Ms Anah Tuheirwe, wife of one of the Ugandan businessmen, who were shot dead inside Rwanda, has thanked the government of Uganda for its efforts that resulted in the delivery of the body of her husband, Bosco Tuheirwe, back home.
She also appealed for financial support to facilitate her in providing for the orphans.
“My husband was responsible for providing our daily needs. It is the reason I appeal for financial support because he has left me with three children, two boys and one girl, all below the age of 10,” Ms Tuhairwe said yesterday during the funeral service for her husband at St Jude Kashekye Catholic Church in Kamwezi, Rukiga District.
Tuheirwe was later buried in Nyakabungo Village in Kamwezi.
“On Saturday night, he left home telling me that he had gone to work. I was later told on Sunday morning that he had been shot dead in Rwanda. I pray to God to punish those that made me a widow and our children orphans,” she said.
Two Ugandan businessmen Tuheirwa and Job Ebyarishanga were shot dead last Saturday night by Rwandan police in Nyagatare in Rwanda, about 1km away from the Ugandan border post of Mpororo in Kamwezi Sub-county.
The Rwanda police later claimed the deceased had smuggled tobacco into their country and assaulted police who killed them in self defence.
However, one of the survivors refuted the Rwandan claim, saying the victims pleaded for mercy with Rwandan security forces but they simply shot them.
The mayor of Nyagatare District in Rwanda, Mr Claudian Mushabe, on Tuesday led the Rwandan delegation that delivered the two bodies at the Uganda border at Kamwezi at 12.30pm. The Ugandan delegation was headed by Rukiga Resident District Commissioner, Ms Pulkeria Muhindo Mwiine, who received the bodies.
Mr Keneth Kaana, the grandfather and Mr Ignatius Baketonda, the uncle of Tuheirwe, promised to do their best in supporting the orphans and the widow.
The relatives appealed to President Museveni to resolve the border issues with his Rwandan counterpart, Paul Kagame, for the good of the border communities that have relatives on either side.
The chairman for Kamwezi Sub-county, Mr Tedson Niwagaba, represented the government of Uganda at the burial and warned Ugandans against smuggling goods into Rwanda for the safety of their lives.
“The continued shooting and killing of Ugandans suspected of smuggling goods into Rwanda is a sign that the misunderstanding between Uganda and Rwanda is increasing despite the ongoing dialogue. It is true that smuggled goods into Rwanda fetches a lot of money but that money is not worth your lives. Please stop smuggling goods into Rwanda and let Rwandans come for them in Uganda if they really want them,” Mr Niwagaba said.
“I have been told that a bag of 25Kg maize flour that is sold at Shs45,000 in Uganda, fetches Shs140,000 in Rwanda. A 20-litre jerrycan of crude waragi in Uganda costs about Shs100,000 but smugglers get about Shs400,000 after crossing into Rwanda. Please stop smuggling goods into Rwanda because your lives are more valuable than the money,” Mr Niwagaba added.
He said a proposal from the Rukiga District Security Committee suggested that the Ugandan police should start arresting Ugandans suspected to be involved in illegal cross-border trade as a way of saving their lives.
He asked Ugandans to live peacefully with Rwandans staying in their communities because they are not the root cause of the current problems.
He also asked Ugandans to forget the past cordial relationship where they would use the porous border points to visit their relatives in Rwanda but follow those directives that Rwandan government is using as the official border posts.
Mr Niwagaba said the body of Ebyarishanga was also laid to rest in Kiruhura Village, Kashekye Parish in Kamwezi.
Ebyarishanga left behind two children and widow, Ms Mariza Ebyarishanga.
The cross-border movement between Uganda and Rwanda has remained restricted despite the August 21 meeting between the two countries’ leaders in Angola to normalise the icy relations that started in February.