Ugandan security abduct senior cleric as witch-hunt of Rwandans continues

Ugandan security organs have continued to conduct illegal arrests and detentions of innocent Rwandans on Ugandan territory.

The latest victims, according to information obtained by this newspaper, include Theoneste Ntakirutimana, the head of the Uganda chapter of Association of Pentecostal Churches of Rwanda (ADEPR).

ADEPR (U) Limited is a legally registered mission in Uganda.

According to reliable sources, Ntakirutimana was abducted on Thursday, March 28 by operatives from the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI).

His abduction follows that of Jean Paul Cyusa, a congregant of the same church last week and according to sources, the two are now being held at the Mbuya Military Barracks.

While the kidnap of Rwandans has become a regular occurrence, the abduction of ADEPR clergymen is the first of its kind.   

The arrest of Cyusa a week before on the night of March 22, which was conducted by over 20 CMI operatives under the command of a one Capt. Byaruhanga, left residents of the Kampala suburb of Natete in a state of shock.

“We could not comprehend how an arrest of an ordinary man could attract such huge number of operatives,” an area resident who witnessed the incident said.

This newspaper has established that similar to other incidents involving Rwandans in Uganda, that the “arrest” of the two men did not follow any legal process.

No arrest warrant was produced and the detention facility was never communicated to family members, and contrary to the law which requires arrest of civilians to be effected by police officers, the two men were arrested by operatives of CMI.

Some of the innocent Rwandans to suffer such arbitrary arrest in January this year alone, include Donne Rogers Kayibanda who had gone to Uganda attend a civil wedding of a brother, Moses Ishimwe Rutare, Rwandan businessman who lived and worked in Kampala, Uganda, Pastor Rogers Mufasha as well as Darius Kayobera and his wife Uwineza Claudine, business people in Kampala. 

Those arrested in February this year include Dusabirema Paulina, Niyonteza Jean De Dieu, Mugisha Bategejo Christopher, Umuhire Joseline, Imanishimwe Boaz, Niyitegeka Gilbert and Kilagarama David Matayo.

All of them were accused by CMI of being Rwandan spies.

Information reaching us indicates that Rwanda’s High Commission to Kampala has written to the Ugandan foreign ministry raising concerns on the continued irregular arrest of Rwandans.

The embassy has requested that Rwandans who are being held in these ungazetted areas be immediately afforded basic rights including access to consular service.

Previously, similar requests by Rwanda’s High Commission have fallen on deaf ears.

Recently, Rwanda’s Minister of State in charge of the East African Community, Olivier Nduhungirehe, “there are more than 40 Rwandan citizens languishing in CMI cells and more than 800 Rwandans who were deported from or refused entry into Uganda since January 2018”. 

As the minister remarked, “the only activities allowed for Rwandans in Uganda seem to be plotting against their country, denouncing fellow Rwandans and training forces for the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), and P5, a coalition of Rwandan opposition political organizations linked to Rwanda’s former military chief, Kayumba Nyamwasa, whose has openly declared intentions to destabilise Rwanda and wage an armed struggle to topple the current government.”

editor@newtimesrwanda.com