In Summary
  • Rwandan citizens have been arrested in Kampala and western Uganda.
  • I was in one of the neighbouring countries whose security agencies suspected me of being a Ugandan spy.
  • Uganda is said to have ‘denied’ Rwanda Air the right to fuel at Entebbe Airport (or some such particulars).

From Kampala to Dar to Bujumbura to Kinshasa, we still managed to make it to Kiburara for New Year’s Day. For those who have an NTK (Need To Know) pass, we are back in Kampala.
Many people know the relationship between Kampala is not warm. And of the many who know, I am the only one stupid enough to talk about it in public.

Rwandan citizens have been arrested in Kampala and western Uganda. These have really scared Kinyarwanda speaking Ugandan citizens; and oh yes, even us who make regular business phone calls to Kigali.

I support efforts by our security services to keep our country clean but I still invite them to follow the laid down administrative procedures to handle government business.
If my travel papers are not in order, I should be guided, talked to and returned to my country. If I am suspected to be a spy…; well, I have no sympathy for spies. They should be arrested and interrogated. But I still recognise that those ‘dirty spies’ are human beings and citizens.

Why do I sound sympathetic to people suspected to be spies? I am familiar with their situation and what they could have passed through. I will share my testimony here.
I was in one of the neighbouring countries whose security agencies suspected me of being a Ugandan spy. I was arrested and thrown into a three by six feet cell. They removed all my clothes, tied my legs, arms and left me in the cell for 96 hours. Only a Mukonzo tribesman can survive in that physical conditioning.

When they came to pick me (to parade me to the media as a dangerous spy), they found me wallowing in my human excreta and urine. Incidentally, I was too weak to even sit upright; least said of standing up. Neither did I have the energy to clean myself. Other detainees were brought in to clean me and later a doctor to stabilise me. I was paraded to the media the next day.
Yet that’s not the only things they did to me. They did more; some which I have conditioned myself to take to the grave. Dear reader, I don’t want such a situation to happen to anyone; spy or not. We are human beings; and no amount of passion for nationalism or patriotism should push one to do what ‘they’ did to me. No. It is wrong.

So, I call upon president Paul Kagame and Mr Museveni to talk and tell their boys to stop their ‘patriotic games’. During the Kisangani Incident, I was witness to many actions (on the Rwandan side) whose consequences led to avoidable suffering of the people (on both sides).
My lowest point in the Kisangani Incident was the parading of prisoners of war and the remarks made by a service chief (whose name shall remain undisclosed).

These things have already even affected our diplomatic relations. It may soon infect business and trade. Uganda is said to have ‘denied’ Rwanda Air the right to fuel at Entebbe Airport (or some such particulars). A Rwanda minister twitted about it in a tone that lacked diplomatic delivery.
And I have just learnt of a ‘rumour’ that UNHCR will this year trigger the Cessation Clause of the United Nations Convention for the Protection of Refugees on all Rwanda refugees in Uganda.

This is expected to trigger forced repatriation of Rwandan refugees in Uganda back to Rwanda. But this needs Uganda’s approval and consent. And Uganda has already made its position clear: No.
Once again, I call on president Paul Kagame and Mr Museveni to talk, otherwise...

So, I call upon president Paul Kagame and Mr Museveni to talk and tell their boys to stop their ‘patriotic games’. During the Kisangani Incident, I was witness to many actions (on the Rwandan side) whose consequences led to avoidable suffering of the people (on both sides).
Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of East African Flagpost.