For anyone that has seen the social media posts of one John Simbaburanga, this man likes to boast that he is an “opposition activist”, and that he is based in South Africa. However this news website can disclose that Simbaburanga – whose Twitter feed and utterances on some online hate radios are full of negativist propaganda that fit into the political agenda to sow instability in Rwanda – in fact lives in a refugee camp in Belgium.
According to a Diaspora source that chanced upon this information, Simbaburanga lives in a tent in a disused military camp in the Arendonk municipality of Antwerp, and he stays there with his older brother Didier. “In the camp they live in a tent of the kind where four people are allocated to each tent. Those men that are either single or that don’t live with their families are allocated to tents, each with a metallic bed and a small cupboard like in a secondary school,” our source said.
Simbaburanga has spent four years in that camp because, though he went claiming that he was “fleeing insecurity in Rwanda” the authorities have declined to grant him asylum.
Anyone that reads his social media posts or listens to him on hate radios such as “Radiyo Urumuri” can easily be misled that the man is well off in South Africa, as he disseminates his anti-Rwanda messages. Yet, as he tweets and retweets, or parrots genocidaire-promoted hate misinformation, or RNC propaganda, or pro-Rusesabagina falsehoods and the like, the man is busy making a living with menial jobs. He cleans toilets, mows grass, loads heavy luggage, and other work that Rwandans typically call “gukora fuckin jobs.”
Our source disclosed that much as Simbaburanga often says that, “he is working for change in Rwanda”, or that “Rwanda is not safe for those that oppose ruling party,” the Belgian authorities have never been convinced by his claims. “During his last interview for asylum an official told him ‘but how can you say Rwanda is not safe yet it has been proved to be so; when in fact some of us would even like to go live there!”.
That officer obviously had done his homework and realized that Rwanda was safe not only in terms of security, but also that those that say anything on their social media – including YouTube radio owners in Kigali who broadcast exactly the same things as Simbaburanga, are very free to go about their daily lives. Simbaburanga failed to offer a convincing explanation, and his request was once again refused.
Our source told us that every time his asylum request is rejected “Simbaburanga goes and tweets even more outrageous lies about Rwanda,” laughed our Diaspora source. “It is as if he wants to relieve his shame.”
In the Arendonk camp, Simbaburanga also is known as “ikimashini” by some fellow Rwandan refugees. The reason is that even Belgian employers looking to hire for heavy casual labor know him. “When they are looking for people to manhandle heavy pallets of goods, or push boxes, or other hard labor at the nearby port of Antwerp, Simbaburanga is one of the first people they look for. He is a real ‘Kimashini’, our source laughed.
But any new person to the camp is also advised to steer clear of Simbaburanga. “He can easily go through your wallet and take all the money!”
This type of criminal behavior isn’t new with Simbaburanga, and it in fact was what led to his problems, causing his dismissal with disgrace from the police of Rwanda after which he went to self-imposed exile.
Simbaburanga’s Twitter avatar shows him in a police uniform accompanied a bio that says he is a former inspector of police. But he has shameful record. As an officer in police he embezzled funds meant for policemen on duty, RCA – Ration Cash Allowance. Through this theft he accumulated an amount that used to build a house at Kamonyi.
But Simbaburanga’s greed became too much, leading to his quickly getting busted.
According to judicial sources, when he built his house, he sold it to two people. The first buyer he signed an agreement with paid half the purchase amount upfront. It was agreed that once the house was built to completion the buyer would make the rest of the payment. When the house was completed, Simbaburanga instead sold it to another person.
Fierce wrangles ensued, until police intervened. Investigations led to further discovery of the man’s criminality. Simbaburanga was locked up. His career as a policeman was over. Upon release he fled, to end up in Arendonk, and to his part time of anti-Rwanda slanders.
Simbaburanga’s story should be a cautionary tale to anyone, including those who use their online media platform to encourage anti-government hate or insurrections, even with intention to go to Europe to claim asylum, said a person familiar with his life. “They should never fool themselves that anti-government lies and smears campaigns will get them an easy life in Europe.”