Home Voices Standoff Between Rwanda and Uganda Not What People Want…

Standoff Between Rwanda and Uganda Not What People Want…

by Ignatius R. Kabagambe
9:30 am

President Museveni claimed he received Charlotte Mukankusi “accidentally”

But it is what is in place munange because Uganda refuses, or perhaps fails, to address the issues raised by Rwanda. For starters, it is not like Uganda does not complain to Rwanda about a single thing. And truly Kampala has only one thing it asks of Kigali.

That it stops sending oba what, sijui ba mbega to Uganda to collect manya whatever, samuthingi like unofficial information.

Rwanda completely has no idea how to do that. It seems the leadership in Kampala only has a feeling of deep fear, of the unknown. The alleged intelligence gathering by Rwanda, which has become their nightmare, need not be, frankly speaking. Nothing is more absurd than having a sister nation accusing you of doing the normal. Spying on each other is the business of nations the world over. How did the invalid accusation even become admissible anywhere? Kampala’s espionage case against Kigali simply does not make sense.

When in early June 2015 United States realized that China had stolen data from the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the White House took it easy, even as the issue was heating up and made rounds in the media. Commenting on the development, Robert K. Knate, then senior fellow for cyber policy at the U.S. Council of Foreign Relations had this to say.

“Assuming the Chinese government was behind the incident, its cyber spies were doing exactly what they were trained to do. They were also doing exactly what we should expect them to do, and what we should be prepared to counter. As General Michael Hayden, former director of both the NSA and the CIA in the Bush Administration put it, ‘This isn’t shame on China. This is shame on us’,”

It is shameful for Uganda to counter Rwanda’s alleged espionage by crying foul and harassing innocent citizens of both countries. Let me argue from a similar stand point as Knate’s. At the time he explained that “under emerging norms for espionage in cyberspace, information on Federal employees is considered a legitimate target.”

Now how about when the information Rwanda is allegedly targeting from Uganda has to do with anti-Kigali armed political rebel groups? That would make it absolutely legitimate. You know, these armed groups have been found red- handed recruiting fighters, soliciting financial resources and obtaining diplomatic travel documents from Ugandan authorities.

Kigali has a long list of issues it holds its former ally responsible for. Top of them is that Uganda supports or gives liberty for operating freely on its territory to dissidents bent on destabilizing Rwanda. To this end it demands unconditional cessation of relations between Uganda’s security organs and these anti-Kigali armed rebel groups.

In doing this Kigali has been able to put together pinpoint facts for Kampala’s consideration. For example it lays on table names of rebel officials and their contacts within various departments of the Uganda government, especially the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI). The evidence provided by Kigali comes complete with dates of engagement, meeting places, activity schedules, materials offered as facilitation and other relevant details.

Faced with this type of hard and impossible to deny evidence, Uganda promises to investigate the matters raised. However, since in the first place whatever they do with and for the anti-Kigali elements is deliberate, not accidental, Kampala only scratches its head in wonder of how the highly corroborative evidence got into Rwanda’s hands but not questioning whether it was entirely true or not. Kigali’s incriminating assertions are always true and beyond any reasonable doubt.

In the past however, there was this single ‘accidental’ incident. We admit having been notified of this accident retrospectively – no pun intended. You too I am sure do recall the meeting strangely dubbed unintentional. Two and a half years ago Charlotte Mukankusi and Eugene Gasana, both of RNC, were received with utmost honour deserving of VVIPs. Not only were the two senior RNC officials hosted by the topmost state official, but among the many presents offered by the generous government was a Ugandan passport to ease the movements of the rebel group’s head of diplomatic services.

After Rwanda’s unblinking eye got to know and immediately went open with the information about what had just happened, it was such a huge embarrassment to the authority. If this was Gen. Abel Kandiho’s initiative, certainly it had gone bad to the disliking of the elder statesman. The info pack about the passport saga as well as the entire trip by the duo was so complete with compelling authentic images and stuff like that. It actually compared favorably in terms of magnitude with the 28 August 2001 letter to former United Kingdom  Minister of International Development  Clare Short, by President Museveni reporting President Kagame to her.

The letter to the UK official did not remain secret and so was the meeting with RNC emissaries. He felt compelled to report the meeting in an open letter to his Rwandan counterpart, historically saying: “I am writing to let you know that by accident, I, at last (like he had been looking forward to it), had a meeting with a Rwandan who admitted to being a member of the group you told me about – Rwanda National Congress (RNC).

This is a lady known as Mukankusi, whom, I am sure you know, but I had never met before. One of my NRM contacts kept telling me that there was a Rwandan lady who had some important information to give me and that she wanted to come with someone called Gasana, who also had important information. She said she wanted me to know bad things that were happening in Rwanda. She further told me that she had joined the RNC to resist Your Excellency’s Government and she wanted us to support them.”

Quite a tale

Now when a country is doing this to a former ally, how does anybody still complain that the victim country is spying on them? People have guts! Kwekaza just. And as this goes on, it is unilaterally President Paul Kagame that you will hear wondering aloud what in the world his government can do to mend relations with Kampala. From President Museveni’s side you hear only one other demand besides spy-stop: open the border.

And Bob Atwine of CMI’s commandonepost.com will echo the message disguising himself under the pseudo name of Jean Damascene Habumuremyi, but forgets an important fact. Someone with that name allegedly from Byumba would never say “ukuri gucya muziko nigushye”.

He would know better that it is written as ukuri guca mu ziko ntigushye. Bob Atwine when he is not coming up with fake names to hide behind as he writes things he would otherwise never openly stand behind, he is after me with all sorts of threats. For the record, the things I say in my articles, I do not stumble over accidentally like you know who.

I mean to deliver the message in that format usually seen from IK. Patriotism drives me like it does Bob Atwine. But there is a stark difference between his work and mine. He operates under the burden of falsehoods while I sail smoothly over truth. It is the reason I say things standing on my feet with head held high, while he normally mumbles beneath the armpits of CMI blogs. Truth sets Rwanda free.

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