Family members carrying a coffin at Katuna border (Photo Credit Samuel Amanya)
Ugandan authorities on Thursday afternoon clashed with their Rwandan counterparts over postmortem reports of two Rwandan nationals whose bodies were recovered at different locations in Kabale district last week.
The two were identified as Paul Bangirana,47, and Theoneste Dusabimana, 52. They both hail from Gicumbi district in the Northern Province of Rwanda. Dibisimana’s body was found on August 30, in Rushaki village, Katuna town council, with multiple deep cuts on the head whole Bnagirana’s body was discovered on September 2, at Rugarama village in Kabale district.
Upon their discovery, the two bodies were taken to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital mortuary for a postmortem until yesterday afternoon when they were handed over to Rwandan authorities at Katuna border. But a clash emerged when Kabale District Chairman Nelson Nshangabasheija explained that Ugandan security investigations indicate that Dusabimana was killed from Rwanda and his body dumped in Uganda.
Nshangabasheija added that although Dusabimana had several cuts on the head, security investigators did not find any blood where his body was lying. He also says that locals at the border heard voices of a man crying for help before the body was discovered on the Ugandan side, the next day.
Nshangabasheija says that Bangirana had left home and crossed to Uganda through a porous border to visit his relatives and drunk a local gin in excess. But while on his way back, he failed to walk and slept in the garden of Sweet potatoes, where a heavy downpour caught him up. It is in the process that he died.
Nshangabasheija was backed by Elly Maate, the Kigezi region police spokesperson, and Kabale Resident District Commissioner Godfrey Nyakahuma who asked local leaders of both countries to join efforts in the fight against the illegal entry of both Ugandan and Rwandan nationals through porous borders.
But, Felix Ndayambaje, the Gicumbi District Mayor dismissed Nshangabasheija’s explanations as false. Ndayambaje protested that Dusabimana was killed from Ugandan side under unclear reasons adding that there is no way Rwanda can kill its citizens. He also says that both Dusabimana and Bangirana have been staying in Uganda for the last two years.
Last week, Rwanda through the online news agency New times reported that the death was another of endless cases of Rwandan civilians abducted and illegally detained, most times kept in unknown places in Uganda. The news agency also claimed that Ntwari Bahati, another Rwandan national was discovered dead from apparent strangulation, in the Ugandan capital Kampala on the eve of Sunday, August 29.
According to the news agency, there was also an attempt to burn the body of the deceased man, who worked as a car mechanic in Kampala. He had lived in Uganda for four years. The news agency says that ever since Uganda “decided to back, sponsor and facilitate groups bent on destabilizing Rwanda, most notably Kayumba Nyamwasa’s Rwanda National Congress-RNC, and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda-FDLR genocidal forces, life has become very difficult for Rwandan citizens traveling to Uganda or those already a resident there”.
The government of Rwanda has previously warned nationals against traveling to Uganda, indicating that their safety cannot be guaranteed in the neighboring country. Rwanda has closed its borders with Uganda since February 2019. But since then seven Ugandans have been shot dead in Rwanda on accusations of smuggling.