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Rwanda writes to Uganda over accountant held in Kampala

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TIME NEWS 27 MAR 2020

Reports emerged, early this week, that a Rwandan national working and residing in the Ugandan capital Kampala had become another victim of Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence.

The 55-year-old has lived and worked as a private audit consultant in Uganda since 2016.

On the fateful day, he had been at Cafe Javas, at the upscale Shoprite Lugogo Shopping Mall, a popular shopping centre located in Nakawa Division, one of the Ugandan capital’s largest suburbs, where he had gone for coffee.

Mutarindwa is detained by the Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI), and his friends and relatives are worried.

Rwandans previously detained by Ugandan intelligence operatives dread the experience. But those who got out alive, in spite of the torture, count themselves lucky.

The man’s worried family has already engaged a lawyer in Uganda to offer legal services to him but CMI is yet to provide access for the lawyer to his client.

“We are requesting for the assistance of the Government of Rwanda to secure his release in the framework of the implementation of the Luanda Memorandum of Understanding,” a relative who preferred anonymity said.

The Luanda MoU was signed by leaders of Rwanda and Uganda in August last year.

The Luanda MoU was signed by President Paul Kagame and his Ugandan counterpart Yoweri Museveni. The signing was witnessed by the host President João Lourenço, Félix Tshisekedi of DR Congo and Dennis Sassou Nguesso of Congo Brazzaville.

Under the agreement, Rwanda and Uganda were among other things called upon: to protect and respect the rights and freedoms of nationals of the other party residing or transiting in their national territory, and to refrain from engaging in actions that destabilize the other party (or actions perceived to) such as financing, training and infiltration of destabilizing forces.

Working on the release of Mutarindwa

On Friday, Amb Olivier Nduhungirehe, the Minister of State for EAC Affairs, told The New Times that Kigali “wrote a note verbale to formally protest” the new development in Kampala.

The note verbale, he confirmed, was officially sent to Ugandan authorities on Thursday.

Nduhungirehe added: “We don’t need, for now, to send any message via the media. We are in touch with the family and we are working on the release of Mutarindwa.”

Diabetic, has hypertension

Mutarindwa, according to this close family member, suffers from diabetes and hypertension.

This means he requires regular monitoring by his doctor, in addition to the fact that he is supposed to always take appropriate medication and a diet prescribed by his dietician.

Having heard of the gruesome torture hundreds of Rwandans illegally arrested in Uganda previously endured, his family is afraid that the conditions in CMI detention facility will worsen his medical condition. They are worried for his life.

Mutarindwa is a chartered accountant, a member of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), a leading International accountancy body. He is a member of the Institute of Chartered Public Accountants of Rwanda (ICPAR).

Before relocating to Uganda, four years ago, he worked as an Auditor with the Rwanda Revenue Authority, and MTN Rwanda.

Hundreds of Rwandan nationals have endured horrendous torture in the neighboring country in the past three years after relations between Kigali and Kampala worsened.

Kigali has, among others, accused Kampala – and provided evidence – of harbouring negative forces intent on destabilizing Rwanda. Kampala continues to deny it’s involvement with anti-Rwanda forces and, in spite of the evidence, turns on Rwandans on its territory, who are arrested on allegations of espionage.

Consequently, Kigali warned Rwandans not to travel to the neighboring country since their security there is not guaranteed.

End last month, President Paul Kagame, Presidents Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Félix Tshisekedi of DR Congo and João Lourenço of Angola met at the Rwanda – Uganda border in yet another attempt to try end the feud between Rwanda and Uganda.

The recent Summit, the fifth of its kind by the four leaders, had been decided at another such Summit which took place in Luanda, Angola, on February 2

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