: “Rwanda’s Khashoggi: who killed the exiled spy chief”?

The author of the article, Michela Wrong, wants us to believe that the former external intelligence chief of Rwanda, Patrick Karegeya who died in a hotel in Sandton, Johannesburg on New Year’s Day 2014 is like Jamal Khashoggi the Saudi Journalist that met his end in the Saudi Consulate of Istanbul, Turkey, last year.

But Wrong is just purveying wrong impressions. She writes that a member of the South African judiciary, whom she does not name, told her “This is South Africa’s Khashoggi”, in reference to the deceased Rwandan. If Karegeya is Rwandan, in what sense can he be “South Africa’s Khashoggi”? My mind spins.

I have some news for Wrong and the Guardian however. To the people of Rwanda, especially those that lost family members, or those that now are disabled for life as a result of a series of grenade blasts in Rwanda, Patrick Karegeya is the Osama bin Laden of Rwanda. A terrorist not to be confused with an innocent journalist.

Those grenade attacks began in 2009 and ended in 14, leaving a total of 17 Rwandans dead and 407 injured or maimed in various ways. Investigations by the Rwandan Police and intelligence services established that Rwanda National Congress (RNC) was behind the terror attacks.

Patrick Karegeya was a senior member of Rwanda National Congress (RNC), founded by former general Kayumba Nyamwasa when the latter quit his role in government and went to self-exile in South Africa.

Michela Wrong throughout her entire piece – a paean to Karegeya meant to turn him into some kind of hero that died “because he was free spirited and also a fierce critic of the Kagame government” – studiously downplays the fact her hero was a man in the habit of preaching war and violent regime change.

“Kagame will not leave power unless forced out by war!” Karegeya told The Observer newspaper of Kampala, in August 2010. What he was in the habit of telling radio programs, like the BBC’s Kinyarwanda/Kirundi language program Imvo n’Invano was much worse – using the most emotive, violent language with the aim to stir up even more hatred of the Rwandan leadership.

For people like Michela Wrong, in the comforts and luxuries of their homes in Europe, the words of such a man may be casually brushed aside. For Rwandans who – in the post independence years since 1959 have only ever known peace and stability after the end of the Genocide of the Tutsi in 94 – those words are another thing all together.

The images they conjure are too hideous to describe. When the RNC of which he was one of the big fish was discovered to be behind the grenade blasts, alarm spread throughout the population. “What does this man, and his friend Nyamwasa want to do to us?”

Rwandans want only peace after decades of trauma, but at precisely the moment they’ve found it these fellows are declaring war, and following through with terrorist action!

So when news came from South Africa that Karegeya had been found dead in a luxury hotel room, we Rwandans celebrated. We went to bars to drink and party!

It was a bit like America in 2011 upon the news that Osama bin Laden had been located, and drilled with bullets. Americans poured out in the streets of their cities, honking car horns, hugging total strangers, celebrating wildly.

One wonders why someone like Michela Wrong did not write an article portraying bin Laden as some kind of freedom fighter, of something like that. Or why she did not try to demonize President Barack Obama who openly toasted the termination of the mastermind of 9/11.

This is the thing with people like Michela Wrong with their ill-concealed double standards. They come to places like Africa and take sides, and decide who is the villain or the hero, and from there will tailor their narratives to favor whatever sides they’ve chosen. If several Rwandans died and hundreds more injured in acts of war perpetrated by those they choose to lionize, it matters little.

I wonder what Wrong’s reaction would be though if even one Briton died after an RNC terrorist lobbed a grenade at him.

Why, in her entire Karegeya-is-Khashoggi piece does this journalist not refer, even once to the victims of RNC grenades? You can draw your conclusions. Why does she not refer to the violent rhetoric of the Karegeyas and Nyamwasas anywhere in her lengthy article? I can only guess its because she is in sympathy with them, since she is doing all she can to turn them into some kind of heroes.

She only refers to “grenade blasts” in a dismissive way – as if the grenades merely detonated themselves, in a vacuum – upon which she declares RNC denied responsibility. And like that, she’s sanitized them.

The whole tone of the article clearly shows the object is to cast Kagame as “the terrifying tyrant”, something that she does with considerable skill through pseudo use of such journalistic gimmicks “balance”, “talking to both sides”, et cetera.

But there is no balance in what she’s written. She quotes Karegeya or Nyamwasa in such ways they will be case in a favorable light, while omitting anything that will expose them to be power hungry men that will not hesitate to wreak unspeakable violence on innocent people and disrupt a country in pursuit of that power.

She has also chosen to blithely dismiss the recent report published by the UN Group of Experts on the Congo on 31 December of the preceding year, which pins – factually and meticulously – RNC as a group that’s preparing to being war to back to Rwanda. Kayumba has dismissed the report as unfounded, Wrong tells us. Therefore, end of subject!

This, remember, is a group of experts that spent months investigating its report, talking to hundreds of sources – people on the ground in the DRC, Uganda or Burundi from where a good part of the coordination of all this anti-Rwanda activity is taking place. But the so-called objective journalist chooses to blithely skip over all that.

On the other hand Wrong for instance quotes the Rwandan leadership celebrating the death of Karegeya, a deadly enemy, twisting the quotes however to pin the murder on that leadership. Even when no one actually stated they had killed the man, or ordered his killing.

Apparently to people like Wrong, celebrating the death of a terrorist is only permissible when Americans, Europeans, or other white people do it.

What strikes me – as a private Rwandan who also happens to have been closely following RNC activities or writings – is how closely Wrong’s article in The Guardian mirrors RNC’s (and its allies) talking points.

The journalist pins several murders on President Kagame – just like RNC and several other virulent enemies of the Rwandan leader do, including extremist former officials of past genocidal regimes plus genocide revisionists and deniers of all stripes.

“Seth Sendashonga, a Hutu politician was shot in Nairobi. The journalist Charles Ingabire was murdered in Kampala.” And so on, and so on. The accusers always are emphatic that it is Kigali that committed these crimes.

Pinning someone on crimes that no evidence ever did is to be expected of propagandists. But why does Wrong, a journalist of repute, do the same? Why does she nowhere state that no one has ever solved these crimes?

Again she betrays contempt for journalistic norms when her target is not citizens, or leaders, of countries like hers, but countries like ours.

The whole article has one overriding aim: to demolish President Kagame and his leadership, and to do so by demonizing him, and by turning everything good he has done into bad, and by driving a wedge between the Rwandan leadership, and its friends in the developed world, or elsewhere.

Also Wrong has timed her article to coincide with an inquest in Randburg, Johannesburg, into the death of Karegeya. An inquest mark you that they are reviving five years after exhaustive investigations by South African police and intelligence services utterly failed to produce a single suspect.

Bernabus Taremwa asks what is fuelling the silent war; here’s the answer

By virungapost

By Peter Muhumuza

This week ChimpReports published an open letter to Presidents Paul Kagame of Rwanda and Yoweri Museveni of Uganda on the “silent war” between the two countries. Mr. Barnabus Taremwa, its author, tried to pass of as a concerned citizen whose interest for writing was solely to contribute to improving a bad situation; however, for reasons known only to him, he danced around the question of what is fuelling the silent war, shifting blame and overworking himself to find equivalency where there is none.

Harassing Rwandans in Uganda

It is not news to anyone that the relations between Uganda and Rwanda have not been good for more than two decades now. However, it is only over the last two years or so that President Museveni seems to have decided that ordinary Rwandans could be targeted for harassment, incarcerated without access to lawyers or access to their consular officials for support, that they could be tortured while on private business in different parts of Uganda, especially in Kampala and Mbarara.

Interestingly, the targeting of Rwandans for extra-judicial harassment by Uganda security agencies happened to coincide with the intensification of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) operations in Uganda. It is equally interesting that it was around the same time that a clear pattern emerged in the persecution of Rwandans in Uganda: The areas in Uganda where the RNC was recruiting the most also happened to be where most Rwandans have been targeted for arrest. Those refusing to join this group – or to make a financial contribution to it – often found themselves targets of persecution at the hands of RNC operatives working in tandem with those of the Chieftainship of Military Intelligence (CMI). Together they would make arrests, abduct, torture, and sometimes deport, their targeted victims without any pretence at following Uganda’s legal processes nor international law.

Eventually, RNC operatives became so emboldened that began to make arrests on Ugandan territory on their own. They would bundle up their targets into unmarked vehicles in broad daylight and cart them into CMI cells in un-gazetted ‘safe houses’ for torture aimed at forcing them to admit to being Rwanda spies. The refusal to join RNC –and/or to contribute money – had become sufficient evidence that their victims must be spies for Rwanda. In the process, they would plant evidence on them, including guns, which is now also standard practice, with view to place them under military jurisdiction where they could undergo all forms of abuse without knowledge of the Ugandan public. Whether the person was arrested in a restaurant or a taxi park in broad daylight didn’t stop CMI from claiming that they were found with guns, usually AK-47’s and machineguns.

When the Rwanda high commission in Kampala raised concerns with that country’s foreign affairs ministry, these were usually met with a deaf ear. Lawyers were not allowed to access these innocent people. Even women were not spared. Two women who had been tortured in CMI cells said that they had been made to sit in water through which electrical lines pass, resulting in electrocution of their private parts. CMI operatives would then undress them because they “wanted to see how a Rwandan woman looks naked.” Even worse treatment was inflicted on many others.

When in January 2018 the RNC-CMI joint venture was leaked in the media, Rugema Kayumba who was the then coordinator of operations alongside CMI operatives across Uganda did not refute the truth of their working together; instead, he boasted on his Facebook page, “I will not only work with CMI but I will be part of them.”

A scheme to destabilize Rwanda

On November 11, 2017, at least 46 RNC recruits were intercepted at the Kikagati border on their way to a training base in South Kivu, DRC, via Burundi. This was confirmed by Museveni himself on 25 March 2018, during a press conference at Entebbe, “A group of Banyarwanda was being recruited through Tanzania and Burundi to go to Congo. They said they were going for church work, but when they were interrogated it was found the work wasn’t exactly religious. It was something else.”

On 15-16 December, 2018, representatives of the RNC and FDLR were in Kampala at the invitation of Hon. Philemon Mateke, Uganda’s minister of state for regional cooperation, for a meeting whose aim was to strengthen ties between the two and also reinforce coordination with Uganda’s security agencies. The Minister is “the bridge between FDLR, RNC and Uganda.”

The RNC was represented in that meeting by a delegation led by Frank Ntwari, it’s so-called commissioner for refugees and human rights and brother-in-law of Kayumba Nyamwasa. Ntwali lives in South Africa but travels to Uganda often where he is accorded armed protection.

After the meeting in kampala, at the DRC-Uganda border post of Bunagana, DRC officials intercepted the FDLR representatives on their way back from that Kampala meeting. Among them was its chief spokesperson and deputy chief of intelligence Ignace Nkaka, aka LaForge Bazeye Fils. Upon arrest they were transferred to Kinshasa via Goma for questioning where they recounted details of their Kampala visit.

The United Nations Groups of Experts (UN GoE) Report that came out on 31 December, 2018, also confirms the existence of these rebel bases in North and South Kivu that are part of a new coalition grouping called P5, headed by Kayumba Nyamwasa. Significantly, it confirms that their recruitment and movement of rebels is facilitated by ‘neighbouring countries.’ One of these was specified in the report; it’s Burundi.

Space doesn’t allow for the recounting of all incidents that constitute the “silent war” in which only one side is doing the shooting without the other reciprocating. However, a small sample outlined above should suffice, especially since they are cases where the concerned parties themselves confirm the accusations levelled against them. This should help Mr. Taremwa get informed about what is fuelling the bad relations between the two countries in the event he chooses to write a follow-up letter.

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