Protests that erupted yesterday morning on the Ugandan side of the Katuna-Gatuna border were diffused after three hours.
The Rwanda National Police (RNP) confirmed in an exclusive interview with The New Times that the protests started at around 8 a.m. and lasted for about three hours, with the protesters using stones and logs to block the way.
The demonstrators said they were protesting against the arrest of a Ugandan money changer, Justus Tweyogyere, who is in custody in Rwanda.
RNP’s spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police Theos Badege, confirmed that Tweyogyere was arrested on December 16 on charges of forgery and conducting illegal money change.
The police spokesperson added that Tweyogyere’s case is being handled through normal justice processes.
He added that the Ugandan High Commission in Kigali was duly informed immediately after the arrest and that the suspect is visited by his family, and the High Commission staff, and has access to a lawyer.
“This is a normal case that’s going through routine judicial procedures,” Badege said.
The Ugandan businessman was arrested along his Rwandan business colleague, Aime Chaste Nyirishema, over the same charges of forgery and illegal money change, RNP said.
Just a month ago, Tweyogyere was questioned by RNP after crossing to Rwanda in possession of a sum of money exceeding the ceiling of US $10,000 without declaring it to customs as required by Rwanda’s Central Bank.
He was later warned, cleared and returned to Kabale in Uganda after providing some proof of his transactions and partnership with Kigali forex bureaus.
The suspect was then advised to always comply with the central bank regulations.
Although the border is now open, concerns remain on both Rwanda and Ugandan sides on why a busy border would be closed by local residents.
RNP officers revealed that their Ugandan counterparts assured them that they had opened investigations into the matter.
“Security authorities from both countries have attended to the matter and the situation is calm and normal. People and goods from both countries have resumed to cross the border without further delays,” a statement from the Ugandan High Commission in Kigali said.