President Paul Kagame has commended the historic meeting between the leaders of Eritrea and Ethiopia in Asmara, describing it as the right thing for the people of the two neighbouring countries.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed arrived at Asmara International Airport on Sunday, for a meeting with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki a moment many political commentators termed as “historic”.
It has been close to two decades since leaders of the two neighbouring countries have met.
Prime Minister Abiy’s arrival in Asmara took the city by storm with thousands lining up on the streets to welcome the leader for the talks with his host.
Kagame, who is the current Chairperson of the African Union Summit, welcomed the meeting.
“We salute the leaders; PM of Ethiopia Dr. Abiy Ahmed and President Isaias Afewerki of Eritrea for their courage and doing the right thing for their people of the two countries! We congratulate you and are with you….!” Kagame tweeted.
The meeting was the first of its kind between leaders of the two Horn of Africa neighbors since their war 1998-2000 war in which around 80,000 people died on both sides.
Eritrea achieved independence from Ethiopia amicably in 1993 but the two countries swiftly became bitter enemies.
Eritrean leader Isaias Afwerki welcomed Abiy at Asmara’s airport on Sunday morning before they departed for the State House for talks that lasted all day.
Images of both men hugging took the continent by the storm, trending all day on social networks.
The two embraced again at the state dinner, hosted by Afwerki and broadcast on both countries’ state television.
“The tumultuous welcome accorded to Prime Minister Abiy underscores how much the people of Eritrea cherish peace…plaudits for Dr. Abiy for the bold political choice he has taken that will recoup lost time and opportunity in the past 20 years,” the hosting Head of State is quoted as having said.
Eritrea’s Information Minister Yemane G. Meskel tweeted; “this historic official visit … heralds a new era of peace and cooperation. The summit would, set the tone for rapid, positive changes on the basis of respect of sovereignty & territorial integrity, equality and mutual interest of both countries,” he wrote.
“The yearning for peace was palpable (and) we’ll decidedly move forward for the good of our people,” Abiy’s chief of staff wrote on Twitter, alongside photos of cheering Eritreans on the streets of Asmara waving their own and Ethiopia’s flags.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki drinks coffee with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in Asmara Eritrea. / Net photo
A direct international telephone connection between the two countries was restored “for the first time after two decades”, he wrote.
However, the sides did not make clear whether the most immediate issue — Abiy’s pledge to finally implement all terms of a 2000 peace deal with Eritrea — had been addressed.
In early June, Ethiopia announced it would honor all the terms of the 2000 peace deal, suggesting it might be ready to settle the border dispute.
Eritrea responded positively, sending a delegation to Addis Ababa last month for a meeting at which Abiy announced that Ethiopian Airlines would resume flights to Eritrea.
Ethiopia, Eritrea to re-open embassies
Agencies reported that the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea announced on Sunday they would re-open their embassies, hailing a stunningly swift rapprochement between bitter regional enemies at their first summit since a war two decades ago.
The two leaders personally symbolized the breakthrough, embracing warmly and swaying side by side to live traditional music at a lavish state dinner in the Eritrean capital.
Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. / Net photo
They opened phone lines between the two countries that had been cut for two decades, and land-locked Ethiopia said it would be given access to the sea at an Eritrean port.
The talks were the product of an unexpected peace initiative by Ethiopia’s new reformist Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, which could transform the Horn of Africa region, ending decades of animosity during which both countries remained isolated and dominated by their security forces.
Abiy said they had agreed to re-open embassies in each other’s capitals, and that his landlocked nation of 100 million would begin using a port in Eritrea, which is on the Red Sea. He did not identify which port.
Bold reform agenda
Abiy, a 41-year-old former intelligence officer who took office in April, is pushing other bold reforms to open Ethiopia up to the outside world after decades of security-obsessed isolation. He has pardoned dissidents, lifted a state of emergency and pledged to partly privatize key state-owned firms.
Across the border, Eritrea is one of the world’s most isolated and repressive nations and has long used the Ethiopian threat to justify hefty military spending and long-term military conscription, which has caused hundreds of thousands of young men to flee, mostly to Europe.
Eritrea may have seen an opportunity in Abiy’s reform agenda, which marks a stark departure from the approach of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the ethnic Tigrayan party that had dominated Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF coalition since the early 1990s.
Last Monday, June 25, the Magistrates Court in Mbarara released 39 Rwanda National Congress (RNC) recruits who have been in custody awaiting trial for breach of laws precluding refugees from involvement in criminal activities, including taking part in plans to overthrow another country, and using forged documents, among other violations. The recruits are part of the group of 46 young men who were intercepted trying to cross at Kikagati, along the Uganda-Tanzania border, on December 11, 2017.
The young men appeared suspicious to Uganda immigration officers after the officers discovered that they were carrying fake travel documents.
In addition to the fake documents, the stories about where they were going and the purpose of travel were not consistent. The young men had been coached by officers of the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) that when they reach immigration they should say they are going for an evangelical mission in Tanzania. However, most of them failed to stay on the script. They couldn’t answer simple questions about the name of the church they were going to; neither could they recall the name of the pastor of the church. Some of them panicked and revealed that someone was waiting for them in Bujumbura to take them to the RNC training Center in Minembwe, DRC via Bujumbura.
The immigration officers immediately alerted the police. Efforts by Captain Charles Byaruhanga, the CMI officer attached to Kikagati border, to intervene with “orders from above” clearing the recruits to continue their journey proved fruitless; neither did those of Major Fred Mushambo, the UPDF 2nd Division Intelligence Officer (IO). The police took the recruits to Isingiro police station. While there, they revealed that they had been recruited from different places in Uganda (Nyakivala, Kiboga, Kibale, and Mubende) to join the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), and revealed their recruiters as Musoni Jeffrey, Moses Bijura, Felix Mwizerwa, and Dr. Sam Ruvuma. Among the recruiters, only Musoni, a former Sgt deserter in the Rwanda Patriotic army (RPA), and Bijura, a pastor in Rubare, Ntungamo, were arrested at Kikagati. Dr. Sam Ruvuma, a brother to Lt. Colonel Gideon Katinda of the military court, and Felix Mwizerwa, a son of Pastor Deo Nyirigira, also a known RNC coordinator in Mbarara, somehow managed to flee the scene at Kikagati, abandoning the young recruits there. Dr. Sam Ruvuma was only arrested by police days later in Mbarara and kept for a few days before he was released following orders from “way” above. He is back to his RNC recruitment activities in, and around, Mbarara. As for Felix Mwizerwa, he has now relocated to Minembwe, DRC, where he is an RNC Commander.
The release of the 39 recruits last week was a result of a bribe that was given to the magistrate judge handling their case. This bribe, sources say, was negotiated on behalf of the RNC by Edgar Tabaro Muvunyi of the law firm Karuhanga, Tabaro, and Associates. Moreover, the remaining seven, including the recruiters Bijura and Musoni, whose case is at the High Court, are also expected to be released soon, according to testimony from those who have been set free and are now back to Nyakivale, Bubende, Kiboga, and Kampala. They have been told to prepare to continue with their journey to the RNC camp in the DRC in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, one of the recruits from Kibale, upon his release from jail, returned home angry because of the suffering he had been duped into by the person who recruited him. He reported the RNC recruiter in the area to the police, which promptly arrested him (the recruiter). However, it is expected that he will also be released like the rest of them. On March 25 during a joint press conference between President Museveni and President Kagame, the Ugandan president acknowledged that, “When I met president Kagame in Addis Ababa he gave me some facts which I followed up. 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 was not exactly religious. It was something else.”
Museveni’s own admission of a rebel group being recruited in his country with the support of his intelligence agencies ends up with the recruits being freed without charges brought against them, and are now free to proceed to the rebel training grounds in the DRC. Significantly, the release of the recruits by the courts after such admission from the president himself does more than embolden the RNC and CMI in their scheme to destabilize Rwanda; it’s nothing short of an instruction of intent from the Commander in Chief. Which leads to the questions: What message does Uganda send to Rwanda when rebels recruited to fight the latter are caught and set free? And has Uganda thought well and hard that this is the message it really wants to send to its neighbour??
Source: The Standard Digital
By Samson Sekalala
In an ongoing effort to look for scapegoats for Uganda’s problems, a news website ChimpReports has – as usual without an iota of proof – made several serious allegations.
The first is that “Museveni has obtained intelligence from many quarters that ‘a country’ wanted Gen. (Kale) Kayihura to succeed him.”
No prizes for guessing which “country” that website coyly references, for it is no secret that Museveni’s leadership these days has found a nemesis to pile blame on for each and every one of Uganda’s calamities that result from a leadership that has totally run out of ideas.
The website goes on to throw around some really wild allegations. “Gen. Kayihura, one of Museveni’s finest military strategists, was suspected of being involved in a grand plan supported by external forces to take power,” it says.
And how, according to this “news report”, was that alleged grand plan to be carried out? The website says the plan was to turn Uganda into a failed state by promoting crime especially kidnaps, assassinations and bombings. “This would kill the economy as well as scare away potential tourists and investors”.
Who in their mind really believes that there is any external help needed to “turn” Uganda into a failed state? Even the regime’s insiders like Kasule Lumumba, the NRM Secretary General, have openly admitted that an “implosion” is taking place within Uganda’s leadership and that the main cause is none other than Gen. Museveni.
Why then help to turn Uganda into a failed state when Museveni is entirely capable of doing so all by himself?
As obvious as the answers to these questions are, the article nonetheless continues to the end in that line of thinking.
Why would it take other countries to “promote crime” in Uganda when Museveni is there? Who doesn’t know that Museveni and his Mafia-like Bahima cabal have been inflicting endless crimes on poor Ugandan for well over three decades?
Their thieving started from the word go when each passing day Ugandans saw their hard-earned savings go up in smoke after the regime unilaterally declared it was introducing a new currency and people were told that for every 7000 shillings they were to get 1!
After that, it was theft of people’s coffee and other cash crops, which Honorable Nandala Mafabi has clearly demonstrated on numerous occasions. As the regime got greedier it got more violent and the calamities we see today only are the logical outcome of that process.
The assassinations, the kidnappings, terrorism, and all kinds of crimes are a consequence of Museveni’s particular brand of leadership that sows division and then chaos, as is now the case in the security forces.
But Museveni and his intelligence agencies shameless propaganda machine think Ugandans have such short memories that they forget that even before people like Abiriga, Kaweesi and others so sadly lost their lives, Ugandans whether powerful, prominent or just ordinary citizens have been losing their lives through senseless violence for years.
Read also: THE ALARMING SITUATION IN MUSEVENI’S UGANDA
This was long before Museveni and his intelligence propagandists had discovered external scapegoats.
The list of those Ugandans is too long to go into here, beginning with fellows like Col. Jet Mwebaze, Brig. Noble Mayombo, Gen. Kazini, several Muslim clerics, and so many others.
But Museveni is a man whose character is too capricious to ever admit what is now obvious to everyone: the man is sinking the ship and drowning Ugandans along the way.
Does Museveni truly believe that Ugandans are that gullible that they don’t see that by turning to scapegoats he is attempting to deflect from his own weaknesses and the sinking ship of a regime?
As Museveni tries to sink while holding Ugandans at ransom, does he as well aim to go down with the entire region, and could this be the reason for blaming other countries for his failures?
Source: The watchman.
President Yoweri Museveni recently went to Parliament to try to reassure Ugandans that the security situation in the country is under control. After spending much of the speech on some rant where he mistakenly raised questions about his own identity, he read out a 10 point programme of measures for addressing the runaway insecurity that has seen rampant assassinations and abductions mostly in Kampala. However, it seems Ugandans were able to see through the panic in his delivery and no one thinks Museveni is capable of solving the problem and everyone is out to protect themselves. Days after Museveni’s speech, Members of Parliament demanded to meet the President to address their own security. There, they complained to Museveni how police officers had refused to protect them for fear that they would also be assassinated with them. The police no longer want to guard VIPs. They have come to know that to guard an MP or any other important politician or big official is to invite death.
The MPs feel particularly targeted. Why? The main reason, everyone knows, is that Museveni’s insistence on removing the presidential age limit so as to go on ruling has escalated the resentment of ordinary wananchi. The result is that a politician who was vocal in removing the age limit now feels like he or she is walking around in the crosshairs.
Read: WITCH HUNT: WHEN UGANDANS KNOW THE TRUTH BUT CONTINUE TO LIE
But how did Museveni respond when the poor junior cops in understandable fear for their lives became reluctant to guard MPs? The president ordered IGP Ochola to sack each and officer who refused to risk their lives! Consequently, one question being asked in the streets of Kampala is this: Who will protect the protectors? If the people mandated to protect and have weapons to do so feel insecure, what does that say about the prospects for security in that country under the Museveni leadership? More importantly, ultimately, the decision to take the meeting with MPs is itself an admission on Museveni’s part that his speech in parliament was a total failure and that it did little to reassure the country on security. Moreover, the speech made the MPs quiver and demand more security, what does that say about the security of the Mwanainci?
Read also: “IT WASN’T ME!” UGANDA MASTERS ART OF SHIFTING BLAME
Which leads to another question. If Museveni has proven inept in handling the insecurity in the Uganda, what should be expected in the coming days? First, he is going to double down on finding others –inside and outside the country – to blame for his ineptitude. Second, Ugandans should brace themselves for a crackdown, Amin style. Don’t look too far for examples. A group of women decided to protest the kidnaps and murders, which specifically targeted women. The publicly known cases of women that had been kidnapped or murdered numbered 82, just between February and June this year. How did the state respond? Museveni ordered the IGP, Ochola, to block the protest by any means necessary. The women were warned that further demonstrations risked their lives. The irony: protesting violence is inviting violence as a solution! Similarly, Museveni has been threatening the opposition. The media was the first casualty. On matters of security it either plays deaf or publishes regime propaganda that places blame on ‘outsiders’ and the opposition. With the media down for the count, the crackdown on the opposition is expected to buy time for a regime that no longer seems capable of getting out of its own way.
Those old enough to have been around in the Amin era know how it ends: A system that can no longer protect women and children cannot stand.
For most of the time he has ruled us, we know President Museveni really is an endless source of comedy. Of course, those that usually suffer the consequences of his dangerous games will not be laughing.
So, we are told, Museveni is going to save the South Sudan talks. But scratch a little bit below the surface and you will see the fellow’s dangerous meddling in South Sudan’s affairs.
When fighting erupted in Juba a few years ago, most sensible people in Uganda tried to warn him against fueling that conflict through his cowboy diplomacy.
Only Museveni believed he could be a neutral arbiter of a conflict to which he had been part of the cause.
Museveni likes to patronize and once someone, including his colleagues, refuse to be patronised a serious problem arises.
In the lead up to independence in South Sudan, it became clear to Museveni that once Garang was president, he wouldn’t be able to exercise the kind of leverage and control he had has over him during the decade-long civil war. And so, Museveni decided to prevent the problem by eliminating it. A dead Garang would at the very least divide the SPLM and prolong Museveni’s control over matters in that country. Even his decision to take sides in the conflict was intended to prolong.
However, even if Museveni hadn’t necessarily taken sides in this particular conflict, the very idea that Museveni would be an impartial intermediary in any conflict truly is a sick joke.
This is a man who talks peace during the day and plays spoiler during the night.
South Sudanese have had to suffer as a result of this. Thousands have been killed and others fled mostly to our country.
Sadly, the people of Burundi are also learning the same hard lessons of “Museveni the peacemaker.”
When Burundian leader Pierre Nkurunziza illegally announced he was staying in power, it led to widespread protests in 2015. The violence left more than a couple of thousand dead, hundreds of thousands fleeing across the borders, thousands internally displaced and a ruined economy.
The East African Community tried to do something, but then made the bad mistake of appointing President Yoweri Museveni mediator – supposedly to bring together all the opposing parties in Burundi to find a peaceful resolution.
In fact, Nkurunziza must have said God himself had answered his prayers. Museveni was squarely on his side as the man went about his reign of terror, subduing Burundian civilians with the brutality of police repression, Imbonerakure militias, and the open terror of murders, disappearances and mass graves.
What did Museveni do in all that? He turned a blind eye. He did not for once reprimand Nkurunziza. On the contrary, Museveni’s acts – together with those of Benjamin Mkapa, former Tanzanian leader and appointed “facilitator” of the supposed peace process – legitimized Nkurunziza like he was the lawful head of state.
They treated the Burundi opposition as if they merely were a nuisance that should keep quiet. Talk to any Burundian citizen in exile in Uganda (or anywhere in the region) and they will tell you Nkurunziza has been a calamity for them. But Museveni has been a close second.
Any poor Burundian exile has very bitter opinions about President Museveni, especially because they believe they had cornered Nkurunziza. And then Museveni showed up.
Just as he has shown up last minute to take credit for what others have done after messing up South Sudan, Museveni will do the same once Burundians have found a way forward.
President Kagame said that the Volkswagen plant in Rwanda is proof that global brands that assemble high-quality products in Africa have customers on the continent.
President Paul Kagame has said that Africa should not be a dumping ground for used products from developed markets.
President Kagame was speaking Wednesday morning at the launch of Volkswagen Mobility Solutions Rwanda located in the Special Economic Zone.
The German carmaker was launching a plant to assemble, service and retail cars as well as their first integrated mobility solution.
Kagame said that the assembly plant in Rwanda is proof that global brands that assemble high-quality products in Africa have customers on the continent.
President Paul Kagame speaks during the event.
“Not only can global brands assemble high-quality products in Africa, they can also find customers here. Africa is not merely positioning itself as a new low-cost hub to manufacture goods for export. African consumers will also be among the biggest contributors to growth in global demand in the years ahead,” the President said.
Kagame said that settling for second hand products often leads to higher costs in the long run.
“Africa does not need to be a dumping ground for second-hand cars, or second-hand anything. In the long run, you end up paying a higher price anyway. If you pay a high price for second hand, why not pay for something new. Africa and Rwanda deserve better and this is one way of showing we can afford it,” he noted.
Thomas Schaefer, Volkswagen Group South Africa and Sub- Saharan Africa Managing Director.
With VW having similar operations in various African countries including Kenya, Kagame said that it’s important for regional countries to work together to attract and retain investments as well as create value.
The Head of State said that the investment by the firm in the region further pointed to the need to build an integrated regional manufacturing base.
“This operation reminds us of the importance of working regionally. Our Kenyan brothers and sisters are a key part of this international team. Rwanda and Kenya will be benefitting each other directly with Volkswagen right in the middle of it” Kagame said.
President Paul Kagame and Thomas Schaefer, the Volkswagen Group South Africa and Sub- Saharan Africa Managing Director.
Part of the staff in the assembly plant and service station are Kenyan while a section of Rwandan staff were trained in Kenya.
The President noted that Africa’s best chances of moving up the industrial value chain from assembly to manufacturing was by building integrated regional manufacturing bases.
This would see various parts produced from different countries in the region as opposed to being flown from overseas.
“In the medium-term, the only way for us in East Africa to move up the industrial value chain from assembly to manufacturing is to build an integrated regional manufacturing base. When we shift from a logic of competition to one of cooperation, we all gain. Success is about partnership and leveraging our strengths,” he said.
The President also hailed local tech startup, Awesomity, chosen by Volkswagen to develop a mobility solution which is likely to be adopted across the continent and beyond.
“We want to encourage our young people and many more to be behind the kinds of innovations that will work for the many industries that will be developed here,” he said.
Speaking at the event, Thomas Schäfer, chief executive of Volkswagen Group South Africa said that Rwanda was an ideal market for new mobility solutions because the citizens are digitally-minded and tech-savvy.
With an annual production capacity of up to 5,000 units, the firm plans to build up to 1,000 vehicles per year depending on demand and the success of the mobility fleet. Volkswagen will spend US $20 million in Rwanda for phase one.
The sales and service retail outlet, CFAO Volkswagen Rwanda is also part of the investment.
President Paul Kagame has called for increased partnership between multiple players in the Northern Corridor to fast-track the development of citizens.
The President was speaking at the 14th Summit of the Northern Corridor Integration Projects (NCIP) held in Nairobi, Kenya.
The summit, hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya, was the first Northern Corridor summit to be held since 2016.
During his speech, President Kagame called for the re-examining of required efforts to enable the implementation of joint projects that will develop lives of citizens.
“We had made headway in bringing government, businesses, local and foreign investors in partnership to enable these projects that are important to the development of our citizens,”
“There is always going to be a lot of work to do but this moment provides an opportunity to re-examine what has been done and what we still need to do,” the head of state said.
During the summit which was preceded by a ministerial meeting, the leaders reviewed the progress made in the implementation of the various resolutions reached at the 13th Summit.
Northern Corridor key projects
Among the key projects that featured prominently during the meeting is the Standard Gauge Railway (SGR) which is supposed to connect the port of Mombasa to Kigali via Uganda.
On this, the leaders directed that application for financing of Kampala–Bihanga–Mirama–Kigali, Tororo-Gulu–Nimule/Gulu–Pakwach sections be expedited.
President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
The leaders commended the implementation of a modern railway network in Kenya as part of the first phase of the SGR from Mombasa to Nairobi.
The preliminary engineering design of the new SGR line from Kampala to Kigali was completed in January 2018.
In the joint communiqué, the East African leaders reaffirmed their commitment to advancing regional integration while underscoring the importance of accelerating socio-economic transformation, industrialisation and employment creation.
Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of Uganda.
To ease the circulation of petroleum products in the region as a key source of industrial and domestic energy, the leaders agreed to come up with ‘the Lake Victoria intermodal transport system’ pending consultations on re-scoping of refined petroleum products pipeline.
Further, the leaders agreed to allocate more funding for the development of centres of excellence to support creation of requisite human resource capacities needed for the implementation and sustenance of NCIP projects.
On the setting up of a commodities exchange, the Summit received an update on the harmonisation of standards for commonly traded commodities and directed partner states to fast track the process.
“The summit directs partner states to expedite development of interlined trading platforms,” leaders noted in the communiqué.
The summit also considered and adopted the Accession Treaty to the Mutual Defence Pact and agreed to finalise an agreement on the establishment of a Centralised Aeronautical Database for the Northern Corridor Airspace bloc.
The Heads of State were also briefed on the progress being made in ICT and will be keen on the status of the One Network Area (ONA) for voice which is fully operational in all the partner states, while ONA for data is operational in Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda.
Also present at the summit was President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda while President Salva Kiir of South Sudan was represented by a special envoy Aggrey Tisa Sabuni.
The summit was also attended by Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto as well as representatives of Tanzania, Burundi and Ethiopia, countries which have an observer status in the NCIP.
It has long been obvious, even to a child that the state in Uganda is unraveling. Sadly for everyone in the region, government in Uganda is slowly but steadily coming apart. Uganda is for all intents and purposes without leadership. The positions of leadership in the country have occupants, but actual leadership is absent. This is not to insult the good people of Uganda. Very many of them say the same thing.
We will see how this lack of leadership has culminated in the Museveni government blaming everyone else (including Rwanda), but itself for the insecurity, chaos and general lawlessness sadly prevailing in what used to be The Pearl of Africa.
To start with, the deficit in leadership has affected people from all walks of life: the poor, the in-between and the rich and powerful. The country’s citizens are crying daily for deliverance from the living nightmare their life is becoming under President Yoweri Museveni and the ruling NRM. Every day the Ugandan media is full of bloodcurdling stories. If you have a small child, you live in fear that someone will abduct him or her, and they will end up in the clutches of some witchdoctor to be butchered in child sacrifice rituals. If you are an adult, you aren’t that safe either. An ongoing wave of kidnappings for ransom has hit Uganda, leaving very many scared witless. “Where are we to go now?” is a frequently asked question in the country. As for those in the highest echelons of society, it is hard to imagine how frightened they must be if even the most senior members of the security forces (think James Kazini and Andrew Felix Kaweesi) are not safe from common “Boda Boda” assassins. Or whoever else feels empowered to move around Uganda’s towns with illegally acquired weapons.
To watch Uganda today is, for those old enough to have seen the seventies and early eighties, to have a sense of déjà vu. Uganda under President Museveni today is becoming more and more like the lawless times of Idi Amin, and of Obote 2. If Archbishop Janan Luwum, and prominent people like him could be murdered in broad daylight, with utmost impunity, how is that different from the gunning down of Muslim clerics now, or the shooting of senior policemen, members of parliament, and so on? Here is only a small list of prominent Ugandans that have been shot and killed, with no one charged for the crimes, just since 2012 (we will not include others that died natural-seeming, yet mysterious deaths): Muslim clerics murdered included, Sheikh Abdul Karim Sentamu who was gunned down on a crowded street in the capital in April 2012. Sheikh Abubaker Kiweewa, shot dead on 12 June 12 in Kyanja in the outskirts of Kampala. Sheikh Abdul Khadir Muwaya, shot to death at his home in Mayuge District on Christmas Day 2014. Sheikh Mustafa Bahiga, shot dead at Bwebajja on Entebbe Road on 30 March 15. Sheikh Abdulrashid Wafula the Iman of Bilal Mosque in Mbale, gunned down on 21 May 15 in the town.
This is not even a full list of the unfortunate clerics that have lost their lives to assassins not a single one of whom has been apprehended. In each and every case the police and other security organs of Uganda vow to investigate, and bring the killers to book. In none of them have they produced so much as a single credible suspect. That was the same with the killing of Maj. Gen. James Kazini in 2009. It was the same with the assassination of Joan Kagezi, a well-known Kampala City attorney in March 2015, and it was the same with that of the Uganda Police’s AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi who was shot dead together with his bodyguard and driver just outside his home in March 2017. One can be certain the recent killing of Member of Parliament Ibrahim Abiriga too will go unresolved. Child abductions for ritual murders. A spate of kidnappings during which the kidnapped are killed all the same even after relatives come up with the ransom monies extorted. Political assassinations. Infighting within the security forces. The chaotic goings on, like the arrest of former police chief Kale Kayihura. Those that know Museveni best will tell you things like these were the inevitable outcome of his style of leadership.
Respected commentators, like Ugandan journalist Charles Onyango Obbo, have long painted a portrait of Museveni as a manipulative, deceptive, utterly unscrupulous president who will say, or do absolutely anything to entrench himself at the cost of everything else. Those that have served Museveni since his days as leader of the NRA guerrillas, like Kiiza Besigye, or John Kazoora in his book Betrayed by my Leader describe him as “corrupt to the core”, and as someone that will tell just about any lie and set people against each other, sowing mistrust at every turn. Daniel Kalinaki in Kiiza Besigye and Uganda’s Unfinished Revolution extensively interviewed former bush fighters under Museveni and they talked of a situation earliest in the NRA’s struggle when Museveni’s divisive tendencies, favoring individuals over others caused much mistrust and discontent in the ranks of his guerrillas.
Beyond Uganda’s borders Burundians, amongst those that have fallen victim to the machinations of President Nkurunziza, have come to know Mr. Museveni as someone that will do anything to enable him (Nkurunziza). Even when the African Union, and the EAC were relying on Mr. Museveni to broker a deal to save the Arusha Agreement that protected all Burundians through power sharing provisions, Museveni instead looked the other way as Nkurunziza savaged the agreement. The Ugandan leader did not raise a finger as Nkurunziza unleashed his murderous police and Imbonerakure militias on the civilian population.
“I do not know what misfortune led to Museveni being picked for Mediator in our problems!” exclaimed a Burundian lawyer living in exile in Kampala. Others say President Museveni’s stance with Nkurunziza is a very good example of Museveni’s duplicitous character. The Burundians are only finding out what most people that have dealt with President Museveni long ago discovered. Now for some reasons Museveni’s security organs have trained a fierce and baseless propaganda campaign against Rwanda, conducted on different social media and blogs where they publish things that they never back with any proof.
A Ugandan journalist that regularly writes about the state of insecurity in Uganda told this writer, “We hear all these allegations for instance that Rwanda has ‘infiltrated Ugandan security services’, but up to now no one in Uganda has produced a single proof to back that allegation. “We have heard all the stories about how Rwanda has ‘compromised’ Ugandan security but as for actual evidence, Museveni’s operatives have not shown us anything.” A Ugandan retired civil servant; a long-time resident of Kampala that lived through all the upheavals from independence says with Museveni, Uganda again is suffering the curse of bad leadership. “People are not deceived by all this talk that Rwanda is behind our insecurity,” said the old man. “It is the curse we have suffered from the beginning. “Now if you talk of all these Ugandans losing their lives senselessly, kidnapped for money, all the women that were being murdered in Entebbe recently, how can you say a foreign country is involved in all that! It is just Museveni’s people justifying their failure to do their responsibility to maintain safety and security for Ugandans.” It is obvious that as insecurity grows and gets out of hand, blaming Rwanda is increasingly the only fallback position Uganda’s intelligence and their boss can find. Ugandan operatives trolls on social media will be busy disseminating fake news on all social media.
But in all seriousness, said a Ugandan analyst who requested anonymity, “If the spy operatives and their bosses can somehow deceive some people that Rwanda is responsible for one or two things, how will they also blame Rwanda for lack of safety so that even little children are not safe but quite a few end up dead in primitive child sacrifices? “How can you blame another country for the kidnaps for ransom? Or the potholes and rubbish in the streets; the sewage that overflows in many places during rainy season, and all such failures due to Museveni’s poor leadership?”
On Wednesday, President Yoweri Museveni went to Parliament to deliver a speech on “defeating challenges of insecurity” in Uganda following a spate of unresolved murders and a general state of insecurity in the country, especially in Kampala recently.
Once at the podium, Museveni turned to a favourite topic of his that those who know him well say is characteristic of him whenever he is under intense panic: the ancient history of the great lakes interlacustrine region.
This topic tends to restore some confidence and a psychological shot in the arm that gives off the impression that he is a man in charge, especially when the pressure he is facing in areas that tend to be his soft under belly.
In this case, Museveni had come to parliament to speak about peace and identity. Speaking about peace seems reasonable given the topic he had come to address parliament about; however, it is when he began to raise questions about his own identity that the Members of Parliament, and even those watching on their television sets at home, wondered what exactly had rattled Museveni.
“I’m not an immigrant from anywhere”:
Museveni spoke for over two hours. Almost an hour of that time was spent lecturing the MPs about the people of the great lakes region in a tone that was rather patronizing. “What you call history I call current affairs. I know because I was there,” he told the MPs, before bragging that he was “unearthing history” for them because “you know about everybody else except yourself.”
If you know Museveni, then the self-indulging isn’t new. However, what was most perplexing was how he kept repeating that he was not “an immigrant from nowhere.” It is as if Museveni had been summoned by Parliament to bring his birth certificate.
And so, to “prove” that he was not a foreigner he turned to “Museveni’s own facts.” He seemed to locate his “heritage” to Mutara, a place he claimed “was part of Mpororo, Nkore, before colonialism.”
Of course, anyone with some knowledge of history immediately sensed that Museveni had unwittingly committed an own goal.
For sure, the confrontation between “Museveni’s Own facts” and the real facts was about to produce the opposite of whatever he had intended to achieve by invoking this story of a time past.
For those who don’t know, Mutara has never been part of Uganda. Not before colonialism (Uganda had yet to come into existence). And certainly not after the formation of Uganda by colonialists.
Rwanda did exist prior to colonial rule. Indeed, no part of contemporary Rwanda has ever been part of any neighbouring country; on the contrary, during colonialism Rwanda lost territories to present day Uganda (parts of Kigezi, Ntungamo, Igara rya Ruhinda that was later named Nkore) and in North and South Kivu in the DRC.
The place that Museveni is referring to was – and still is – Mutara. However, prior to colonial rule, Mutara was referred to as “Umutara w’Indorwa” meaning that it was part of the area that was known as Ndorwa, in Rwanda. In fact, Mutara still exists today. Again, in Rwanda.
Unlike Museveni’s “own facts”, Mpororo was, and remained, part of Rwanda decades after the Berlin Conference and for much of this period the Bahororo (who are of Banyarwanda extraction – the clans of Abagina, Abashambo, Abagahe, etc – have their relatives in Mutara, Rwanda) were identified as Banyarwada, hence the proverb among their Nkore neighbours that goes something like, “ko ocumita Omuhororo oyita omunyarwanda” which loosely translates into “if you kill a Muhororo, you will be in conflict with a Munyarwanda.”
If Museveni says that he is from Mutara and Mutara has never been part of Uganda, then this might explain why the gentleman protests too much about his identity.
At any rate, Museveni didn’t need to invent facts that shift the territory of Mutara to Uganda to qualify as a Ugandan. After this Banyarwanda “heritage” is recognized under the 1995 constitution as citizens of Uganda. Moreover, his continued distortion of facts and history will only serve to invite the real facts from those who believe the truth matters and that it will set him free from what is clearly an identity crisis.
In other words, it’s high time that the two ‘contending lines of thinking’ between Museveni’s own facts and the real facts will have to ‘resolve itself.’
No longer at peace:
The other subject that Museveni belabours in his speech is on peace. Museveni is known to talk down Ugandans that until he came to the scene they had never had a taste of peace. He never misses an opportunity to remind them that since he took power they are able to have a good night sleep.
Here, at Parliament, was a man whose claim to fame was that he brought sleep having to deal with the reality before him that the purpose of his visit there (at Parliament) was to acknowledge to the same people of Uganda that he had run out of peace.
Like the story where Museveni was convincing himself that he was not an immigrant from anywhere, here he was convincing himself that Uganda was at peace and secure “from corner to corner.”
Yet another gem of his “own facts” that are in contrast with reality. Again, in his own universe with its own unique facts.
Indeed, anyone following the speech must have come to the conclusion that what psychologists call cognitive dissonance was no longer adequate a description of what was unravelling.
Even as Museveni turned to his own facts in the frantic declaration “I am standing here authoritatively,” it was visibly clear to all that the life president was in dire need of a life jacket. In the same bible that Museveni quoted at Parliament says, “Let those with ears hear” and for Museveni the voices he keeps hearing in his head that are prompting concerns about his own identity are a Swan Song along the tune, “We wawo omusajja yatuletela emilembe. Naye kati jiliwa?
There are few worse things than being falsely accused. I remember listening to a lady on the radio describe that she cannot read any book where anyone is being falsely accused of a crime. It upsets her too much. The fact that Gen. Kale Kayihura is being accused of the murder of the late AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi is the perfect example of a man being crucified. What happened to all the people at Kaweesi’s eulogy who thanked Kayihura for spotting and nurturing Kaweesi’s talent to rise up the ranks as he did? Why can’t you, and all of Uganda who watched Kayihura trust and rely on Kaweesi more than anyone use any rationale and come forward to stop this clear witch hunt? What happened to the speeches at the vigil in Kaweesi’s home where all of you thanked Kayihura for promoting and seeing the potential in Kaweesi? For being more than a boss and a mentor? For being his friend and an inspiration?
There were rumors of a new appointment for Kayihura in July, and following his meeting with the President in May, the forces against him decided to act quickly using fabricated evidence before he was back in Government. They could not pin anything against a man who has been incorruptible. There were no deals, no wealth, no assets – nothing to pin him down. So these forces resorted to lies.
I was stunned to find out that Kayihura is, in fact, not wealthy at all – especially compared to all senior Government officials. Even compared to many Government officials below him. Ask any international partners with the Police, some who even nicknamed him Inspector General of the People, realizing he was different from the rest. He was never after any amassing of wealth, and thus was a threat. His incorruptibility and integrity made him the biggest threat to anyone who needed to make the President more vulnerable.
But what control do you have when all your support is in the poor masses? And all that has sustained Kayihura in the past, and now, is good will from those who know him, and understand that the witch hunt has used a successful campaign of character assassination for the past few years.
Even as IGP, Kayihura suffered in the last few years working with security agencies. ISO, CMI and CID are filled with his enemies, and now that he’s gone – they’ve side-lined the people who chose work over politics. I wonder if this hatred is based on tribalism – do people hate Bafumbira because of their cultural connection to Banyarwanda? I believe it’s more than that in the case of Kale Kayihura – I believe they feared that they have nothing against him; and over the years decided to falsify things about him to damage his reputation and public image. So that when these charges came, people would not dismiss them so easily.
I once asked someone who interacted with the General why he doesn’t fight back against the media. He said that Kayihura doesn’t have the desire or money to pay them to counter the stories with the truth. He also said Kayihura believes in the inherent good of people, and that all lies blow over. He believed that by working consistently – they would eventually leave him alone.
But Kayihura was wrong in believing in the good in people. He should have believed in the desperation in people. Anyone can see that his entire image of working to build a powerful and strong Police force, that has never had more Police officers, more infrastructure, and more equipment has been completely tarnished and ignored over this need to focus on his individual. Which is wrongfully portrayed.
So far, the forces against him have succeeded but in many ways, they haven’t since Kayihura made himself available to the masses who know him. They know who he is, and anyone that meets this man knows for certain that the last thing he could ever be is a criminal of any sort.
The fact that Kayihura can’t be bought also led to enemies on the other side of the border in Rwanda. He consistently refused to be compromised or coerced to hasten any lawful procedures. Even the handover of a prominent Rwandan refugee to the Rwandan Government some 4 years ago occurred when Kayihura was out of the country. The officer in charge was promptly dismissed, only to be brought back quite recently, after taking responsibility and with permission from the President. He was a good officer who the Police couldn’t afford to lose.
Kayihura was not loyal to NRM, he is loyal to the President, and that vision that drove him to leave a lectureship persuaded by his Professors at the London School of Economics after he finished his LLM. He in fact pleaded with a friend at the time to help him pick up a gun and join the NRA in 1983.
Kayihura was not desperate. He did not need to fight because he had no options – he wanted to. It was pure conviction. And as such, he was never desperate for a job. When one is full of idealism as he – it is hard to think that enemies abound and are constantly plotting. He believed in truth, and that idealism has hurt him greatly. Especially now.
Not only are they discrediting him in the eyes of the public (lies of exorbitant amounts of wealth – when he does not own any home in Kampala, or any finished home anywhere), but also in the eyes his contemporaries (being stopped at the airport, being sick). Kayihura unfortunately believed that all this would go away. He especially believed so after his removal, and had just gotten into the groove of being a farmer and serving his community in Kashagama, Lyantonde. He insisted on using his own funds to get the cleanest underground water through a tap for all in the community to make use of, not just himself.
How can someone so generous and so of the people be made out to be a killer? This really baffles me – that Ugandans could persecute a genuine and possibly the best public servant. Yet they consistently complain that there are none to be found.
Out of respect for the President and the Government, Kayihura chose not to go to Kisoro after his removal. Kisoro was angry with the President, and he did not want to go home knowing how it might look if his people might gather at his home. The people of Kisoro know what it is like to be maligned as Bafumbira. They are a small district, seen as unimpressive and even unknown to many Ugandans, but they inhabit this country like any other citizen. Even Kayihura himself, a whole General and Senior official was despised by his fellow Westerners who are said to have insulted his identity on numerous occasions. Including the security agencies he worked with. Even in the same region, people harbour ethnic hatred and misguided superiority over another.
Uganda has reached a new low. The media has reached a new low. I know the economy is bad and everyone needs a pay out, every one has bills to pay. But I implore you journalists who have been paid to write malicious and untrue things over the last three years: you are the ones who made Kayihura become this falsified larger-than-life figure he never wanted a part of. Come forward. Tell the truth. Do not leave your conscience tainted by the crucifixion of an innocent man – one whose unjust demonization you have greatly contributed to.
The witch hunt began in 2015, and seems to have gathered steam from everyone who feels wronged by him. Director CID Grace Akullo even once said he wanted to kill her – she was hostile and insubordinate towards him during his entire tenure. He left it at that, knowing when to pick his battles. She refused to participate and cooperated grudgingly. Wherever her information came from, it worked for the forces against Kayihura who seem to have since recruited her.
One wonders why DG ISO Kaka Bagyenda is even a part of this team against Kayihura, when Kayihura was allegedly asked to help when Kaka’s son last year was faced with killing his girlfriend. Kayihura obliged of course, feeling comraderie in such a tragic time for Bagyenda.
CMI, whose leads the entire 2017 consisted of strong evidence against ADF for killing Kaweesi, including traced calls. How could they suddenly change their tune? In the middle of prosecution? CMI’s key people, like a certain Tumukunde before and a certain Abel Kandiho now have peddled untrue reports to the President and the media about Kayihura. Including some about Presidential ambitions.
Whatever these people have against Kayihura now, to pin him on Kaweesi’s death is no evidence. Maybe they decided to pursue this case to create media furore and frenzy; and damage the man’s name for their own personal and misguided grudges, beliefs, and deep-rooted hatred for Bafumbira and Ugandan Banyarwanda, whose only home is Uganda.
I want to end with this: how does anyone come out of this with the same idealism for Uganda? When instead of persecuting clearly corrupt and reprehensible individuals – Uganda harbours and saves them.
Uganda has killed the spirit of a person who loved the country more than himself, and sacrificed his life, his family, and now his name for it. I have washed my hands of this crucifixion publically with this writing. I hope you find the courage to do so as well, in whatever way you can.
Bring peace to the Kaweesi family. Stop sitting on the clear evidence of ADF’s direct involvement in this, and leave Kayihura and all the officers who served him alone. It is a disgrace to keep bringing up their trauma for your own trumped up and malicious agendas. To use Kaweesi’s death in this manner – and persecute a man he so admired and loved – is the crime here. That is the only crime here.
Source: The Standard Digital
Several reports in broadcast and print media have said former Uganda Police Chief, Gen. Kale Kayihura at first was a good officer and a gentleman. The reports claim Kayihura’s problems only began when Museveni brought him close, promoted him and made him inspector general of police. The moment that happened, say Kampala analysts, the stage was set for the general’s eventual downfall.
Museveni would use him in all his plots, evil or otherwise, and that would attract the jealousy of some Ugandans of the powerful Bahima ethnicity. Kale Kayihura therefore could have fallen afoul of President Museveni for reasons that have nothing to do with allegations against him of “planning to cause insecurity.”
There is an intense succession struggle behind the scenes, with prominent members of Museveni’s Bahima that are determined to keep power within themselves “for eternity”. Someone like Kayihura who is “an outsider”, a member of the Bafumbira people of the Kisoro region was in trouble from the word go.
It is an open secret in Uganda that senior Bahima have been undermining other people and Kayihura only is the latest high-profile victim. If Kayihura was trying to do a good job, someone like his former boss, Minister for Security Henry Tumukunde, a senior Muhima, was not going to allow it. It got to the extent that the wrangles were spilling out in public.
“The head of Police, and the Minister for Security General Henry Tumukunde are busy fighting, to show who has more power and control,” said MP Winnie Kiiza, the leader of the opposition in Uganda’s parliament. The Kasese woman Member of Parliament was commenting on the spate of security incidents cropping up all over Uganda as a result of Kayihura not being left alone to do his appointed duties.
As Museveni grows weaker and loses control “the big beasts are circling in,” commented a Ugandan analyst. “And none of the beasts are bigger than the Bahima, they are in charge of the jungle!” added the astute analyst.
According to George Orwell in Animal Farm, some animals in the famous fable took to saying they were “more equal” than others. It had begun with the animals liberating themselves from oppressive humans. But as time went on, the poor animals realized the oppressor was the pigs, and the pigs no longer saw themselves as equal to the other creatures.
Nothing can be more analogous about the Ugandan situation today than that fable.
Mr. Museveni no doubt has created that tribal situation whereby his ethnicity has developed a sense of entitlement that power, and there control of national resources is theirs, with all the country’s other peoples battling for crumbs.
While commenting on the chaotic security situation in Kampala on Thursday Gen. Yoweri Museveni said that the insecurity in the country is caused by pigs. “Pigs don’t appreciate value, you’d rather give it to the worms. But we’ve dealt with pigs before and these ones are very small. By the end of the day, all those involved will be exposed and crushed, we shall crush them,” Museveni said. When Museveni is not blaming pigs, his lieutenants in the security and intelligence organs place blame on Rwanda. In both cases, the aim is to conceal the internal weaknesses that have been piling up mostly due to the fact that Ugandans are fed up of the present leadership and tried to demonstrate it during the constitutional amendment consultations to remove the age limit for the president.
At some point this exercise was stopped because it was clear to all that Ugandans wanted to bring an end to the problems of governance that they face and the insecurity that comes from it.
Eventually the amendment was shovelled down the throats of Ugandans and Museveni stayed in power against the wish. Secondly, the internal weaknesses have over the years been accelerated by what is now the cancer of corruption that Ugandans have given up any hope that it can be solved as long as Museveni is president. Third, and significantly, the security forces have been operating from an environment without political legitimacy and supporting a president who has been rejected by the vast majority of Ugandans. Fourth, Museveni has actively nurtured the confusion in the security organs. When General Kale Kayihura was arrested the Daily Monitor asked prominent people in Ugandan society for comment. Almost all of them placed the blame squarely where it should be: on Museveni’s head.
However, what Semujju Ibrahim Nganda said was fascinating, “There is in-fighting in the armed forces; each one is accusing the other and it is playing into the vulnerability of the President. We had a time when it was Gen Salim Saleh fighting Gen Tumiwne, Gen Tinyefuza fighting Gen Kazini, Ahmed Kashilingi, Kyaligonza. That time, the President was strong, but today he is not as strong as he was when he used to be the arbiter, which he cannot do anymore. That is why in Zimbabwe, when the generals saw that President Robert Mugabe was failing to control, they had to take over to ensure stability of the country. Gen Kayihura was celebrating when Gen Tinyefuza was arrested; and don’t be surprised when those who have arrested him today are also arrested in future.” In other words, Musevenip has always sowed chaos and rivalry in the security organs and considers the chaos as a weapon he uses to pit officers against one another. Once the competition and negative solidarity he has helped to create goes astray he calls the losing side all kinds of names including the derogatory term of “pigs.” In all of it, he fails to take responsibility that he has reared the pigs.
Also worth pointing out is that the “winning side” gets to find a scapegoat for the troubles that Museveni has helped to create. Most of the time the scapegoat is Rwanda. For as long as the internal weaknesses have been piling up in Uganda the excuse has been that they are of the doing of the Rwandan leadership. This excuse has helped Museveni to conceal his failures and to mistreat his own officers after he has used and dumped them. Extremely talented young officers like Brigadier Noble Mayombo and most recently Andrew Kaweesi have lost their lives and a promising future at the service of their country robbed through Museveni’s games. Like Hon. Semujju says, this time Museveni’s regime is so weak that he is unable to control how far the consequences of his little hobby can go. As a result, ordinary Ugandans are now facing an insecurity that is all at the doing of one man who is always blaming everyone else but himself and the responsibility he bears for raising the pigs that he is now so eager to denounce when he is the real pig.
Source: The Standard Digital Media
It is impossible to understand why Ugandan authorities have persistently blamed Rwanda for their internal problems. For decades Uganda has tried to bully Rwanda and try to make it subservient. However, it beats the mind why it insists on this course of action that has no direct benefits for the country.
Rwanda’s refusal to accept Uganda’s subservience exposed it to all kinds of destabilization efforts that most recently include providing logistical support to Rwanda National Congress terrorist organization that is headed by the renegade General Kayumba Nyamwasa, which has openly declared war against Rwanda.
In addition to supporting groups that seek to destabilize Rwanda, the pattern over the years has been for Uganda’s intelligence organs to peddle lies that paint the leadership of Rwanda in negative light using websites, blogs, and bogus social media accounts that have been especially created for this purpose.
In those publications Rwanda is portrayed as a bad neighbor when in fact it is Uganda that keeps this provocation and hostile behavior towards it’s neighbor.
On it’s part Rwanda has refused to be dragged into the internal affairs of Uganda even if it’s being used as a scapegoat, including when innocent Rwandan nationals have been arrested and tortured on flimsy accusations of being spies.
Rwanda refuses to be dragged into Uganda’s internal affairs because it doesn’t see any benefits from such a move and wishes that soon Uganda’s leadership will realize that positive relations serve the best interests of the two countries whose citizens share deep historical ties.
Read: OPINION: ABIRIGA WAS KILLED TO COVER UP FOR KAWEESI’S KILLERS
Analysts who have tried to understand the behavior of Uganda’s leadership towards Rwanda say that it is motivated by jealousy and that they would be fine if Rwanda was making progress through subservience to Uganda.
Indeed, the experts say that by rejecting to be subservient to Uganda and combining it with tremendous socioeconomic success, “this eats the leadership of Uganda to the core and Museveni simply can’t accept this reality.”
Kampala is in a state of anxiety with panic spreading all over the city following the recent assassination of Member of Parliament Ibrahim Abiriga.
A crackdown against opposition figures, senior security officials, and members of civil society is in full gear all due to self-inflicted causes.
This round of panic began when the Special Forces Command (SFC) tried to manufacture a diversion from information that was circulating in Kampala that the SFC had assassinated AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, which it tried to solve by assassinating another high profile personality, MP Ibrahim Abiriga.
When the people of West Nile rose to demand answers for the true killers of their son and held demonstrations against Museveni, they hatched up another diversion, to arrest former IGP Kale Kayihura.
Gen. Kayihura’s arrest has worked to silence the people of West Nile. In fact, not a single newspaper in Uganda is carrying their demands to have Museveni explain who had killed their son.
Now, Museveni has been saved from the trouble of having to explain the assassinations of Kaweesi and Abiriga.
Hajj Abdul Naduli has denounced these tactics whose main cause is the “fights between Museveni Generals.”
Hajj Naduli represents the views of most Ugandans who are fed up with the diversions. Most Ugandans are tired of the scapegoating that tries to place blame for the failures elsewhere and are now openly calling for Museveni to just go.
At the height of age-limit debate Gen. Museveni and his intelligence organs would try to defuse tensions from the people’s frustration with the regime by claiming that their security forces, particularly the police, had been infiltrated and that it was being used to destabilize Uganda.
A scapegoat was found for an internal problem of political transition and debate.
The intelligence organs even went as far as partnering with the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) to arrest and torture innocent Rwandans visiting Uganda who they accused of being spies. Some of these innocent Rwandans remain in detention today.
Even the present panic in Kampala that forced the security forces to an impromptu meeting is self-inflicted. It came from a simple demand from the people of West Nile towards Museveni: they want to know who killed their son.
No one is willing to tell them the truth. That their son (and Kazini, Mayombo, Aronda, and Kaweesi) was killed in a little game Museveni likes to play every once in a while in order to keep power.
The recent assassination of Member of Parliament Ibrahim Abiriga did not only instill fear but also worsened an already fragile security situation in Kampala. His death comes at the heels of a spate of killings involving rampage kidnapping, rape and systematic murder of innocent girls.
Indeed, many observers believe that the killers exploited this security situation to mount a targeted assassination whose real intention was to divert the public from information that was circulating that the Special Forces Command (SFC) was responsible for the death of AIGP Andrew Kaweesi.
CLOCKWISE: Late General Aronda Nyakairima, AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi, Brigadier General Nobel Mayomboand Col (Rtd) MP Ibrahim Abiriga.
Now fear has engulfed Kampala. General Museveni tried to calm down the panic that most people, especially those in Arua, believe is of his own creation, which elicited anger that engulfed the entire town through demonstrations that targeted everything in the colour yellow.
This prompted heavy deployment of armed military personnel to counter the anger that Museveni was likely to be greeted with at Abiriga’s burial. Without such heavy deployment Museveni was not going to go anywhere near Arua. The people had been loud and clear that they were tired of his manipulation that often ends with the killing of innocent people he used and disposes of in the cruelest manner.
Gen Museveni during Col (Rtd) Abiriga’s buria in Arua.
During his eulogy for his most loyal MP, Gen. Museveni tried to blame the opposition, accusing them of using foul tactics that include assassinations.
Museveni said that Abiriga had been targeted because he was effective in the campaign to remove the presidential term limits, the hinted that he would also retaliate in equal measure – by cracking down against the opposition.
And now from the look of things, Gen. Museveni is making good use of his promise. Uganda’s Capital FM reported this morning that the arrest of opposition politician Betty Namboze might take place any time from now. Chimpreports also reported that the UPDF was hunting down another opposition MP, Kaps Fungaroo.
Gen Museveni pays his last respect to the late AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi.
Clearly such threats are meant to cow the opposition from speaking about Abiriga’s assassination. Similarly, Museveni threatened Ugandans on social media and threatened to come after them.
Moreover, the way Museveni is trying to silence everyone from speaking about Abiriga’s killing is eerily similar to how he handled Kaweesi’s murder. A crackdown on the opposition – including assassinating them – and shutting down social media are likely to be as effective in silencing those who want to know the killers of Abiriga as it was in silencing those who tried to reveal who murdered Anderew Kaweesi.
The veteran journalist Timothy Kalyegira immediately commented on twitter that, “Just as Abiriga seemed to be acting the clown as a cover-up, Museveni’s lashing out at the ‘idiots’ and ‘fools’ who killed Abiriga sounds like a man not telling us the whole story. Something, in other words, doesn’t add up.”
Gen Museveni pays his last respect to the late Gen Aronda Nyakairima. (Photo: Daily Monitor)
After Museveni threatened the opposition with murder his top security officials gathered at Serena Hotel to lay a strategy to implement the wishes of their boss. It doesn’t require a high IQ to see that tough times are ahead for the opposition, with Nambooze and Fungaroo being the first targets with more to follow.
General Museveni thinks that he is at war, “Nobody will start a war with NRM and win. You will lose… If there’s war you fight,” he said in his eulogy at Abiriga’s funeral.
Gen Museveni pays his last respect to the late Gen Garanga.
And during war, people die:
1. James Waphakabulo
2. Francis Ayume
3. Gen. James Kazini
4. Brig. Noble Mayombo
5. John Garang
6. Gen. Aronda Nyakairima
7. AIGP Andrew Kaweesi
8. Col. Ibrahim Abiriga
9. Col. Muzoora
10. Maj Muhamed Kigundu
11. Joan Kagezi
And the list goes on ——-
Ugandan Member of Parliament, Ibrahim Abiriga, was assassinated on Friday evening in a gruesome manner that has the hallmarks of AIGP Andrew Felix Kaweesi. The lawmaker’s assassination came at a time when information about who the killers of Kaweesi are becoming an open secret amongst the public in Kampala.
This website has been reporting updates on this story including the revelation by different crime investigation experts who unanimously say that the Special Force Command (SFC) assassinated Kaweesi. Immediately after the publication, President Museveni blamed Kaweesi’s murder on the ADF rebels.
The question is, why kill Abiriga and why now? President Museveni called the murderers idiots and ordered security agencies to find the killers who he said are part of “urban criminality.” Astonishingly, even before investigations he has ordered begin Gen Museveni seems to already know who the killers are! Gen Museveni’s characteristic of assassinations as due to urban criminality is suggestive that he knows who the killers are and that the investigation into the murder of Abiriga is likely to end in a similar way as that of Kaweesi.
In both cases the killers are known. They are security agencies, the same organs that Gen Museveni is pleading with to conduct the investigation. What is clear is that the same precision that was used to eliminate Kaweesi was used to remove Abiriga. Back to the question, why would Gen Museveni kill his loyal servant, a man who was not a political threat to anyone? Abiriga’s flashy popularity made him the perfect target in efforts to conceal what had become an open secret. Someone popular enough to garner public attention and also someone perceived to be loyal to Gen Museveni in order to place the blame elsewhere. Enter the yellow man and his yellow Beetle.
Abiriga was the perfect diversion. Kill him in similar fashion as Kaweesi, mislead the public from closing on who killed Kaweesi, and do it in a way that suggests a motive of “senseless urban killings” that are carried out by “idiots.” Both Kaweesi and Abiriga were hyper loyal towards Gen Museveni. It seems President Museveni has his way of rewarding loyalty that goes all the way back to Brigadier Noble Mayombo and most recently General Aronda Nyakairima. Once the public starts to close in on Abiriga’s killers someone else among President Museveni’s most loyal servants will be gunned down to conceal that information from spilling into the public. And the cycle will continue. Only Gen Museveni is safe.
Source: The Standard Digital
On March 17 2017 Assistant Inspector General of Police (AIGP) Andrew Kaweesi was brutally assassinated alongside his driver Godfrey Wambewo and body guard Keneth Erau at Kulambiro, a Kampala suburb, after 27 bullets were fired in his body. It’s more than a year now since Kaweesi, a 43 year old promising and highly ambitious officer, succumbed to death.
There has been a lot of interest in the circumstances around his death; however, investigators are yet to identify the true killers. Some suspects were arrested days following his death but sources indicate that much of the initial arrests were meant to dupe the public that something was being done about Kaweesi’s murder. As a result, the only information that has been obtained thus far is at best circumstantial and not very helpful for prosecution purposes.
Similarly, initial information pointing to ADF rebels as being behind the killings also led to the arrests of some suspects. However, this line of investigations also yielded nothing. It turned out the ADF had nothing to do with Kaweesi’s murder and it appears the rebel group was invoked to mislead the public into thinking that the shooting were a result of terrorism.
Most importantly, the efforts that were placed in concealing the identity of the true killers, misleading the investigators and the public, including forcing innocent people to confess, have led criminal intelligence analysts to come to one conclusion: Kaweesi’s murder is the work of the state of Uganda.
Specifically, investigators have confirmed from the cartridges collected at the scene and pock marks left on the car that the weapons used to assassinate Kaweesi were the type of M4 guns which are a preserve of the specialised units such as the Special Forces Command (SFC).
Moreover, the description of events by sources who were present at the scene of the crime points to this kind of expertise as well as a level of calmness and confidence that was exhibited by the killers that serves to underscore that indeed this was a state-sanctioned mission. Indeed, the precision and efficiency employed in executing it suggests that these were experts at work.
It is also worth recalling that Kaweesi was murdered near his home, about 600 metres in a trading centre. These killers were unconcerned with the presence of people ready to identify them to the authorities. They understood very well that they were the authorities, especially since the killers were from the unit that is tasked with protecting the highest authority in the country and his regime.
The only time the investigations have pointed to the authorities as the killers, they have done so also in ways that mislead the public. Instead of corroborating the story of witnesses to the crime whose description depicts the killers to be the SFC, they have on numerous occasions come up with concocted scenarios that accuse the Uganda Police (UPF) of orchestrating Kaweesi’s murder, knowing very well that the UPF lacks the kinds of armed sophistication and weaponry that was described by witnesses.
Kaweesi was a well-liked officer even though he came to the limelight during Walk to Work when he is credited with the kind of loyalty that probably saved the regime from a concerted effort to remove him that had the entire Kampala city gripped in revolutionary spirit like the kind that was seen during the Arab Spring. Indeed, many believe that the leadership in Uganda owes Kaweesi big time for nipping in the bud the people’s coup.
What, therefore, has everyone including crime intelligence specialists puzzled is exactly why did the leadership in Uganda find it necessary to eliminate Kaweesi, a loyal, hardworking, highly educated, disciplined and hardworking officer, in such a gruesome and cold-blooded manner?
Almost all analysis seems to point to one conclusion, which is related to Kaweesi’s success rapid promotion through the ranks. He was a very capable and principled police officer whose personality rendered him to public fame across all sections of Ugandan society. Consequently, he was increasingly seen as a threat in the same way that the effectiveness of officers like General Aromda Nyakairima and Brigadier General Noble Mayombo made them targets for assassination.
Uganda’s intelligence organs have persistently continued to peddle lies against Rwanda despite efforts by the top leadership of both countries to normalize ties.
A series of propaganda stories by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) seeking to portray Rwanda as a bad neighbor keen on wreaking havoc against Uganda were published in CMI-planted blogs.
One of the malicious pieces titled “Kayihura wanted to meet Rwanda’s DMI chiefs in Turkey” claims that Kigali has close ties with the former Chief of Uganda’s Police, Gen. Kale Kayihura to the extent of trying to hold meetings between him and Rwandan officials in foreign lands.
What such articles demonstrate is the continued internal wrangling within Uganda’s security apparatus. Trying to drag Rwanda in these wrangles must be treated with the contempt they deserve.
Even if it’s propaganda, there should be at least minimum effort to report stories that are believable. It seems as long as the target is Rwanda all these basics are tossed out of the window.
Almost all stores try to paint Kayihura as a stooge of the Rwandan government. Almost all of them emerged at the time it was revealed that CMI was actively collaborating with the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terror under the leadership of the fugitive Kayumba Nyamwasa.
It should be recalled that since last year Brig. Gen Kandiho of CMI and Security Minister Henry Tumukunde led an onslaught against Kigali by planting malicious stories in the media in order to hoodwink the public from activities that included recruiting rebels on behalf of the RNC, mainly in refugee camps that are hosting Rwandans inside Uganda.
It was revealed that the duo had been working closely with RNC mobilisers to harass, arrest, and torture innocent Rwandans visiting Uganda on private business.
Last year Kandiho and Tumukunde were embarrassed when a group of their recruits, 43 young men destined for rebel activities in DRC, were intercepted at the Kikagati border post in Uganda.
Most of the RNC mobilizers continue to enjoy the protection of CMI. Therefore it is not surprising that there’s a renewed wave of malicious propaganda targeting Rwanda and clearly undermining the progress that was being made to restore good relations between Uganda and Rwanda.
Observers agree that the renewed negative propaganda being peddled by CMI signals continuation of arrests and intimidation of innocent Rwandans living in Uganda
It is becoming routine that every time government leaders in Rwanda and Uganda meet to work out ways to put an end to the strained relations between the two countries, Uganda’s intelligence community goes into overdrive to undermine this good move.
A clear pattern emerges, whereby the CMI which is actively sponsoring Rwanda National Congress (RNC) terrorists in their quest to destabilize Rwanda is determined to work against the goal of the two countries’ leaders to resolve the matter.
When Uganda’s Foreign Minister, Sam Kutesa, flew to Kigali with a message from President Museveni, supposedly to find a way to improve the relations that have been hurt by CMI’s support for Rwandan terrorists, hopes were raised on both sides of the border that perhaps security operatives in Kampala were finally coming to their senses and seriously considering putting an end to the RNC activities in the country.
There was a sigh of relief that Security operatives in Kampala were ending their joint operations with the RNC that has seen dozens of Rwandan nationals detained and tortured in Uganda’s military intelligence safe houses. However, as if on cue, CMI operatives made their move, arresting yet another innocent Rwandan, Emmanuel Cyemayire, even before Mr. Kuteesa left Kigali.
Early this week, Presidents Paul Kagame and Yoweri Museveni met at Entebbe in Uganda, to once again find ways to resolve the tensions between their two countries. As it turns out, CMI is not prepared to take it lying down. A day after the two leaders met, CMI picked up another Rwandan, Claude Iyakaremye and detained him with no formal charges. His whereabouts remain unknown today.
Now, the group has turned to Uganda’s New Vision publication as the platform to stage their propaganda, clearly aimed at undermining the efforts of the two Heads of state to restore good relations between Rwanda and Uganda.
A news story in the New Vision, “Why Museveni Sacked Senior Immigration Officials,” shows how far CMI is prepared to go in its efforts to torpedo the work of the Heads of State to resolve the matter. The story in the New Vision claimed that the purported agents involved in kidnapping alleged Rwandan asylum seekers “possessed” Ugandan passports. Ordinarily, a serious allegation of this magnitude would be backed by evidence. In this case the CMI and its accomplices at the New Vision don’t present any proof. They don’t have any.
But the fact remains that these kidnapping allegations are used to hoodwink the public from the actual truth of the conniving between CMI and RNC. The individuals they claim to disappear suddenly resurface in eastern DRC as recruits of the rag tag terror group, RNC, having been facilitated by CMI.
When, in December last year, over 45 Rwandan National Congress (RNC) recruits were arrested at Kikagati, a border post between Uganda and Tanzania on their way to RNC training camps in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), travelling on documents issued by Uganda’s CMI, no officials were questioned or sacked at the CMI or indeed at the Immigration department.
As a matter of fact, the architects behind this Kikagati group, Dr. Sam Ruvuma and Deo Nyiligira are freely operating in western Uganda working with RNC fugitives to mobilise support.
Motivated by propaganda, the New Vision chooses to ignore documented facts pertaining to existing agreements between Rwanda and Uganda and how they are effected. The Rwandan refugees referred to in the story, were legally repatriated in accordance with existing Memoranda of Understanding between the Uganda Police and Rwanda National Police. And it hasn’t been a one way traffic. Indeed Uganda has benefited more from the Agreement, as records clearly show that the Ugandan side has received way more fugitives, (more than 35), since the Memoranda were signed, than the number of Rwandans sent home.
Therefore, as long as Uganda’s CMI continues to work to frustrate the efforts of the Heads of State, at every turn, finding a sustainable solution to the conflict won’t be easy. By taking its propaganda to the New Vision, the CMI is clearly upping the ante. Indeed the fact that such a smear campaign is being peddled by a Uganda government owned publication raises fundamental questions about the sincerity of the leadership of that country in averting the tensions.
President Paul Kagame has advocated for the consideration of African technical expertise during the implementation of projects as opposed to always outsourcing them as if often the case.
President Kagame was Monday speaking at the Next Einstein Forum 2018, a global gathering convening over 1500 scientists, businesspersons and policymakers.
The Forum is organised by The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in collaboration with Robert Bosch Stiftung, a German Foundation.
Kagame said that often, technical expertise from Africa is not considered as governments and private entities outsource suppliers from outside the continent.
Albert Zeufack, the chief economist for Africa at the World Bank.
“Too often, it is just assumed that technical expertise is unavailable in Africa. Governments are as guilty as big companies in this regard. We keep going back to the same external suppliers for solutions, without making every effort to procure the services here. It doesn’t make sense,” The President said.
Kagame called for the use of African specialists to give them a chance to grow and compete professionally.
“Let’s use the resources we have to give these talented African specialists the chance to grow and compete professionally,” he said.
Though doing so might come at an extra cost, the Head of State said that it will only be for the short term.
“There may be some extra costs in the short term. But doing so will not only build our institutions but increase our capacity for international collaboration as well,” he added.
Dr Eng Haruo Takeda cooperation Chief Engineer Hitachi ltd answers a question during a panel discussion at the Next Einstein Forum.
This would undo a scenario whereby for far too long, the continent has been left behind in regards to scientific advancements, he said.
In the quest to catch up with the rest of the world, he said that women and girls should not be left behind.
“As Africa catches up to the rest of the world, we cannot afford to leave our women and girls out of the equation. The gender gap in science is a global phenomenon, but that is no reason to accept it as inevitable. Whatever the causes may be, we have to dedicate ourselves to closing the gap, because the opportunity will never be equal without equal access to knowledge,” he said.
Kagame on Africa catching up with the rest of the world
He called for the development of ecosystems whereby progress in science goes beyond passing knowledge to applying know-how to address African and global problems.
“It is not just about filling heads with information and performing well on exams. The purpose is to apply that knowledge to solve the problems facing our continent and our world. That requires an innovation ecosystem in which government, business, and educational institutions all reinforce each other,” he said.
Education minister Eugene Mutimura.
Further progress can be achieved through creating linkages and partnerships between higher learning institutions, firms and research communities.
“Scientific research is fundamentally about cooperation across borders. Its global character accelerates the process of discovery and multiplies the benefits. We do not aim to create an autonomous African science that operates in isolation. That would defeat the purpose. We are working to fully connect Africa to the global networks that have been so productive,” the President noted.
A participant asks a question during the Next Einstein Forum in Kigali.
Prof. Neil Turok, the founder of The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) said that it was encouraging that at a time when most parts of the world were dividing in the lines of nationalism and protectionism, African countries were coming together to cooperate, making advancements in science among other fields.
Dr. Eugene Mutimura, the Minister for Education, called for increased cooperation among African countries in supporting emerging African scientists.
“We need to forge partnerships as countries to support and encourage the next African scientists as they are the ones that will lead the upward scientific trajectory of African innovation,” he said.
SOURCE: The New Times Publications.
African scientists will be glad to learn that they have the full backing of the continent’s top leadership.
President Paul Kagame, the Africa Union chair, reiterated his support for science-related initiatives and committed to rallying his African counterparts to boost the sector.
He was speaking on a presidential panel at the ongoing Next Einstein Forum 2018, a global gathering that drew over 1500 scientists, businesspersons and policymakers.
The forum is organised by The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) in collaboration with Robert Bosch Stiftung, a German Foundation.
Kagame said that the African Union, through its Commission for Science and Technology, intends to bring together African countries to advance developments in science and technology.
The advancements in science, the President said, can be used to facilitate Africa’s development agenda.
“Already at the AU Commission, there is a commission responsible for science and technology and we intend to strengthen that, support that and make sure it serves the continent by bringing together African countries around something they can do together to advance development on what science and technology can provide,” Kagame said.
He noted that strengthening science-related disciplines would save the continent from lagging behind during the forthcoming fourth industrial revolution as has been the case previously.
“Education, science, mathematics, technology are very central in our daily lives if we want to make advancements that we have set for ourselves in the next 50 years. There have been revolutions across the globe and Africa has always lagged behind or left out,” the President said.
“This moment we should not miss out. There is no doubt that Africa intends to do the best we can. I will do my best, work with other leaders, to make sure that we seize the moment,” he said.
The idea is to encourage countries to invest state resources and put in place policies that boost science that aims at benefiting citizens.
Among the efforts that the Rwandan government has rolled out in recent years to strengthen scientific advancements include ensuring a conducive business environment as well as building partnerships with international higher learning institutions, among other stakeholders.
Government efforts have seen Rwanda host multiple science centres as well as regional headquarters of institutions such as African Institute of Mathematical Sciences, and Carnegie Mellon University.
“We have encouraged ecosystem partnerships with academic institutions and the private sector to make sure young people’s ideas are encouraged and facilitated,” Kagame said.
“We invest in education and do what we can ourselves and with partners to encourage and incentivize science and avail opportunities for young people,” the President added.
Asked what application he would develop if he were a 20-year-old techie, President Kagame said that he is more focused on fostering the next generation of top-notch developers.
“I find myself here, which makes me think that I shouldn’t be the next Zuckerberg, but rather I should be the one to enable others to become Zuckerbergs,” Kagame responded.
Speaking at the session, Senegal President Macky Sall said that the African continent ought to support scientific advancements by developing skills of the youth.
“Africa cannot be absent from the innovation and science scene, it is able to surpass the old powers in this field,” Sall said.
Thierry Zomahoun, the AIMS President and CEO & Next Einstein Forum founder, emphasised that a lot can be achieved in regards to advancements in science if leaders are committed to supporting the sector.
The 2019 Next Einstein Forum will be hosted by President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya.
SOURCE: The New Times Publications
President Paul Kagame yesterday met his Ugandan counterpart, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, at the State House in Entebbe, Uganda where the two leaders resolved to strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
The President was accompanied onto his one-day official visit to Uganda by, among others, the Foreign Affairs minister Louise Mushikiwabo.
In a meeting that took several hours, the two leaders discussed a number of issues of mutual interest including; railway connections, power supply lines, air transport operations, and security between the two countries and the region.
“I can say with great satisfaction that we were able to agree on a number of important things for the benefit of our countries and region. Better communication, working together more deeply and sharing facts regularly will allow us to take better decisions,” President Kagame said after the meeting.
Kagame added that he also used the meeting to brief President Museveni on the outcomes of the recently concluded African Union summit in Kigali that saw African leaders sign the African Continental Free Trade Area agreement.
“We congratulated and commended Uganda and President Museveni for their participation and their significant contribution in making the summit a success,” Kagame said.
Uganda, which was represented by Foreign Affairs Minister Sam Kutesa at the meeting in Kigali last week, was among the countries that endorsed all the three instruments to ease intra-Africa trade; the CFTA, the Kigali Declaration, and the protocol on free movement of persons.
President Museveni described the meeting as fruitful, and underscoring the immense benefits for Uganda having very close ties with Rwanda.
“Thank you for squeezing in time to come here so that we deal with these very important points. We agreed on all points and how to proceed forward and I wish success to the people of Rwanda and the RPF party,” he said.
While responding to questions from journalists on harassment of Rwandans in Uganda, Museveni said that there is no fundamental conflict between Rwanda and Uganda, adding that there has only been lack of coordination and communication between officials of both countries.
“There is no fundamental problem between Rwanda and Uganda. A number of incidents that are being commented about in the media, many would be properly addressed if only there was better communication,” said President Museveni.
On the topic of private sector engagement, Kagame said that there is no reason why the private sector of both countries should remain inactive – especially on reviving trade between the two countries, and called for more cooperation in increasing trade cooperation.
The Rwanda-Uganda Business Forum, which is supposed to an annual gathering, where business and political leaders of both countries meet to discuss issues of mutual concern was last held in Kigali in 2014.
“I think we have ourselves to blame for not pursuing something like that that is useful. I don’t see why there should be any problem at all. The private sector people themselves need to really re-activate whatever was working and we will provide them with the political support required for that to be expedited,” he said.
In a communiqué, both leaders directed their ministers responsible for Foreign Affairs to convene the next Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) within three months to follow up on areas of cooperation.
At the end of their meeting, Kagame extended an invitation to Museveni for a state visit to Rwanda, which was accepted, according to the communique.
SOURCE: The New Times Publications
The African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement (CFTA ) could enter into effect by the end of this year following signing by 44 countries yesterday at the 10th extraordinary African Union Summit.
Besides the agreement, which could make Africa the world’s largest free trade zone, 43 nations signed the Kigali Declaration, while 27 countries agreed to ease mobility of people across the continent by signing the protocol on movement of people across Africa.
A total of nineteen presidents were present at the signing while other nations delegated top government officials such as Prime Ministers, Vice Presidents and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of their respective countries.
President Paul Kagame signs the three historic instruments at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the Heads of State and Government of the African Union at the Kigali Convention Centre.
President Paul Kagame said that the milestone is proof of what is possible when the African states work together.
“Today’s milestone is an indication of how much is possible when we work together. Let’s use the momentum we have gained to push forward with the Agenda 2063 flagship projects that we have committed ourselves to in the first Ten-Year Implementation Plan,” he said.
He said that the development was not the end but the starting of a new phase which, if successfully implemented around can turn the continent’s fortunes.
President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who spearheaded the CFTA adoption process, was the first leader to sign the agreements in Kigali yesterday.
Following the signatures, African states will have to ratify the agreement in their respective legislatures to put it into effect.
“The task now is to ratify the African Continental Free Trade Area and the Protocol on the Free Movement of Persons, so that they may come into effect as soon as possible,” he said.
When the agreement takes effect, Kagame said, it would have impact on the wellbeing of Africans as well as improve the quality of ties with the rest of the world.
The agreement envisions a continental market of 1.2 billion people, with a combined Gross Domestic Product of more than $3.4 trillion.
Chad President Idriss Déby Itno signs the instruments at Kigali Convention Centre yesterday.
The agreement will also boost the level of intra-Africa trade from the current 14 per cent to over 52 per cent by 2022
President Mahamadou Issoufou of Niger, who has been spearheading the agreement adoption process, said that the deal presents a historic turning point with better days in sight.
“As we launch the African Continental Free Trade Area, our belief is that Africa is stronger when Africans work together; rather than in a divided and isolated way. This is a strategy that we must pursue vigorously,” Issoufou, who was also the first Head of State to sign the agreement, said.
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa represented his country at the signing ceremony at Kigali Convention Centre.
He noted that it would also make the continent an ideal international investment destination as well as serve to strengthen political, economic and commercial commitments with various international partners
The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, urged African leaders to get on with the consequent steps to its implementation, saying citizens and businesses were eager for a stronger continent.
President Kagame delivers his remarks at the 10th Extraordinary Summit of the African Union Heads of State and Government in Kigali on Wednesday.
“Our peoples, our business community and our youth in particular cannot wait any longer to see the lifting of the barriers that divide our continent, hinder its economic takeoff and perpetuate misery, even though Africa is abundantly endowed with wealth,” Mahamat said.
African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat displays the three instruments that were signed by AU leaders in Kigali on Wednesday. (Courtesy photos)
The African private sector seems eager on the agreement’s implementation and has moved to speed up ratification and implementation.
Speaking on behalf of African Business community, Ali Mufuruki, a Tanzanian billionaire and founder of Infotech Investment Group, said that the private sector is pledging $1 million to raise awareness about the agreement and its importance.
SOURCE: The New Times Publications.
The seriousness with which intelligence work is conducted in Uganda seems to have been reduced to cheap rumor mongering, if one is to go by the latest propaganda emanating from Uganda’s military intelligence circles against Rwanda.
Uganda’s CMI has lately turned into a champion of rumour milling—churning out fabricated lies through it proxy blogs trying to smear mud on Rwanda in a desperate attempt to divert attention from their relationship with the terror group, RNC.
A blog that is the mouthpiece of the terror outfit, the so-called Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and their sponsors, the Ugandan Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), has once again carried a bogus report making outrageous accusations against Rwanda.
As part of these allegations by Soft Power, a propaganda blog is a litany of “high profile assassinations” that are apparently being hatched with connivance of the Uganda Police Force and Rwandan security agencies.
The story cites a source from the Ugandan security that the so-called plot for the assassinations was hatched in Kigali during a meeting between a one Herbert Muhangi from the Ugandan police and senior security officials from Rwanda.
Now, if one is to play the devil’s advocate –for the sake of a debate and just assume that such a meeting ever happened. This allegation would constitute a serious intelligence case that in normal circumstances would be handled as top secret intelligence by security organs of any serious Intelligence leadership.
In other words, intelligence of this magnitude (if it were true) is not solved through blogs but rather competent security institutions. It is therefore stooping too low to manufacture such lies and plant them in proxy blogs because it only exposes the sinister intentions behind.
The truth of the matter is, these are diversionary tactics by CMI and their acolytes to divert attention from their open sponsorship of RNC, the terror outfit that continues to enjoy full protection and backing as they hatch subversive activities against Rwanda on Ugandan soil.
Several Rwandans who were abducted and tortured by CMI working with RNC have previously recounted their ordeals during their period in captivity, clearly detailing how much this outfit is deeply embedded into the highest of the Uganda security, mainly CMI.
This website has credible reports on open recruitment that continues to be done openly on Ugandan territory by these fugitives mainly in refugee camps accommodating Rwandans.
One known RNC operative engaged in recruiting for the outfit is Dr. Sam Ruvuma who, in playing to the gallery was briefly detained by Ugandan security, but was released after few days and is now back on his recruitment drive. His co-accused and their 43 recruits intercepted at Kikagati border heading to Minembwe-DRC training camp are still detained pending trial. His main operational base is in Western Uganda.
Others from Western Uganda include Deo Nyirigira and his son, Felix Mwizerwa and Mugisha Charles Sande. Nyirigira operates a Pentecostal church in Mbarara town –Agape Church which is a cover for recruitment of RNC fugitives.
This is on top of the likes of Mukombozi and Kayumba Rugema both CMI staff, who abduct innocent Rwandans suspected of not belonging or sympathetic to rnc on the street of Uganda, during broad day light and openly brag about it on social media.
Uganda’s CMI should therefore come clean on these shenanigans other than trying to divert attention by dragging Rwanda into internal infightings of the Ugandan security services.
The close ties of Sarah Kagingo, who publishes the propaganda website Soft Power, to Lt. Gen. Henry Tumukunde are well known. It would therefore not be surprising that she is using the blog to disenfranchise the Uganda security hierarchy against Police boss Kale Kayihura.
The bad blood between Kayihura and Tumukunde – the Ugandan Minister for Security – needs no introduction for it has even openly played out in the media. To drag Rwanda into this machination is not only a diversionary act but cheap to say the least.
Lastly, one cannot divorce Soft Power from RNC, given the fact that snippets of the same report they talk about, was first published on social media word-for-word by a known RNC operative on social media before being published by Soft Power.
Therefore, time is up for CMI and its leaders to stop this cheap propaganda and only devote their energy to get rid of RNC that is seemingly directing their operations against Rwanda on Ugandan soil.
Virunga Post reproduces a letter addressed to Norwegian Embassy written by a group of Parents whose sons were arrested in December 2017 as they headed for rebel recruitment. The 43 young men were recruited by Rugema Kayumba of RNC facilitated by CMI of Uganda.
Open letter to Norwegian Embassy, Kampala Uganda
Plot 18B, Akii-Bua Road
Email: [email protected]
Greetings and best wishes for 2018. We write this letter on behalf of our three sons who have become victims of terror recruitment that is sponsored by an individual who claims to be a resident of your great country.
Our sons, whose names we prefer not to mention for their safety, were recruited into a terrorist organization by Rugema Kayumba who had befriended them and was often seen around our home in Western Uganda. We came to learn that he was befriending them so that he could take them to join the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), which has been classified as a terror organization due to their activities in Rwanda.
Rugema frequented our neighborhood telling young men that he was going to get them jobs in Iraq as guards. He promised their parents that once they get training for the Iraq job, it would be easier for them to enter Norway as immigrants. He told them that their security skills would guarantee them jobs in Norway. All of them, including our sons, got excited. We too got excited, especially because he said that he too was a beneficiary of a similar scheme that ultimately made him a resident of Norway.
Being desperate, our children heeded these empty lies. Little did we know that Rugema was instead recruiting them for illegal terror/rebel activities . We only learnt later that the training he was referring to was sending our children into the rank and file of Rwanda National Congress (RNC). It was never about the dream of going to Norway that had excited us.
Now our children are in the hands of Uganda Police which intercepted them at Kikagati border as Rugema was taking them to Minembwe in the Democratic Republic of the Congo where we are told the RNC has a rebel camp.
We are worried, Ambassador. Any parent would be worried. We don’t know what to do. We have only thought of engaging you because Rugema would brag about how easy he can change the lives of our children and ours by taking them to Norway.
We don’t know whether the Norway government actually has this program that recruits young men and eventually gives them residence as Rugema promised our kids because we hear he has moved to neighboring towns promising young men the same.
The lives of many young people are at risk and many families will blame the Norwegian government for whatever happens to their children because Norway is being used as the bait to lure young men into terrorism. If this continues some families here will start thinking that the Norwegian government supports terrorism.
For now, please help us get Kayumba Rugema to explain to Uganda Police where he was taking our children so that the police releases them to us.
The Uganda based propaganda website SoftPower this week published a story about an intelligence agent who fled the country fearing for his life.
After fleeing the country Furaha Arinaitwe wrote a letter to president Museveni in which he claimed that he was on the run because Rwandan agents wanted to kill him. Arinaitwe, an intelligence officer attached to CMI, was apparently approached in 2009 to carryout operations on behalf of Rwanda and has been on its payroll ever since that time.
At some point, the Rwandans (apparently president Kagame himself) assigned him to kill President Museveni. Arinaitwe refused this task out of patriotism or what he calls his allegiance to his country’s motto. And this refusals is the reason he is now on the run because he no longer feels safe in Uganda.
The letter is as sensational as can be and only a propaganda or tabloid paper could have published it. It’s no wonder that none of the respected papers in Kampala broke the “scandal.” Instead, they left it upon SoftPower to descend into the gutter and comedy where it holds unrivalled experience within Uganda’s media.
Just a few lines of the SoftPower story and Arinaitwe’s letter points to a perfect paring, if one is to go by the absurdity that veers on derangement.
First of all, the sensationalism in Arinaitwe’s letter shows that it is addressed to the media despite his claim that its intended recipient was the President. If indeed Museveni was the intended audience, then the content betrays Arinaitwe’s claim to being anintelligence “expert.”
Arinaitwe makes a number of ridiculous claims that anyone with basic sense even outside the field of intelligence would find farfetched and difficult to believe. Imagine his claim that President Kagame personally called him and offered him $100.000 to kill President Museveni.
Arinaitwe now claims to be on the run because he refused to execute this assignment. Most importantly, Arinaitwe claims in the letter that he tipped off Museveni about this plot to assassinate him.
Yet, this is the same man who has failed to get an audience with Museveni and resorted to writing him a letter from wherever he is now seeking refuge.
Imagine it were true that Arinaitwe gave Museveni this tipoff. Imagine also that Museveni did the due diligence and indeed found that Arinaitwe was right Kigalli had given him the assassination task.
Would it be likely that Museveni would deny audience to Arinaitwe in the future? What if he was in possession of more life-saving information to pass on to Museveni and here he was refusing him audience?
What this tells us about Arinaitwe is that he is a deranged man who gave Museveni wrong intel in order to win his favour. It also tells us that this is a justification for Softpower and its sponsors (CMI) to justify what they started and have been involved in all this time.
All this can be found in Arinaitwe’s letter. He talks about spying for Rwanda and then claim that the only reason he refused to kill Museveni is because his loyalty to the Motto of serving the country. Yet, the country he refers to is the same country he claims to have spied against for almost ten years.
Only a mad man can claim loyalty and patriotism in such circumstances. Also, only a paper suffocating on propaganda would publish such display of utter madness.
Further down it reads like bad fiction. Arinaitwe makes the preposterous claim that when he refused to assassinate Museveni the mission was given to Kale Kayihura, who accepted it.
It gets more twisted. A plot is thrown in for good measure about how a ‘desperate’ Rwandan leadership was on the line with Arinaitwe trying to get Kale Kayihura’s phone number. What an expert this Arinaitwe is. Yet, we are supposed to believe that this is the man who would be identified as suitable for a task as serious as carrying out an assassination of a president.
The only people all this seems to make perfect sense for are our friends at SoftPower Inc. Of course and Arinaitwe at his hideout in Butabika.
However, here are a few facts we know about the infamous Issa Furaha Arinaitwe;
1. SGT Issa Arinaitwe is a CMI staff who has been operating in Kampala. He is a known conman in Kampala who has been working with organised criminal syndicates involved in fake deals of gold and ivory.
2. The most known cases where he was involved include the case of ivory in 2015, where the incident involved a Chinese national Mr Yuu.
3. The most recent case include the case of a fake gold deal where Issa facilitated a businessman Suleiman Mbuga in defrauding a 70 year old Swedish politician Sten Heinson about 23 billion Ugandan (Shillings. http://matookerepublic.com/2018/01/03/mbugas-wife-accused-of-conning-shs23-billion-from-elderly-swedish-man/)
Viola! That’s your Conman Issa Furaha Arinaitwe, a typical pot-bellied conman masquerading as intelligence operative!
Uganda’s intelligence actions towards Rwanda are increasingly not grounded on facts but rather fabricated lies from fugitives of Rwanda National Congress (RNC) operating in Kampala, observers say.
Recently, Uganda seems to have turned into a safe haven and command centre for RNC renegades keen to benefit from rift between Kigali and Kampala by giving them ground for rebel recruitment on the Ugandan soil.
Indeed reports have already confirmed direct support from Uganda’s top security organs, specifically the Chieftaincy for Military Intelligence (CMI) to RNC in designing anti-Rwanda propaganda and shaping intelligence narrative to create undue tensions between the two countries.
Now RNC propaganda seems to be influencing Uganda’s decisions on free movement of people especially by arresting innocent Rwandans and planting anti-Rwandan stories in the media, according to information from Uganda’s security circles.
“It is increasingly becoming pathetic that we, here in Uganda have tolerated this nonsense to continue because it risks to influence both our diplomatic and security ties with Rwanda,” a top security official told the Standard newspaper from Kampala.
“These RNC operatives have gotten into the ears of some intelligence fellows here with whom they share old historical ties. Since some of them have historical grudges to settle, they are abusing the powers of their offices to serve individual interests,” the seemingly irritated official told this website.
Media reports have pointed out the inner-dealings between CMI and RNC focal points in Kampala led by Rugema Kayumba. Rugema runs anti-Rwanda propaganda freely on different social media platforms attacking the leadership of Kigali without any caution from his hosts in Kampala.
Sensing that the malicious allegations of Rwanda ‘kidnapping’ refugees are not working in their favour, RNC and its sponsors (CMI) have now turned to planting fake stories that Kigali is sponsoring assassins to target the top leadership in Uganda.
“These fellows are taking the joke to another level,” the security source said. “They have actually hijacked CMI and running the show with what pleases them.” The terror group, RNC has been mobilizing recruits in different refugee camps accommodating Rwandans inside Uganda.
In December last year, a group of 45 Rwandan refugees were arrested from Uganda’s Kikagati border post with fake travel documents as they headed for rebel recruitment to Burundi and onwards to Eastern DRC. They are now detained in Uganda.
However, one of key mobiliser of this group from Mbarara District, one Dr. Sam Ruvuma was arrested but later released after intervention from higher authorities in Uganda.
Sources say the release of Ruvuma has created animosity among the detained group who see it as betrayal since Ruvuma was the fellow that mobilized them into the illegal activities.
“It is quite revealing that Dr. Ruvuma who was a mastermind of RNC recruitment in Uganda was set free,” a source quoted one of the detained fellows saying. “He is the fellow who led us into this mess and should be here with us.”
At the time of Ruvuma’s arrest, information obtained by an investigative website showed he was working with some of the detained recruits especially Moses Bijura of Rubare, Ntugamo and Godfrey Musoni from Mukono. Both are now questioning why Ruvuma is free.
Dr. Ruvuma is part of the ring mobilizing for RNC in western Uganda working hand-in-hand with Pastor Deo Nyirigira of Agape Pentecostal church based in Mbarara.
The court case for these detained 45 is yet to kick off. This week, Uganda’s media reported that the case had been postponed due to lack of financial resources.
However, what is strange is that the case file only mentions of terrorism charges and leaves out RNC rebel recruitment with intention of destabilizing a neighbor.?
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa is a controversial name that evokes both success and fraud in equal measure.
If the measure of success is how fat one’s wallet is, then Rujugiro certainly features. However if success is the aggregate sum of an individual’s character, then the aging tycoon scores a flat F. One great writer put it well —that success without honor or character is like an unseasoned dish. It will satisfy your hunger but won’t taste good.
Similarly, another great novelist said it better—“be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character–be careful of your character for your character becomes your destiny.”
No better way of describing the 76-year-old Rujugiro than the above statement. Rujugiro’s habits read fraud from A to Z. These unscrupulous habits have shaped the character of man who thinks money can buy him anything.
His story would pass for a typical Mexican drug cartel –only this time operating from Africa. His mafia-like lifestyle has seen him amass wealth through undercover methods. He is the kingpin of tax evasion, money laundering, smuggling and eliminating any opponent who stands his way in his hunt for an extra dollar.
Rujugiro was born in Rwanda around 1941. Like many Rwandans, he spent most of his adult life as a refugee in Burundi. It is from Bujumbura that Rujugiro cut his teeth in the business world of cigarette smuggling. Before venturing in the shady world of cigarette smuggling; Rujugiro contributed to the bankruptcy of an insurance company he worked for as a clerk through an elaborate scheme of fake vehicle accidents.
It didn’t take long until he became a household name as a front man for the business interests of key military and political figures in the Jean Baptiste Bagaza regime in the 1970s and 80s. In turn they would protect his business via monopoly. The impunity that Rujugiro enjoyed as a result of these relationships led him to wide scale smuggling, money laundering and tax evasion, something he has specialized in till today.
Rujugiro excels at smelling prey. It is a business model that has followed the same pattern since his Bujumbura days. It views accountability deficits as an opportunity for investment, identifying a country for investment whose systems of accountability are non-existent or are decaying.
Alternatively, where there are strong systems of accountability, he seeks out powerful (already corrupt or potentially corruptible) individuals within those systems and integrates them into his business by offering them some equity. In exchange, they help him to evade accountability and gain impunity. This is how Rujugiro has managed to hold different governments at ransom everywhere he has been.
And this is the point of departure with Rwanda or the beef with Kigali. Those who know the system in Rwanda know that it cannot accept to be held at ransom by anyone. Moreover, the political and military elite in Rwanda is cohesive and under control, which made it impossible for Rujugiro’s business model to thrive.
When he was arrested in London following an arrest warrant issued by the South African prosecution office over tax evasion, Rujugiro, in his shallow thinking thought Rwanda would immediately sever diplomatic ties with London for “daring” to lock up Mr. money–bags.
The arrogance of thinking that individual crimes must be a state responsibility, largely informed by his past dealings with rogue states is what led Rujugiro to turn against his motherland. It was a case of a childish argument “you didn’t fight my war, let me fight you now” —which largely explains the megalomaniac character of this fellow.
To embark on his ill-advised revenge scheme, he linked up with disgruntled RDF deserters and fugitives like Kayumba Nyamwasa and the late Patrick Karegeya to form the terror group, Rwanda National Congress (RNC).
In an ill-advised classical case of “money can you buy you everything,” Rujugiro has reached out to his wallet to fund the “revenge” scheme. He has paid lobbyists to tarnish Rwandan image, issued free shares in his companies to buy loyalty from well-established individuals in the region and cashed PR agencies to write and find space for derogatory stories on the leadership in Kigali.
For example, in September last year, Rujugiro paid $440,000 to the Washington Based Podesta Inc., a lobbying firm to buy access to U.S. Congress where his main stooge, David Himbara would testify against Kigali with the aim of throwing mud at Kigali.
After the September hearing in the American Congress, the group also tried to secure a similar hearing in the Canadian parliament but failed after Rwandans in that country mobilized against them.
Parallel to this, Rujugiro has been active in the region. In Bujumbura, he showered the leadership with free gifts of shares in his tobacco and cement business in exchange for a safe haven for his anti-Rwanda activities. He bankrolled Burundi’s ruling party during the controversial elections held two years ago with a cash donation to finance the elections and forty(40) brand new pick-ups for use in the campaigns.
In Kampala, most Ugandans learned about the name Tribert Rujugiro for the first time when a local tabloid revealed that Rujugiro had signed a business venture with President Museveni’s young brother Gen. Saleh Akandwanaho worth millions of dollars. In the agreement Gen. Saleh is given shares in Rujugiro’s Tobacco Company (15%) and in exchange, Saleh agrees to protect Rujugiro’s assets in Uganda and in the region.
It is said, when Rujugiro is in Kampala, he is protected more than the Generals of that country. His sons also enjoy similar security protection. This explains the very reason Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) has become the focal point for RNC recruitment inside Uganda.
In South Africa, a recent book by investigative journalist Jacques Pauw titled “The President’s Keepers: Those Keeping Zuma in power and Out of Prison” sheds light to Rujugiro’s exploits.
Pauw names Rujugiro among a ring of “assassins, arms dealers, and gangsters” who have turned South Africa into one of the “top five countries in the world with the highest incidence of trade in illicit cigarettes,” he reveals that the smuggling is “referred to as ‘the new gold,’ something that places emphasis on the lucrative nature of the trade in which, Pauw underscores, “Profit margins approach 1,000 % in an industry that has grown into one of the largest organized criminal enterprises.”
The consequences of the smuggling are vast. According to the book, “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,” Pauw writes: “The smuggling of tobacco costs government 3bn rand because of tax evasion, money laundering and corruption.”
In a crackdown against smuggling in ‘black gold’ that was giving a bad reputation to South Africa, Rujugiro found himself detained in the UK on a warrant of arrest by the South African Prosecution Services. In 2007 South African Revenue Services (SARS) halted all operations at Rujugiro’s Mastermind tobacco company, in Wilsonia following a $7.4 million fraud case. He faced 25 counts of fraud relating to non-payment of excise duties, 25 charges of illegally exporting goods from the Customs and Excise warehouse, six charges relating to the non-payment of Value Added Tax, and a charge of irregular dealing in goods
In Nigeria, Rujugiro defaulted on the terms of a concession granted by the local authorities under which his company (Leaf Tobacco Company) was to enjoy a 60 per cent waiver in the importation of cigarettes, tools and inputs against the promise to start production locally in three years. Six years down the line, Rujugiro’s company was yet to start manufacturing cigarettes locally but was still handsomely benefiting from the generous terms of the concession.
That is that character of the man behind anti-Rwanda propaganda today. A man drank on ill-gotten wealth and one who thinks he can use his money to evoke regime change. Good enough, such times have changed for Rwanda and changed
Good enough, such times have changed for Rwanda and changed for good and forever.
Maverick RNC coordinator in Uganda’s Capital Kampala, Rugema Kayumba has let the cat-out-of-the-bag by publically admitting he’s a proud associate of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI)
Though the confirmation of his relations with CMI is not necessarily big news, the surprising part is that a national security organ (CMI) can accept a fugitive of a neighboring state to openly confess about their illegal dealings in trying to mount a rebellion.
His work with CMI was largely brought to limelight by Rwandans previously kidnapped in Uganda, who continue to give chilling accounts of how Rugema operates freely framing cases against innocent Rwandans and overseeing the illegal kidnaps.
On his facebook post late Thursday, Rugema who was parroting the same tired propaganda on alleged refugee killings, confirmed that to promote his campaign he “will continue” to work with CMI.
In the post he said “–I will not only work with CMI but will be part of them.”
Their campaign is to fake refugee harassment alleged committed by Kigali as a cover up for their clandestine recruitment drive of young Rwandan youth into RNC rebel ranks.
The propaganda is also a desperate attempt to keep Rwandan refugees as hostages especially after December 31,2017 UN cessation clause ending refugee status for Rwandans.
Though witness accounts have previously confirmed the link between Rugema and CMI, it is surprising that he now openly brags on social media about his ties with a legitimate national security institution.
It is said Rugema carries riffles in his car and occasionally has military escorts attached to CMI.
Rugema, a Corporal who deserted from RDF is married to a Muhima lady called Peace Rugema, a trader in Kampala. He works closely with one, Corporal AbdulKarim Mulindwa a.k.a Mukombozi a CMI operative (RA 189654) who reports directly to Chief of CMI.
Softpower.com, a Ugandan based online publication has transitioned itself into the new channel for anti-Rwanda propaganda and a mouthpiece for covering-up the ‘love affair’ between CMI and RNC.
The online publication is now key medium for deceit and diversionary of facts surrounding the open and well-documented close collaboration between the terrorist rebel outfit, RNC and Uganda’s security organs specifically, Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
For example, when Uganda Police arrested the group of 43 young Rwandan RNC recruits, Softpower was the messenger spinning the story to portray the recruits as “innocent Missionaries” headed for evangelical work in Burundi. It deliberately did not question why the young Rwandan men were carrying false Uganda travel documents.
But probably before we dwell into the link betweensoftpower.com and its new assignment of churning out anti-Rwanda propaganda, we need to remind of our audience of the following facts that are backed with evidence.
It is a fact that RNC agents operate freely in Uganda and that some of these fellows are armed with escorts and carry out their treacherous activities against Rwanda under the full cover of CMI.
It is a fact that 43 young Rwandan refugees were mobilized from different refugee camps inside Uganda by both CMI and RNC to join rebel ranks. Fortunately, the group was arrested at Kikagati border by Uganda Police enroute for rebel training in DRC via Burundi. As we speak CMI is mounting pressure on different judicial organs in Uganda to have them released for fear of incriminating evidence that will be produced in the courts of law once they appear.
It is a fact that CMI together with RNC have designed an anti-Rwanda campaign propaganda—one that seeks to portray Kigali as government bent on tormenting its refugees and hence indirectly justify the undercover recruitment for RNC taking into refugee camps.
Gen. Henry Tumukunde together with Sarah Kagingo of Softpower.
Linked to the above strategy, is a move to baptize any innocent Rwandan not interested in RNC terror agenda as a “Rwandan spy” or a “hit-man,” so that many more are intimidated but also justify the illegal kidnap of innocent Rwandans that have nothing to do with Kigali.
This is precisely why RNC agents like Rugema Kayumba have no other song to sing other than parroting this CMI sponsored false narrative on refugees.
And this is where Softpower.com comes in. This platform has been chorusing the same false narrative on refugees —to the extent that one would think the editing work has been left to RNC agents. The conspiracy is evident and could be traced to the link behind the owner of Sofpower.com and some security personnel that evidently have a soft spot for RNC.
The owner, Sarah Kagingo is a former press aid to President Museveni. Eversince she left State House, she has been working directly with President Museveni young brother Gen. Saleh and Uganda’s Security Minister Henry Tumukunde
The photos you see below demonstrate the closeness between Ms. Kagingo and Gen. Tumukunde.
Not surprising, this website has been up in arms denying the business interests between Gen. Saleh and RNC’s chief financier, Rujugiro Ayabatwa which was exposed in a legitimate document of shareholders’ agreement that can easily be accessed from Uganda’s Registry of Companies.
Not surprising too, this partly explains why the online publication has been at the forefront of hitting Uganda Police given the publically known sharp differences between Uganda’s Police Chief and Gen. Tumukunde.
So, for Softpower.com, its more about the highest bidder than real facts.
Five of the seven Rwandans who were recently kidnapped by Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) were yesterday dumped at the Gatuna border after two weeks of torture while incommunicado in CMI cells.
Hubert Munyangaju Umugwaneza, Fred Turatsinze, Vanessa Gasaro, Jessica Muhongerwa and Dinah Kamikazi (all businessmen and women) were separately picked up from their business premises in Uganda at gunpoint.
The victims narrated the abuse to members of the media who attended the press conference in Kigali immediately after they were picked up from the Gatuna border post.
“On the night of December 16, I was at my aunt’s pub that I manage in Mbarara,” Ms. Muhongerwa, 29 , recalled the horror. “A man and a woman came in and started pushing tables around. This seemingly provocative act drew my attention. I moved closer to ask what was going on and immediately another uniformed soldier also entered. They put me at gunpoint, confiscated my phone and pushed me in their car along with another employee. They immediately used our jackets to blindfold us in a very ruthless and painful manner.”
The captors drove around Mbarara picking up people and piling them in the car. They were taken to different cells and kept there. “They started to question me on the fourth day,” she told the press.
“No single day did I see the sun, I was blindfolded all throughout until this (yesterday) morning.”
Hubert Munyangaju Umugwaneza speaks to the media upon arrival in Kigali.
They repeatedly asked her if she knows or is related to anyone in the Rwandan army and whether she communicate with them. She said she did know anyone in the army, at least not anyone she is in touch with. But they insisted that she was not telling the truth, “they would assault me and threaten more violence if I didn’t admit to knowing the soldiers,” she remembers, a situation that she described as intense.
Dinah “Aunt” Kamikazi was questioned about knowing Rwandan government officials. She was stripped naked and psychologically tortured with electrocution. She told this to members of the press:
“One of the nights, I was moved to a room that was filled with water on the floor; they stripped me naked and make me sit down. I was told to confess that I have connection with officials in Rwanda and that if I don’t, they were to place a live electric wire in the water and electrocute me to death. I begged for my life and told them the truth that I don’t have any connections with officials in Rwanda, luckily they did take my life but they were on the verge of doing so.”
Umugwaneza was picked up in Kampala by eight armed men in civilian clothes who placed him on gun point and threatened to shoot him should he sound the alarm.
“They rounded me up and forced me into a waiting car. They removed my shirt and used it to blindfold me and I remained blindfolded the whole night,” Umugwaneza said.
Umugwaneza was held in a dark, underground, cell at CMI headquarters at Mbuya Military Barracks. He was severely assaulted by officers who kept demanding that he confesses to having been “involved” but without telling him what exactly they wanted him to admit to have been involved in.
“At one point the pain was so unbearable that I decided to buy some time by speaking French,” he told the journalists present. “That’s the moment they hit me with something very heavy on my chest and I fell down.”
Deportees speak to the media.
It was not until later on that day they told him what his being “involved” was about. It was about Joel Mutabazi, “I totally had no clue about it. I kept telling them this but they were never prepared to believed me. So they continued to torture me. All this went on while I was blindfolded,” he told a press corps.
Turatsinze was arrested from his Dairy business in Mbarara and also detained at Mbuya Military Barracks. While there he found another Businessman of Rwandan origin called Johnson Nunu, who was recently kidnapped from Ntungamo also by CMI.
After the blindfolds were removed at night when they were using the toilet. Nuunu had introduced himself to Turatsinze and told him that he also didn’t know why he had been detained. “When the guards heard us speaking, they immediately separated us and moved us to different cells,” said Turatsinze.
All of them were questioned about being Rwandan soldiers, knowing them, or being spy agents and were tortured until they would confess. Also all of them were held incommunicado, denied family and consular visits, as well as access to legal services until the wee hours of December 29 (after 2 weeks of detention) when CMI moved them to Kireka police station where they were told that police would release them on bond.
The following day they were loaded into a vehicle heading to Gatuna where they were dumped for collection.
Just recently another Rwandan, Fidele Gatsinzi, was brutally tortured and dumped at the border. These five Rwandans who are back have also suffered the same fate. Now they must start afresh because they have had to abandon their property including businesses in Uganda and are now pleading with the Rwandan government to intervene on their behalf.
In the meantime more remain languishing incommunicado and torture at the hands of CMI whose aim is to cover-up Uganda’s active involvement in recruiting Rwanda National Congress (RNC) recruits to destabilize Rwanda.
Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Militarily Intelligence (CMI) recently succumbed to pressure regarding Fidel Gatsinzi, an innocent Rwandan who it has been holding illegally, and dumped him on the Gatuna border post.
Gatsinzi had been subjected to all sorts of torture and appeared crippled. He had spend weeks in brutal conditions but survived to narrate his escape from the jaws of death.
He recalled how he was picked up by Rwanda National Congress (RNC) operatives in the compounds of Capital Shoppers shopping mall that is frequented by hundreds of people and is located adjacent to a police station and a car washing bay. The operatives who included one Mukombozi took him to Rugema Kayumba, the cordinator of RNC operations in Uganda)l, who was seated in his wife’s car, a grey Toyota Harrier, at a close distance. Gatsinzi was bundled into the car and immediately Rugema confiscated his phone, drove him to Kireka at one of CMI’s torture cells.
He was questioned by RNC and CMI agents. After hours of questioning they blindfolded him and drove him to Mbuya military barracks. At Mbuya he found others under gross abuse that he immediately sensed what they were about to do to him.
“I was undressed and chained on the stairway. Next to me was some old man who was also handcuffed on the bar by the stairway. He was in poor health to the extent that at first I thought he was dead.”
Gatsinzi came to know exactly what they had done to that man because the same fate befell him that night, “I was tortured the whole night. The pain was unbearable By morning my whole body was swollen. I was in deep pain and in the same condition as the man who was next to me,” Gatsinzi said.
Gatsinzi asked for painkillers. They laughed at him and launched insults at him, “ I never dared again to ask for painkillers or even to think about them.”
The torture intensified. They brought his phone and started to ask him about the people in his contacts list. “They would read a name from the phone and ask me how I know the person. They would shout the name as they kicked and beat me.”
They would do this till he was swollen all over and they couldn’t find a fresh part of the body to beat. They would take a short break and change tactics.
After exhausting physical torture they would turn to psychological torture.
Some of the psychological torture involved preparing him for death. They would drag his beat-up body out of the cell and take him to a secret location in the middle of the night. “One night they held a knife on my throat. Another night they did something similar.”
“Everyone must confess”:
He thought things could not get any worse but they did. This was after he was moved to Mbarara in another CMI torture chamber:
“It’s literally a slaughter house. No one gets out alive. And if they do so, they can never be the same. Inside Mbarara cells, if a prisoner doesn’t drop to the ground fast enough, a guard kicks him or stomps on his back. There’s a high-pitched scream from prisoners who are crying helplessly in pain night and day. They are bleeding, with broken bones.” Gatsinzi recalls the horror.
“Men crawl across the floor of the cellblock moving from one place to another looking for hideouts which are not there; they cry for help while the guards stand over them shouting, kicking them,” narrates Gatsinzi.
They are forced to confess everything even things they know nothing about just so that the beating stops even for a short while. “What they want is a confession that they must get out of you at any cost. Every single person there confessed just to stop the pain.”
This is the barbarism that Gatsinzi somehow managed to survive. But this was an innocent man who was in Kampala to visit his son at school. Even worse, the inhumane conditions of torture are carried out by operatives of a government entity (CMI) working with another without any form of accountability (RNC). To imagine that it can happen to any Rwandan in Uganda makes it really terrifying.
L-R: Butera Knowless and Cecile Kayirebwa.
As the festive season closes in, it is increasingly becoming clear that Kigali’s entertainment scene is growing bigger and better by the day as a number of social events have been lined up to help Rwandans to end 2017 and begin the new year in style.
By far, this festive season has the biggest number of events compared to previous years.
Different hangout places around Kigali have organised New Year countdown parties, while several music concerts are scheduled.
The New Times has picked out a number of event, which you should consider adding to your calendar if you want to enjoy the festive season. Below are some, take your pick.
Rwanda Konnect Gala
When: December 22.
Where: PSF Gikondo Expo Ground
Artistes: Legends Cecile Kayirebwa, Kidum and Inganzo Ngari Troupe
Entrance fee: Rwf10, 000, Rwf20, 000 (VIP) and Rwf200, 000 (a table for 8).
This is one event you don’t want to miss. It is not very often that you have two legends gracing one stage at the same time. Both Kayirebwa and Kidum are adored in equal measure and to complete the night, celebrated traditional dance troupe Inganzo Ngari will be part of the event.
According to Jacques Kagabo, the organiser, the quality of music will be top notch. Be there.
Holiday Cheer show
When: December 23
Where: Kigali Convention Centre
Artistes: Knowless Butera and Bruce Melodie
Entrance fee: Rwf200,000 (table of 8 with drinks), Rwf15,000 (VIP), and Rwf10,000 (regular).
This event, organised by Kina Music and different sponsors, will bring together two of Rwanda’s finest musicians Bruce Melodie and Knowless Butera in a concert that will surely set the Christmas mood for those in the house.
Clement Ishimwe, the chief executive of Kina Music, says the evening will be characterised by quality music and a classy setting.
Bruno Mpundu “Yesu uri Uwera” album launch
When: December 25
Where: New Life Bible Church, Kicukiro
Entrance fee: VIP Rwf5,000 (comes with a CD) and Regular Rwf2,000 Artistes: Bruno Mpundu, a member of Alarm Ministries, will launch his solo album Yesu Uri Uwera and it will feature Pastor Faustin Munishi from Kenya, Alarm Ministries, True Promises, Bosco Nshuti and Ben & Chance among others. Surely a Christmas date for gospel music lovers!
Riderman’s Uburyohe concert, ‘Filime’ Mixtape launch
When: December 25 (Xmas)
Where: Petit Stade, Remera
Entrance fee: Rwf2,000 regular, Rwf5,000 VIP
Artistes: Rapper Emery Gatsinzi, a.k.a Riderman, will unveil his latest album in a concert dubbed Uburyohe on Christmas day as well as his mixtape ‘Filime’. Present to support him will be King James, Active, Queen Cha, Jay C, Fireman, Marina, Khalifan and many others.
Diplomatic Private Party
When: December 30
Where: Kigali Convention Centre (KCC)
Objective: Entertainment that promotes Made-in-Rwanda products.
Artistes: Arthur Nkusi and Hope Irakoze. Comedian and Radio presenter Arthur Nkusi will join forces with the former Tusker Project Fame winner to entertain former street vendors and unemployed people who have since become entrepreneurs.
New Year Countdown Concert
When: December 31
Where: Kigali Convention Centre
Entrance fee: Regular Rwf30,000, VIP Rwf50,000
Artistes: Nigerian Afro-pop songbird Yemi Alade and Kenyan Afro-pop band Sauti Sol will headline the New Year Countdown Concert on December 31. Also, Impala Orchestra will be on hand to deliver mesmerising oldies. Those in attendance will be able to usher in the New Year with the ‘Africa’ singers and enjoy a spectacle of fireworks lighting up the Kigali skies.
New Year’s East African Party
When: January 1.
Where: Amahoro National Stadium Parking Lot
Entrance fee: Regular Rwf5,000, VIP Rwf10,000
Artistes: Ali Kiba, Sheebah, Yvan Buravan, Bruce Melodie, Riderman & Tough Gang crew. Tanzanian star Ali Kiba will be joined by dancehall queen Sheebah and Rwanda’s finest artistes in the 10th edition of The East African Party organised by East African Promoters (EAP).
SOURCE: The New Times – Rwanda
On Monday 4 December the website, Soft Power, owned by a lady close to Uganda’s First office published a story titled “Investigation: Rwanda propaganda against Uganda diversionary from police aided illegal repatriation.” Ironically, though the story denounced what it described as “Rwanda’s propaganda,” its content was a mouthful of manufactured lies intended to divert readers from the real truth.
On the whole, the writer went into great pains to show that Uganda is the innocent neighbor that is provoked by an “ungrateful” neighbour, Rwanda. Interestingly, the bitterness that goes as far as reminding Rwanda of the good things Uganda has done for it betrays this cause and, instead, reveals Kampala’s animus state of mind vis-à-vis its neighbour. The central theme of the writer of this intelligence backed propaganda is that Rwanda is running a “secret network within the Uganda Police Force to allegedly repatriate Rwandan fugitives” at the orders of the chief of Uganda Police, IGP Kale Kayihura. It was a piece meant to suck Rwanda into the machinations and intrigues currently running within Uganda’s security organs. But if the writer had done a little homework, he or she would have quickly dispelled the myth of the existence of a secret network. What exists is part of Police diplomacy practiced then world over: bilateral institutional relations. Specifically, the Rwanda-Uganda police relationship is specified in the agreement called, “Combating Terrorism, Drug-Trafficking, Cross Border, Organized and Translational Crimes.” This is the instrument that has been used to repatriate dozens of lawbreakers between the two countries including the much-hyped cases of Joel Mutabazi, on the Rwandan side and Namuyimbwa Shanita aka “Bad Black” on the Ugandan side. There are another 36 people who have been repatriated in a similar manner as Mutabazi and Bad Black. Among these Uganda has asked for and received 26 fugitives compared to 10 that have been repatriated to Rwanda. Moreover, thanks to this framework, a good number of Ugandan and Rwandan girls have been intercepted from traffickers mostly enroute to Asia. Therefore the relation between Uganda and Rwanda Police is purely institutional under a framework that serves interests of the people of both countries. Its not a bedroom agreement between two individuals, as the propaganda article wants to portray it. It gets even more preposterous as the so-called “investigation” turns to Ismael Baguma, a Rwanda’s police attaché to Uganda, who, according to the infamous article, “acts as the conduit” in the kidnappings and is “always in Gen Kayihura’s office.”
Consider this quote from the article: “We have more terrorist threats in Somalia and Kenya than Rwanda but those countries don’t have police attaches deployed in their embassies in Uganda. Why does Rwanda deploy a police attaché to Uganda? What terror threat does Uganda pose to Rwanda to warrant the deployment of Ismael Baguma apart from kidnap of refugees?” Here the authors expose their naivety by deliberately sidestepping facts for the purpose of serving the ultimate intention of driving a negative agenda. When the writer limits matters of law enforcement to “terrorism” the reader is left to wonder about his or her grasp of security matters. A quick google search would have revealed that Uganda has a police attache in Kigali by the names of Assistant Commissioner of Police, Patrick Lawot and that he is more senior in rank than Ismael Baguma who is a Chief Superintendent. Even more, the google search would have led the writer to pictures of Mr. Lawot receiving some items intercepted by the Rwanda Police including moto vehicles (cars and motocycles), laptops, phones, cash in the hundreds of millions, even stolen cows from across the border! – all part of the cooperation framework that the “investigation” missed. But more still, it is standard practice that bilateral arrangements are reciprocated. For instance, Uganda has police attaches deployed in South Sudan (CP Sakiira Moses), Algeria (ACP Baroza), Tanzania, and the DRC (Habyara Fortunate, the former head of PSU). Similarly, police liason officers from Burundi, Italy and other countries are deployed in Kampala. It is, therefore evident, that much as the propaganda in the infamous article was aimed at attacking the name of Kayihura, it was also aimed at undermining and throwing mud at an important existing arrangement that has helped to reduce cross-border crimes in the two countries.
A not so good neighbour Since the writer wished to laud Uganda’s good neighborliness, it has to be fair to take a closer look at that claim. Naturally, a good neighbor cannot, at the same, be the custodian of your enemies. But when one looks at the dealings between Uganda’s security organs and Rwanda’s fugitive army deserters, then one is left questioning the genuineness of this “good neighbor.” Tribert Ayabatwa Rujugiro, once jailed in South Africa and United Kingdom for tax evasion, has gone on record vowing to “bring down” the Kigali administration. It is common knowledge that he’s the chief financier of the terrorist group, Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terror organization that is responsible for blasting grenades in Kigali, injuring and killing innocent women and children. Rujugiro has business partnerships with senior government officials, including the President’s brother, Salim Saleh; he also enjoys diplomatic/VIP treatment while in Uganda. At the White Castle Hotel, in Arua, onlookers are left astonished at the amount of security detail his son, Richard Rujungiro and cousin Claude Ndatinya, enjoy whenever they go to visit their tobacco business in this town.
Fugitives and rebel recruiters such as Rugema Kayumba, Maj.Habib and Capt Sibo have found sanctuary in Kampala; they work closely with Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Militarily Intelligence (CMI) when recruiting rebels and spreading fabricated propaganda on Rwanda. Is this how a genuine good neighbor behaves? Enter Fake petitions Just last week the Banyarwanda community in Uganda apparently took a petition to parliament denouncing what they called “Rwanda’s harassment” of refugees living there who are in ‘fear of being kidnapped and forcefully repatriated. The petition flopped because it was based on empty lies. But what surprised everyone is that the Uganda Police spokesman confessed that the “refugees were unable to petition parliament due to the absence of Security Minister Lt. Gen Henry Tumukunde,” according to media reports. “Their coming to parliament is awaiting Tumukunde’s return,” said the spokesperson of the police. Again, anyone with knowledge of the workings of parliament knows that parliament is petitioned through the Speaker and not a minister. In his capacity as Minister, Gen. Tumukunde, shouldn’t be anywhere near that petition, at least not until the Speaker receives the petition, forwards it to the subcommittee on security, then the committee, depending on its findings, summons the minister if necessary. Therefore, to delay the petition until “Tumukunde’s return” to parliament is to enjoin him as a party to the petition in some capacity.
Investment between Tribert Rujugiro and Salim Saleh The author alleges that a recent document exposing a business partnership between Saleh and Rujugiro is “falsified.” Indeed, Ligomarch Advocates, Rujugiro’s lawyers, did respond denying that such an agreement between Saleh and Rujugiro exits. But what were they expected to say. The fact is that a purchase agreement between these two individuals exists and is available in Uganda’s registry of companies for anyone interested to verify. As a matter of fact, if further details on this business marriage are needed, we will readily avail them. If the author of the article had done an “investigation” as claimed, he or she at the very least would have told the readers, for purposes of full disclosure, that Rujugiro and Ruth Sebatindira’s family have deep ties that go way back to the time in Burundi when Rujugiro was in Mpimba prison in Burundi. Sebatindira’s father, Mathew Karegesa aka Mutini, a Munyarwanda who served in Iddi Amin’s army but fled to Burundi after Amin’s fall, is the one who helped Rujugiro escape from prison in Bujumbura. As a reward for this rescue, Rujugiro took custody of Karegesa’s children when he (Mitini) died. He paid school fees for Ruth right from secondary school through her masters in the UK. It, therefore, not surprising that Ruth is the managing secretary of Rujugiro’s tobacco business in Uganda, in which Saleh owns 15% shareholding. Rwandan blood liberated Uganda The writer stoops lowest when he says Rwandan leadership is ungrateful to Uganda. The author ostensibly quotes a source thus, “We were shocked to learn that General Kabareebe, under the instructions of his boss, was spreading harmful propaganda against President Museveni. Has Kabareebe forgotten where he came from? Or does he think that Rwandese can easily forget who supported their struggle to return to their motherland when the rest of the world looked on?” Herein lies the crux of the matter. The writer would have contributed much to forging good neighborliness had he/she spend much of his time on this subject. Rwandans are aware that they spent 30 years in Uganda as refugees. This is a fact that will place the hospitality of Ugandans in the annals of history. It is the attitude that is carried by those in power, and their propaganda machines, that undermines this relationship.
Uganda and Rwanda have undertaken liberation struggles. As a matter of fact, Rwandans spilled blood while helping to liberate Uganda and played an integral role in bringing the current leadership to power. And so, the attitude that some Ugandans in power continue to harbour that seeks to perpetually treat Rwandans as subordinates who should remain under tutelage because the former had some role to play in the latter’s struggle is the gist of the problem. As a result, the point the writer wants to draw is that Rwandans are ungrateful on the basis that they have refused perpetual tutelage. This has always been the problem. Some leaders in Uganda have failed to understand that Rwanda is a sovereign state with a sovereign government and not an extension of Uganda. Therefore, to question “has Kabareebe forgotten where he came from” is provocative because it may lead to a similar question: “Has NRM forgotten who fought and brought it to power?”
Jimmy Opis is a Kenya based commentator with keen interest in regional political affairs.
Source: STANDARD MEDIA – KENYA