One of the recommendations coming out of the Fourth Quadripartite Summit that took place on February 21 at Gatuna/Katuna was that Uganda should go back and verify Rwanda’s demands, especially the one where Uganda is accused of harbouring negative elements working to destabilise Rwanda’s security. We hereby ask the Ugandan leadership to ‘verify’ why Ugandan media has been generously according space to the same groups to disseminate their malicious propaganda aimed at advancing their heinous intentions against Rwanda and slandering its leadership.
This has been going on unabated for quite some time in spite provisions in the Luanda MoU that discouraged this. People like Kayumba Nyamwasa, David Himbara, Michael Mupende, who are senior leaders of the RNC which is active in Uganda, have been offered space and airtime by Ugandan media, both mainstream and tabloids sponsored by Uganda’s State House through the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) for propaganda purposes.
One of the most notorious of the CMI sponsored online tabloids, Spyreports has run what it calls “major Michel Mupende’s response to James Kabarebe’s claims about the relationship between RPF/A and Uganda since 1990 to date”. Note that this is no coincidence, coming on the heels of Museveni’s statements as published in the media after the Gatuna Summit, alleging that the closure of the Gatuna border was a result of ‘internal fighting within the RPF.’ So much for goodwill on the part of Uganda in playing its part to normalize the relations.
In the response, Michael Mupende is given the liberty to slander and disparage the Rwandan leadership, disseminating unsubstantiated claims and recycled falsehoods. It is worthwhile to highlight Mupende’s response thus:
- Mupende faults the international community for seeing Rwanda as a success story, because in his opinion, “economic development, good governance, and social reforms to mention a few…” should not blind them from seeing ‘the darkest side of state of affairs.’ This is a reckless contradiction because in all honesty, how can he talk of a ‘dark side’ in the same sentence as economic development, good governance, and social reforms and other good things, including the fact that people like him are no longer part of the RDF because they belong in the past?
- Mupende uses the platform offered by the Ugandan State House sponsored propaganda media to complain that he did not receive due promotion as a ‘historical’ and instead ‘novices’ were promoted. Mupende is right about one thing that his place should have been in the Ugandan army and should not have joined the RPA in the first place. It is in the Ugandan army where the so called ‘historicals’ are a different army altogether, because they are accorded the tag of untouchables for the simple reason that they participated in the liberation struggle. His disappointment with the Rwandan army leadership stems from the fact that ex NRA ‘historicals’ like him who joined the RPA struggle were not accorded the same untouchable status and privileges accorded their counterparts to date. That is why he is all praise for Museveni for being the reason Rwandans won the war and stopped the genocide. That is why Mupende “can’t imagine how a person like James Kabarebe or anybody else, who grew up in Uganda and with sane mind, would have the guts to tarnish and tell falsehoods against a People and a country Uganda.” However, he conveniently fails to mention the fact that if it were not for Rwandans, Museveni would never have captured the power that he has declined to relinquish peacefully since 1986. Whatever remote assistance Museveni may have sent to the RPA, there can never be a befitting compensation for the blood shed by Rwandans to put Museveni in the Ugandan State House.
- Mupende says: “Out of my own advocacy, I led a good number of officers to the late Steven Ndugute alias Kalisoliso to question him about the unfairness in the promotion process. Following that, in few days, hundreds of original NRA officers who merited it, were promoted to the next rank.” Yes, Mupende, those who merited it were indeed promoted. You were left out because ‘advocacy’ was not one of the criterion for meriting a promotion, can’t you see? The problem is that you carried the NRA mentality into the RPA and hence your disappointment. Your main problem is failure to adopt. Simple.
- While Mupende refers to Gen. Kabarebe’s statement as smear, he defends himself in these words: ‘I did not betray his country, am not a traitor, and Uganda government never used me as alleged.” But as he labours to dispute that he is a traitor and a tool of Museveni, he does so on a platform provided by the Ugandan leadership to tarnish the image of Rwanda and her leadership. He is a member of the RNC, a terrorist organisation bent on destabilising Rwanda using Uganda as a springboard. If that does not qualify him as a traitor and a Museveni tool against his own country, then traitor might have taken another meaning.
- His defence in actual sense betrays his conduct which incriminates him as an undisciplined soldier, who was never meant to be an officer in the RPA but NRA and UPDF. Going by Mupende’s incoherent rants, one wonders whether Mupende was a military officer or a civilian opposition politician! And here is Mupende portraying himself as a victim, when his very own rebuttal here portrays him as an undisciplined, self-conceited army officer, who would never have survived in any disciplined army in the world, except the NRA and UPDF where misconduct by ‘historicals’ is condoned.
- “Ever since my testimony, Rwanda government has intensified their attacks against me in the media; through their DMI paper, Rushyashya, Igihe and the New Times.” And he adds, “The blame from the papers continues to associate my testimony with Uganda government leadership and went further to attack the person of President Museveni. In spite of the media attacks, I also received verbal attacks by a group of Rwandans here in the U.S.A.” What does Mupende expect? His delusion leads him to wonder why Rwandans in the US would treat him as a traitor that he is and Rwanda media associate him with Uganda. First of all, he is using Ugandan papers to attack Rwanda, including state media like The New vision.
Mupende’s rants are not new, the falsehoods have been thrown around by different people, and there is nothing new the highly intrigued Mupende is saying apart from entrenching the widely held view that he was never made for the army (except the UPDF), owing to his intriguing undisciplined and unruly nature.