The government of Rwanda has described as “falsehoods”, claims that Kigali is quietly supporting Uganda’s Inspector General of Police Gen Kale Kayihura to succeed president Museveni.
“We have no business with Gen Kale,” said Rwanda’s Ambassador to Uganda, Maj Gen (Rtd) Frank Mugambage.
“Those who are anti-Kale will always want to bring out that distortion,” said Mugambage, adding, “It’s something that needs to be pointed out.”
Mugambage made the comments on Sunday in an exclusive interview with ChimpReports at his residence in Kololo, a leafy Kampala suburb.
The envoy, who participated in RPF war that ended the 1994 genocide, was responding generally to several claims in the media and other institutions Uganda.
He said the issue of Rwanda clandestinely backing Kayihura is nothing but fiction.
It’s widely held in some circles that the Rwandan government closely works with Kayihura whom it supports to take power when Museveni retires.
Kayihura is related to former Chief Inspector of Rwanda Defence Forces, Gen (Rtd) Jack Nziza.
He has as well worked with Rwanda Police Force in security training programmes and combating cross border crimes.
It’s also said one of causes of Kayihura’s bad blood with Lt Gen Henry Tumukunde is the latter’s belief that the police chief is so close to the Kigali establishment.
Tumukunde served as the head of UPDF’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) at a time when Uganda’s ties with Rwanda were strained.
However, due to diplomatic efforts led by then Ugandan ambassador to Rwanda, Richard Kabonero and his counterpart Mugambage, relations between the two countries were fully restored.
But rumours and intelligence reports could ignite a new cold war between the two brotherly neighbours.
And one of the sticky issues is Kayihura’s alleged ties with Kigali.
Mugambage said, “Those who want to create falsehoods because of internal wrangles with Kayihura can come up with anything.”
He said “Rwanda’s agenda is for development” and will “continue to work with neighbours” to realise common objectives in the areas of security and infrastructure development.
Pressed to explain claims that Kigali has a huge interest in determining the post-Museveni leadership for Rwanda’s political stability, Mugambage responded: “That’s a complete falsehood. Why would Rwanda be interested in who leads Uganda? It’s a Ugandan affair.”
“Rwanda has a lot of things to do. We just see all this in the media. There is nothing like that,” said Mugambage, who has served as Rwanda’s top diplomat to Uganda for many years.
Mugambage also spoke about the capture of a Rwandan national Rene Rutagungira in August.
Rutagungira was held at gunpoint by three men at Bahamas Bar in Old Kampala.
Efforts to trace the whereabouts of Rutagungira are yet to bear fruit despite claims by family members that he was detained at CMI headquarters in Mbuya.
Ugandan defence officials say Rutagungira was being investigated for participating in acts that threaten Uganda’s security but do not know where he is.
Rutagungira was also accused of masterminding deaths of suspected subversive Rwandans living in Uganda, charges the family denies.
“We have taken the matter to relevant authorities,” said Mugambage.
He said the Embassy wrote to Ministry of Foreign Affairs and engaged other institutions such as police and intelligence services but “no one admits they have him.”