About Gen Muhoozi, stories from Rwanda

Author: Asuman Bisiika. PHOTO/FILE

What you need to know:

So, whereas Lt Gen Muhoozi may call us spoilers, we have our small non-state (and very personal) stories. We are not spoilers…

During the war, Shaban Ruta was the spokesperson for the rebel Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA). When the RPA regularised itself into the national army in July 1994, Ruta was commissioned as a major and appointed the director general of Office Rwandaise du Information (Orinfor), the national information bureau.

As is commonplace with guerrilla fighters, Ruta was a nom de guerre; his real name was Wilson Rutayisire. In 1997, Ruta (very few people called him Wilson), Charles Onyango-Obbo and I got lost in rural Kibungo Prefecture (now part of greater Eastern Province) and later bumped into M. Protais Musoni presiding over an event.

Around 1999 or thereabouts, Maj Ruta was relieved of his Orinfor job, promoted to Lt Coland deployed in Congo. He is said to have died in Goma (DR Congo).

Whereas he was buried in a military cemetery in Kigali, he was not buried with military honours. Why? Because, as Gen Fautin Kayumba Nyamwasa told mourners, he had committed suicide.

Ruta was a Pan-Africanist; some idealism he may have picked from Nabumali High School. Some Ugandans attended the burial. I saw Jimmy Deen (RIP) and the late Nigerian Pan Africanist Dr Abdurahaman Tajudeen. Even in the circumstances, I still made fun of Tajudeen’s pipe smoking.

I do not support Rwanda National Congress (RNC) and its terrorist acts allegedly visited on the people of Rwanda. So, I am not one of the people Lt Gen Muhoozi Keinerugaba calls ‘spoilers’ of his Rwanda Mission. Like Lt Gen Muhoozi, I support Paul Kagame and RPF and all Rwandans. The only reason I would like to meet Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa (face-to-face) is to have an opportunity to ask him a simple question: Did Lt Col Shaban Ruta kill himself?

And now after Lt Gen. Muhoozi’s uncharitable tweets on RNC and its leader Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, I no longer have the courage (or stupidity) to call Gen Kayumba from his South African exile and ask my simple question: Did Lt Col Shaban Ruta kill himself?

So, whereas Lt Gen Muhoozi may call us spoilers, we have our small non-state (and very personal) stories. We are not spoilers.


I am a member of a ‘tough’ WhatsApp kafunda; it is more of a study group than the shop-talking sociality associated with social media interactions. Except me, all members are well-heeled (or hilled or healed) and are associated with the establishment in one way or the other.

We discuss a lot of things. But most of the time, the discussions tend to have a hue of regional issues. For domestic issues, it is at strategic level. And so, the issue of Lt Gen Muhoozi and his tweets came up for discussion. I am always shy to discuss politics but I must confess the debate on the tweeting general revealed many insights (many bordering on the weird).

This is what some clever fellow put on the table about Lt Gen Muhoozi’s tweets: The ‘tweeting general’ has effectively buried Kakwenza’s story as the lead discussion point. He has made Bobi Wine’s shenanigans seem irrelevant. And most importantly, he clearly changed the tone and tune of the debate on the Uganda-Rwanda relations. Every belligerent in the room (RNC, RPF, UPDF, FARDC) now wonders how best to approach the Uganda-Rwanda question.

Lt Gen Muhoozi has also put Gen Kagame in a very curious position. It is clear that Lt Gen Muhoozi, as higher up there as it can take, has committed all aspects of class suicide to win over the Rwandan leader. The least one would expect from Rwanda is to give him (in the spirit of soldier-to-soldier) some concessions.

Mr Bisiika is the executive editor of the East African Flagpost. [email protected]