Rwandan claims torture by CMI

A Rwandan resident has accused Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence of illegally arresting and torturing him for almost two weeks.

Fidele Gatsinzi says he was arrested on December 9 at a supermarket in Ntinda and detained incommunicado for 12 days.

When he returned to Kigali following his release, he was using a wheelchair as he couldn't walk freely due to injuries allegedly sustained from torture.

According to some sources, Gatsinzi had come to Kampala to visit his son who studies at Uganda Christian University in Mukono.

For 12 days, he was allegedly held incommunicado with no relative, friend or consular official having access to him or even knowing the whereabouts of his detention.

He alleged that upon arrival in Kampala, he was kidnapped by two Rwandan fugitives linked to Kayumba Nyamwasa's Rwanda National Congress (RNC). They allegedly dragged him to a nearby car and later handed him over to CMI. He claims he was tortured for allegedly mobilising Rwandan refugees in Uganda to return home under the national program of “Come and See”. Nyamwasa is a former head of Rwandan army who fell out with Kigali and sought asylum in South Africa.

UPDF spokesperson, Brig Richard Karemire, declined to comment on Gatsinzi's allegations of detention and torture by CMI, saying that such stories are not helpful to the development of the two countries, Rwanda and Uganda.

“I don’t [delve] into such stories. I want stories that keep our relationship with Rwanda. We are keen on maintaining an excellent relationship with Rwanda. That is all I can say,” he said.

Since September 2017, dozens of Rwandans have been detained by security agencies unclear circumstances.

On September 23, 2017, three Rwandans: James Bayingana, Ali Nsekanabo Lando, Vianney Byaruhanga Nduwamungu were arrested from Bukasa and detained in Mbuya, Kampala, till their release in November.

On December 29, 45 Rwandan nationals, who had reportedly been arrested in Kikagati, Isingiro, crossing from Tanzania into Uganda, were charged in the High Court in Mbarara with terrorism, establishment of a terrorism institution and forgery, after two weeks of detention at the notorious Nalufenya detention centre.

A day earlier on December 28, families of another group of six Rwandans allegedly detained by Ugandan security agencies issued a public statement calling on the government to either take the detainees to court of to release them.

© 2016 Observer Media Ltd