As Rwanda takes care of Uganda's Coronavirus patients, Kampala is weaponising the pandemic

As soon as the first case of the coronavirus also known as COVID-19 was reported in Rwanda, Uganda's Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) saw an opportunity where the rest of the world was witnessing an emergency that threatened humanity. 

Uganda's security agencies quickly mobilized government news outlets and other allied news channels in that country for the sole purpose of projecting the COVID-19 as Rwanda's virus, the way racists in western countries choose to label it the Chinese virus.

 

Uganda's campaign to portray Rwanda as the epicenter of the pandemic in the region was clearly reflected in the obsession of the Kampala publications seeking to falsely paint a picture of how Rwandan nationals are fleeing the virus to the purported safety of Uganda.

 

Then for maximum propaganda effect, the CMI's Chimpreports on March 25, 2020, reported that "Uganda government has deployed Uganda People's Defence Force (UPDF) soldiers along the Uganda - Rwanda border as a preventive measure against the wild spread of the coronavirus pandemic".

 

Deploying its soldiers anywhere on its territory is a Uganda government prerogative. 

However, when it is driven by propaganda and the false sense by Kampala that somehow they are hurting Rwanda's reputation, it loses the whole meaning.   

Clearly, Kampala's strategy gets even more bizarre and laughable when you take a look at what is happening in the region and indeed the whole world. 

On the day the CMI's propaganda machinery was targeting Rwanda, news reports from Kampala were updating their audiences on the coronavirus infection figures in Uganda. 

On March 25, 2020, the Daily Monitor, a Ugandan daily, reported, among others, a COVID-19 patient believed to have contracted it through contacts with South Sudan where he is known to operate some form of trade. According to the story, "He is admitted to Adjumani hospital. Apparently, he operates his business in South Sudan". 

Clearly, Uganda has recorded cases of the virus infection through contacts with a neighboring country.

That country, though, is not Rwanda. 

Yet Kampala, in a highly publicised move, has chosen to deploy soldiers, not on its border with South Sudan, but instead on its frontier with Rwanda.

Perhaps nothing demonstrates Uganda's bad faith and determination to smear Rwanda than a story involving a Rwandan national, Delphine Mushimiyimana.

The Government of Rwanda believes the fight against the coronavirus pandemic is going to require global efforts. 

It is upon this conviction that when authorities learned that Mushimiyimana who had had contact with someone known to have a recent travel history and suspected to have contacted the virus, Kigali,  through diplomatic channels alerted authorities in Kampala.

Instead of working to trace the individual and have her tested, Uganda saw an opportunity and quickly set out to exploit the information for propaganda, that targeted Rwanda. 

On March 20, 2020, the CMI's mouthpiece, Chimpreports run an alarmist headline,  "Coronavirus: Uganda Security Search for Rwandan woman in Kabale District". 

The publication went on to falsely allege that a friend she had had contact with in Rwanda had tested positive for the virus. 

Whatever her reasons for travel to Uganda, Mushimiyimana eventually returned home on her own schedule. 

She, as well as the contact, was tested and they both turned out to be negative. 

While Rwanda had communicated the information to Uganda out of an abundance of caution and in the spirit of regional cooperation, clearly, for Kampala, it doesn't matter how low they stoop, so long as they throw some dirt on Rwanda, only that it wont stick.

Among the confirmed cases of the coronavirus infection in Rwanda, are a number of foreign nationals who are all reported to be in stable condition as the health services and doctors in Kigali take care of them. 

These patients include a Ugandan national who was diagonized with the virus through the screening at Kigali International Airport. 

He was traveling from London and was tested and confirmed on arrival. Like the rest of the patients,  the Ugandan has been under the care of Rwandan medical and health care professionals. 

Hopefully, he will recover soon and will be on his way home, if he so chooses.

When you take a closer look at how Uganda's intelligence and security services have shamelessly milked the coronavirus, for all they think it is worth, to smear Rwanda, with some of the government leaders in Kampala doing a victory lap as if Rwanda is the only country affected by the pandemic, you begin to wonder if the roles had been switched and the Ugandan who was tested and confirmed in Kigali, was instead a Rwandan national who unfortunately found themselves in a similar situation at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. 

The answer is simple; Museveni's CMI would undoubtedly have driven the patient in the dead of the night and dumped at the Gatuna border.  

A video featuring a six-year-old Tanzanian little girl warning how the coronavirus has devastatingly shaken the world has recently been doing the rounds on social media. 

She has won the hearts of many East Africans and other Swahili speakers around the world, with her mature message complete with a handwashing demonstration, one of the ways to fight infection. 

It is something world leaders and known celebrities have been similarly encouraging people around the world to do.

Then, another East African citizen born some 45 years ago, in Tanzania jumps into the fray. Not with a message calling on his compatriots to do what experts are recommending people to do to avoid infection, but instead exploding with rage over a not necessarily flattering story about how the government of Rwanda is dealing the coronavirus pandemic. 

President Yoweri Museveni's son, General Muhoozi Kainerugaba, on March 23, 2020, fired off yet another of his familiar tweets, this time going after the Uganda government-owned publication - The New Vision, for "daring" to report that Rwanda has imposed "some of the strictest coronavirus measures in Africa". 

All it required was for The New Vision to allude to what the rest of the world was commending Rwanda for, and Muhoozi unleashed his malignant anti-Rwanda sentiments:" Is this a government asset or what?? How dare they praise another state before our great Ugandan state? Uganda is the greatest country in Africa period!! Nobody else can compare". 

Rwanda's recent history of excelling in almost all areas of human endeavors in Africa and indeed the whole world is a matter of public record. I'm not about to list them here.

Either way, the coronavirus pandemic is going to end and the world will go back to normal functioning. 

If the regime in Kampala has made the calculation that the global emergency has lifted responsibility off Museveni's shoulders to end his government's funding and support to terrorist organizations that have been attacking Rwanda, including the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and Forces démocratiques de libération du Rwanda, ( FDLR), they have another thing coming. 

President Museveni was tasked by the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) mediators, Presidents Lourenço.of Angola and his Democratic Republic Of the Congo (DRC) counterpart, Félix Tshisekedi to cut all forms of support to these terrorists, for relations with Rwanda to be restored. 

Once the emergency is over, they will come knocking and there will be no virus to hide behind.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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