Five Rwandans who were wrongfully arrested and detained incommunicado by Ugandan security agencies say they were tortured and mistreated before they were deported back to Rwanda.
Rwanda on Sunday, March 7, at around 8pm received the five individuals who were dumped by the Ugandan Immigration Service at the Kagitumba One-Stop Border Post, in Nyagatare district.
The five people, who were all arrested at different times, were accused of being spies for the Rwandan government and were subjected to torture, extortion and mistreatment at the hands of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).
The deported include Michel Matabaro, 58, Tresor Hirwa, 30, David Rukundo, 25, Patrick Rugema, 22 and Muhamad Ndaheranwa, 25.
Matabaro, a son of John Uwimana and Elizabeth Mukaruzajye, was a resident of Kayonza before he went to Uganda in 2016, through a porous border, heading to Kyenkwanzi district in central Uganda for casual work.
He was arrested on 24 January 21 and detained in CMI facilities and stood accused of being a member of the Association of Pentecostal Churches of Rwanda (ADEPR).
Hirwa is the son of Jean Bosco Habimana and Claudine Uwamariya and was a resident of Gasabo district. He went to Uganda in 2017 through Cyanika border to Kampala where he used to regularly go for business. Hirwa was in the business of selling clothes and shoes.
He was arrested on September 22, 2020 by CMI agents on suspicion of being in Uganda illegally, while Rukundo was a resident of Nyagatare district.
He went to Kenya through Uganda in January in 2020 using ungazetted border exits. He was arrested on January 19, 21 in Busia when he was trying to go back to Uganda.
Uganda security organs which arrested him asked him for money in order to be released and when he refused, they detained him for five days and later transferred him to CMI Mbuya. He was accused of being a spy and crossing into Uganda illegally.
On the other hand, Rugema, a son of Raphael Mucanga Ngando and Dorothy Zaninka was a resident of Muhanga District. He went to Kenya in December 2019 through Tanzania. He was going to visit his brother, identified as Heritier Nyungurangando.
He was however arrested in Uganda in September 2020, in Busia. He was accused of espionage before being detained for five days and released to go home only for him to be re-arrested.
Upon being re-arrested, he was taken to Mbarara barracks (Makenke) and was later transferred to CMI on the same charges of espionage.
Mudaheranwa, a son of Turatsinze Gahwamire a resident of Masisi (DRC) and Muhungwangeyo Mwajuma of Nyakivare, went to Uganda in 2018 from DRC using Bunagana border post as bus conductor.
He was arrested on 23 September 2020 in Kampala and was detained at Mbuya CMI facility on accusations of being a spy.
The five are the latest to be deported by Ugandan authorities, following another group of six people deported on February 3, who exhibited signs of torture. They included a woman who could not move on her own and required a wheelchair. She had also been separated from her child.
Rwanda maintains that Ugandan security agencies continue to wrongfully arrest and persecute Rwandans in Uganda, basing on unfounded accusations of espionage.
The five individuals deported on Sunday indicated that they were deprived of their possessions, including money. All the deportees tested negative of Covid-19 upon arrival at Kagitumba border.