By Alain Mucyo
Softpower, a website run by Sarah Kagingo – one of the Ugandan regime’s main propagandists – has published an article about last week’s abduction of eight people of Rwandan origin, including four students from Kampala International University, that’s full of outright distortions.
The abduction was similar to the harassment and persecution of Rwandans in the neighbouring country. The students’ families, the university, and lawyers have no idea where they are held. Softpower’s article, published under the sensationalist title, “INVESTIGATION: unmasking Rwandan intelligence cells’ use of students as link for Ugandan IDs”, is the usual fare by the likes of Kagingo.
Beginning with the bombastic headline, the article from the first to last paragraph fails to measure to a minimum of journalistic standards. It provides no proof for any of its claims.
Read: An anti-Kigali smear by Kampala’s propaganda machine fails the smell test
The article starts by linking the arrest of the students and four other people (also of Rwandan origin), to a raid a few months back on a church in Kibuye, a Kampala suburb where over 40 Rwandan members of the ADEPR congregation were abducted in a highly publicized incident.
When the church was raided back in July, CMI agents accompanied by elements of Uganda Police abducted all the Rwandans among them to different ungazetted places of detention, the infamous “safe-houses”.
Uganda Police then claimed to the media that the Rwandans were using the church as cover to ostensibly spy for Rwanda against Uganda. Softpower in its story alleges: “The arrested individuals were later confirmed to be members of the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS), a Rwandan intelligence agency.”
The misinformation organ shows no proof for this claim, just as with all its other allegations. Four months down the road, none of the arrested people were produced in any Ugandan court to be charged, with spying or with any other thing.
Read: In a law-breaking incident involving Ugandans, Kampala propaganda media smear Rwanda instead
What happened instead was that these Rwandans were, after weeks of torture and suffering, bundled onto trucks and dumped at the Rwandan border, in what Ugandan authorities like to call “deportation”. It is dumping because deportations follow court, and legal procedures, for which CMI and others only have contempt.
Not everyone has been “lucky” to be dumped. Many have ended up being locked indefinite amounts of time, suffering physical and psychological torture. Many have reportedly gone missing, or dead.
The families of the abducted KIU students and their fellow Rwandans are sick with worry about what will happen; what fate will befall them.
Read: Ugandan mouthpieces misrepresent peace initiative with anti-Rwanda misinformation
Softpower, displaying the usual casual disregard of ethics alleges that the eight Rwandans were “masquerading as Ugandans”. They weren’t. All of them were born in Uganda, to parents of Rwandan origin.
The students include Joram Rwamwojo, the chairperson of Banyarwanda Association at KIU while others are Living Kagaara, Emmanuel Namanya and Andrew Mugisha.
According to fellow students; all of them are Ugandan-born, while some have never been to Rwanda. Softpower continues with the claim, unproven, that the students were carrying “forged Ugandan IDs”.
We are reliably informed that Kagaara is a Ugandan and his parents live in Masha Sub-county in Isingiro District. His only crime is that he is of Rwandan ethnicity.
These facts raise the question: why would a Ugandan resort to carrying a forged ID, when he is entitled to one?
Banyarwanda is a tribe recognized under the Ugandan constitution. Sarah Kagingo herself is of Rwandan ethnicity, just like Kagaara.
Read: What Kampala’s loud cries about Umuhoza tell us
Her website then shoots itself in the foot by quoting a string of unnamed sources, who allegedly illegally procured Ugandan IDs for Kagaara.
Shouldn’t these “sources” be criminals themselves if indeed they procured national IDs through illegal means? One then wonders, if a cell of spies is busted, acting “on good intelligence” as the Kagingos claim, why not produce and charge them before court?
Once again, Softpower has fallen flat on its face with a half-baked propaganda.