By Stella Kobulegyeya
The Uganda Rwanda Cold War is not yet over as Kiiza and Mugisha Advocates accuse the Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Gen Kahinda Otaffire of misleading the nation that no Rwandan national has been mistreated, illegally detained or tortured by Ugandan authorities.
This was during a press conference today in Kampala where lawyers, Eron Kiiza, Eric Kavuma and Simon Peter said that a number of Rwandans have been subjected to torture and detention with no treatment.
Eron Kiiza, one of the lawyers said Rene Rutagungira, Iyakaremy Claude, Rwamucyo Emmanuel and Rutayisire Augustine were roughly arrested, illegally detained beyond 48 hours, sometimes months and even tortured.
“Though civilians, they were belatedly charged and arraigned in the General Court Martial where their trial is dragging with no sign of getting bail,” he said.
Kiiza also claimed that another group of Rwandans were illegally deported without any form of hearing and dumped at Rwanda border in pitiable medical condition after their torture in detention. These include Gatsinzi Fidele, Kamikazi Dianne, Muhongerwa Jessica, Kamashazi Dianne, Turatsinze Freddy, Cyemaire Emmanuel and Herbert Munyangaj.
“Some like Rwamucyo have had their money in millions grabbed by the military captors,” he further said.
Kiiza denounced the Court Martial for disobeying the orders of the High Court that had ordered for the unconditional release of Rwamuchyo and Rutayisire because of their illegal detention. He also said keeping them in detention with no evidence is an abuse and unacceptable.
According to the lawyers, there is also a couple that was arrested on 29th January 2019, as it was returning to their home. They have been held beyond the lawful 48 hours detention.
“They have not been charged or produced in court. Their children and other relatives cannot talk to them as they are held in military detention in a place not gazetted by law for detention,” they said.
Derrick Kavuma, a lawyer said they are trying to get bail for them but it is being denied.
He also said as lawyers they are trying to reunite the relationship between Uganda and Rwanda.
The Ugandan government has repeatedly denied that it has any Rwandan citizens in custody. Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni is yet to make any public comment on the border tensions while his Rwandan counterpart Paul Kagame has come out to claim that Uganda is harbouring his country’s enemies while also detaining innocent citizens.