Three Ugandans arrested in Rwanda

Saturday January 18 2020

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Ugan

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Maj Gen Frank Mugambage (R),  briefs some of the Rwandans who were freed by Uganda on Tuesday.  


Three Ugandans have been arrested in Rwanda.

Mr Gordon Tugumisirize, Mr Zabulon Komunda and Mr Marvelous Naturinda, who are residents of Bwaya village in Buramba Parish, Kabale District, were on Thursday arrested while in Kivuye Market in Burera District, in Rwanda’s Northern Province.

Mr Jasper Twinamatsiko, a relative of the victims says that the three men had crossed to Rwanda to sell sorghum in the market.

Mr Twinamatsiko says that security operatives surrounded and arrested them.

Mr Twinamatisko said that they were informed that the three are being detained at Burera District police headquarters.

Mr Saime Twesigwome, the Rubaya Sub-county chairperson said that five other Ugandans who were also selling sorghum in the market fled and crossed back to Uganda.


Mr Twesigwome says that the victims had crossed to Rwanda through porous borders points to sell sorghum which is currently on high demand in Rwanda.

Mr Brian Ampeire, the Kabale District police commander did not comment on the matter since his mobile phone was switched off.

Many Ugandans have been arrested while others shot dead in Rwanda since the Gatuna border closure in February 2019.

Early this month, Mr Ernest Agaba, Mr Samuel Arineitwe, Mr Ernest Bangirana, and Mr Ambrose Twesigomwe, all residents of Kabale District were deported by Rwandan security authorities after being detained for seven days.

They had crossed into Rwanda to look for a relative who was reportedly mentally ill.

In November 2019, Mr Gilbert Beingana, Mr Amos Tibesigwa and Mr Nicholas Tumwesigye, all residents of Ndorwa West County in Kabale District and Mr Ivan Nirinyiyimana and Mr Beatha Nyiramuco, both from Kisoro District were deported by Rwandan security operatives after a in week detention.

They had reportedly smuggled Irish potatoes and sorghum.

In the same month,  Bosco Tuheirwe and Job Ebyarishanga were shot dead near Mpororo border post in Kamwezi Sub-county, Rukiga District while smuggling tobacco.

On January 8, Uganda dropped charges against nine Rwandans.

The seven Rwandans had been charged with unlawful possession of firearms, ammunitions and military uniforms.

They were released by the General Court Martial based in Makindye, Kampala.

The Rwandan nationals were arrested in Kampala and Mbarara between 2017 and 2018.

Foreign Affairs Minister, Mr Sam Kutesa told journalists in Kampala that the move was in line with the Uganda-Rwanda Memorandum of Understanding that was signed in Angola last year.

“The government of Uganda has withdrawn charges of nine Rwandan individuals that were undergoing charges (at the Court Martial). The nine individuals have been handed to the Rwandan High Commissioner and will be repatriated today,” he said.

Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda Maj Gen Frank Mugambage said the principle of arbitrary arrests must stop and Uganda’s decision to release Rwandan national  a step in the right direction.

In a rejoinder, Mr Kutesa said: “Let me set the record straight. We have withdrawn charges. These people were not arbitrary arrested. It was an act of goodwill and we hope it will be reciprocated.”

The release of the Rwandans came five days after President Museveni pledged a new beginning and vowed to restore relations between Rwanda and Uganda.