Residents at Uganda-Rwanda border living in fear

Leaders from Rwanda receive the body of the Rwandan national John Batista Kyerengye last week. PHOTO BY ROBERT MUHEREZA

KABALE- Fear has engulfed communities at the border with Rwanda in Kabale and Rukiga districts, triggered by the growing tension between the two countries.

Locals have now asked government to deploy more police and other security agencies to conduct patrols.
This follows the shooting dead of two people at Habusavu Trading Centre in Kamwezi Sub-county in Rukiga District recently (May 24) by a Rwandan security personnel.

Leaders in the sub-counties of Kamwezi, Maziba, Butanda, and Katuna Town Council, in separate interviews last Thursday said some locals fear sleeping in their homes.

“We need a heavy and detailed security deployment in Kamwezi Sub-county especially in the border parishes of Kashekye and Kibanda,” Mr Jackson Muganizi, the Rukiga District vice chairperson, who doubles as the district councillor for Kamwezi Sub-county, said.

He added: “On Sunday [May 26] I witnessed the Ugandan security operatives arresting two Rwandan security operatives that were allegedly on spying mission at Rwamatunguru Catholic Church in Kamwezi Sub-county. One wonders how Rwandan security personnel enter Uganda, attend public functions and dominate trading centres when their country stopped them from entering Uganda. If they are not doing spy network, what are they interested in?”

Mr Muganzi said a Ugandan national was recently kidnapped from Kazaza Trading Centre at the border by the Rwandan security personnel.
Butanda Sub-county chairperson John Kabengye, Katuna Town Council mayor Nelson Nshangabasheija and Maziba Sub-county chairperson Deus Biryimumisho, have voiced similar concerns.

“Some people have threatened to migrate from these areas but I promised enough security,” Mr Nshangabasheija said.
Rukiga District Woman MP Kamusiime Muhwezi said she was going to engage higher authorities for an army barracks in Kamwezi Sub-county for close monitoring and protection of the Ugandans at the border.