Charlotte Mukankusi (left) was received by President Museveni on 1 March 2019
President Museveni often feigns ignorance over his support for the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and tries to give the impression he is being misled by his security officials.
Evidence that continues to pile up, shows beyond a shadow of doubt, however, that President Museveni is in fact the driving force behind the terrorist organisation that seeks to destabilise Rwanda, using Uganda’s support.
On 1 March 2019, the RNC’s head of diplomacy, Ms Charlotte Mukankusi, was in Kampala where she met with President Yoweri Museveni. Ms. Mukankusi was Kayumba Nyamwasa’s deputy when the RNC head was Rwanda’s top diplomat to India.
It is yet another piece of evidence, among many, proving that Museveni’s government facilitates the travel of individuals and groups bent on destabilising his southern neighbour. But it’s not just his government; Museveni is personally involved: He held two face to face meetings with Mukankusi – who was in Uganda for almost an entire week from 1-6 March, after which she departed.
The aim of the meeting was to reinforce mutual commitment to a shared cause, despite challenging times. A credible source revealed that the RNC official underscored to Museveni his significance to their cause in general and asked for specific support such as leveraging Uganda’s diplomatic relations at the United Nations in New York to discredit and quash the UN Report of Experts, published on 31 December 2018, confirming links between the Museveni government and the RNC, including facilitating recruits from different parts of Uganda for training at the RNC centre in Minembwe, DRC.
Museveni promised the best he can offer, “We are together,” he replied reassuringly in a way that confirmed that the RNC not only drives Uganda’s relations with Rwanda but it is also capable of leveraging Uganda’s diplomatic engagements anywhere in defense of its (RNC) interests.
According to a close confidant of hers, Mukankusi was in top form. Her presentation reportedly impressed Museveni, especially on the emerging RNC structures, plans, and a force in South Kivu, DRC, which made Museveni very happy and promised continued support, according to the source.
Museveni, in turn, encouraged her to ‘continue the recruitment,’ underlining, however, that it was important to drive a wedge within the Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).
The source indicated how Museveni noted that his own efforts to divide the RDF had in the early 2000s managed to get Major Alphonse Furuma, and many others including Patrick Karegeya and Kayumba Nyamwasa, to flee from Rwanda.
He wasn’t only boasting, however. Museveni promised that more support would come the moment the rebels start operations that target Rwanda’s government, military, and security infrastructure, something that has rejuvenated and boosted the morale of the RNC dissidents. Indeed, only those who aren’t aware of how Museveni started his rebellion that brought him to power would take this offer lightly.
Speaking of driving wedges, Museveni ought to heed his own advice in this regard. For instance, has he taken a moment to consider that the RNC envoy has paid him a visit to do exactly that: to expand wider the wedge between himself and his Rwandan counterpart?
At any rate, it appears that Museveni is faced with some choices to make. First, he can continue to turn reality on its head by treating information provided to him by a terrorist organisation as credible, all the while outrightly dismissing as lies the truth that’s coming from the authorities in Kigali. They tell him what they know he wants to hear precisely because they understand that he needs something to justify their shared scheme to destabilize Rwanda.
For instance, they know Museveni needs scapegoats to divert blame on whenever he instructs his security to neutralize those he perceives to be his opponents. So when the RNC tells him its Rwanda doing the killing he is a willing participant in a lie he knows well not to be true, such as was the case with the arrest of Rene Rutagungira who has languished in CMI detention centers without charges because he is an innocent man with no case to answer.
RNC also tells Museveni that it has many soldiers, which commits him to all kinds of operations such as the promise to destroy infrastructure in Rwandan that’s noted above. Moreover, it leads him to enter into alliances with unrepentant killers like the FDLR, whose publicity declared aim is to complete the genocide – “unfinished business.” In this alliance Museveni even went out of his way to appoint a Hutu extremist, Phelomene Mateke, as Minister of State for regional affairs to act as his go-between with the genocidal force from its base in the DRC.
Secondly, Museveni can continue to act on this false information by victimising innocent Rwandans in Uganda – most of whom are actually pinpointed by the very RNC operatives with whom he has established comradeship.
But choices have consequences, too. Indeed, a reality that is inescapable to everyone – including Charlotte Mukankusi- is that those who betray their country by creating armed terrorist groups to disrupt the lives of innocent people often end up paying heavily for this decision precisely because no single country anywhere in the world can tolerate such provocations.
Similarly, it is standard practice across the globe that those who support terrorism always end up discovering that in so doing they made a big mistake. It’s what history says. Anyone with a sense of history would know.
Museveni also has a third choice. He could consider the genuine truth that’s coming from the authorities in Kigali, whose only wish is to restore friendly relations. This is in the interest of mutual stability. This choice demands that Museveni’s government work with its counterparts in Kigali, which, thankfully, has repeatedly indicated its desire for peaceful relations between the two countries.
The role that President Museveni is playing to destabilize the region is increasingly becoming public knowledge to ordinary Ugandans, East Africans, and people across the world. He has committed his country to be a base for the RNC’s operations against their southern neighbour, Rwanda.
For Mukankusi, she can confidently say that her visit to Museveni in Kampala was mission accomplished. Indeed, if she had had any prior reservation, it was taken care of by Museveni’s reassurance at the conclusion of their meeting, “We are together!”