CMI frees Rwandans it arrested on wedding day

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Donnie Kayibanda

The Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence [CMI] has released Rwandan nationals and sent them back to Kigali amid border tensions between Uganda and Rwanda.

One of the released Rwandans is Donnie Kayibanda. He arrived in the capital Kigali on Friday morning with another fellow former detainee.

Kayibanda was arrested in Kisasi township, a Kampala suburb while returning from a brother’s wedding in January this year.

He was detained in an unknown location but never charged with any crimes.  

Kayibanda studied at Butare University as a soldier and was reportedly attached to Rwanda’s National Intelligence and Security Service [NISS].

In the same month of January 2019, CMI arrested two followers of self-styled city pastor, Prophet Elvis Mbonye of Zoe ministries. No charges have been preferred against them so far.

Another Rwandan couple Darius Kayobera and his wife Claudene Uwineza were arrested at their premises around Musajjalumba road in Rubaga division.

The couple who has three children aged nine, six and three years, are still being held on suspicion of engaging in espionage against Uganda.

This came shortly after security deported MTN Uganda Head of Sales and Distribution, Annie Bilenge Tabura, back to Rwanda for compromising national security.

Rwanda termed the deportation of Tabura a “witch-hunt and harassment” of Rwandans in Uganda as tensions between the two countries continue to escalate.

The intelligence wing of the Ugandan military has on several occasions been accused of illegally arresting, detaining and torturing Rwandan nationals under the guise of hunting spies.

Uganda claims that Kigali is deploying spies in the country. Rwanda has since warned its citizens to “exercise caution while travelling to Uganda”.

At the moment, Rwanda is blocking its citizens from entering Uganda. It closed off Katuna border and barred citizens from entering via Mirama Hills border.

Government spokesperson, Ofwono Opondo, told media in Kampala that Uganda is not witch-hunting Rwandans and that is not holding nationals in detention centres.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has summoned the Rwandan ambassador to Kampala Maj Gen Frank Mugambage to explain the tensions simmering at the borders.

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