In the past one month, Ugandan media outlets especially the New Vision which is a government is owned newspaper have been publishing a series of interviews with leaders of a Rwandan terrorist group, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) with view of preaching its propaganda against the government of Rwanda. The latest interview was accorded to Kayumba Nyamwasa on 4 May 2019. Kayumba Nyamwasa is the South Africa-based convicted fugitive leader of the RNC.
Kayumba’s interview came following one accorded to Leah Karegeya, the wife to the late fugitive Patrick Karegeya. Throughout the interview, as Kayumba did, Leah tarnished the image of Rwanda and its leadership while at the same time selling the RNC agenda and praising the government of Uganda particularly President Museveni whom she called his father.
Again on 18 March 2019, the New Vision had published another interview it held with a Rwandan dissident and RNC financier, Ayabatwa Tribert Rujugiro. The interview was intended to counter the compelling evidence which Rwanda had presented to the government of Uganda indicating how Rujugiro’s businesses in Uganda were being used to finance Rwandan rebels. All the questions the journalist posed to him aimed at clearing his name or undermining the government of Rwanda and to show that he is not working with either RNC or Ugandan government since he is not a politician but rather a businessman who is less interested in politics.
Rujugiro’s interview with the New Vision was followed by another one held with RNC propagandist David Himbara on 23 March 2019. In this interview, he tried to undermine Rwanda’s development and falsely claimed that the economy of Rwanda is controlled by Crystal Ventures, the business arm of the RPF. It should be reminded that Himbara is a disgruntled fellow who once worked with the President of Rwanda only to be dismissed for abuse of office, arrogance and disrespect of ethical decorum.
Kayumba’s character and leadership history in the Rwandan military together with the criminal activities that he was being questioned about when he escaped explains why he is shamelessly where he is today. Kayumba, whom Museveni’s media is painting in good light, has been indicted on terrorism charges related to the setting off of grenades in crowded markets and taxi stops and parks in Kigali that killed and maimed many innocent Rwandans.
Similar to the previous interviews by Rwandan dissidents, Kayumba’s interview with the New Vision was shocking. Besides recycling the usual empty and baseless allegations, he failed to substantiate any point. Copying his chief financier’s statement, Kayumba argued that if he had received support from the Ugandan leadership, that the Kigali government could be overthrown in six months. What a wishful thinking? One wonders the capacity that Uganda has to overthrow the Rwandan government in six months? Kayumba’s interview with the New Vision has helped greatly in exposing him to the Rwandans and non-Rwandans, on who exactly he is and has always been. He has shown us that what he set out to fight for is completely different from what Rwandans set out to fight for – completely different motivation and objectives.
Kayumba in retrospect
It is public record that Kayumba’s career in the public service was characterized by nepotism, intrigues, divisionism and primitive accumulation of wealth, among others. Following Rwanda’s liberation struggle, Kayumba Nyamwasa was entrusted with senior army leadership positions but he ended up creating cliques and divisions within the army. A source who spoke to The Great Lakes Eye recalled how, as Chief of Staff, Kayumba invested his time in amassing wealth, including land grabbing, displacing the same peasants for whom he had supposedly fought to liberate.
Tragically, unqualified and unprepared as he was, he put his nation after personal gains. He deserted his motherland Rwanda, the nation for whose liberation so much blood was shed; and chose to become a refugee. He chose to be a fugitive, attempting to undermine the struggle to which he owes all he had acquired.
A source working in Uganda’s security organs told the Great Lakes Eye that President Museveni knows very well that Kayumba cannot achieve anything beyond using him as a propaganda tool against Rwanda. The source further argued that Museveni is doing this to divert Ugandans attention at a time there is total loss of credibility in President Museveni’s leadership. Under Museveni, the source noted, Ugandans are faced with a huge political fall resulting from uncontrolled public expenditure, unfulfilled promises, increased unemployment, insatiable greed of rogue leaders, all recipes of a volatile nation. As a leader, President Museveni has lost sense of direction and change is inevitable, or else the ship is sinking, the source added. Like what Martin Luther once said: “the ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of confidence but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.” Museveni has indeed shown where he stands during the challenging times his leadership is facing!
However, President Museveni should know that no individual can threaten Rwanda’s national security, leave alone fugitives. Kayumba and his fellow errands are losers and they will remain losers in their treacherous game.