A 32-year-old Ugandan working in neighboring Rwanda has gone missing and is believed to be held by the country’s security forces.
Ivan Peter Egesa, a software developer has been missing since December 10th last year.
He had been working and living in the Rwandan capital, Kigali since 2015.
Family members say his phones suddenly went off as he prepared to travel back home for Christmas.
“Information reaching us from his employer and through social media, (indicates) that he could have been taken by Rwanda security operatives,” said Egesa’s elder brother, Emmanuel Musengeri.
Musengeri says Egesa last talked to him on December 5th, and his sister Annet Ajambo Kikomeko December 8th via Whatsapp, informing them that he was coming home for the holidays.
“However, after that, he became unreachable on all his known contacts and other communication channels like Discord, Watsapp and Facebook up to date which was not a common occurrence since he was very active online most of the time where he hosted and also maintained several websites,” he said.
“We contacted the immigration office of Uganda to inquire if he had come back to Uganda lately and we were informed that he last crossed the Uganda Rwanda border on 18th September 2019 from Uganda on his way back to Kigali. The date that we were already aware of when he last left the country.”
Later on, Musengeri says, one of Egesa’s employers was contacted by a person using a private number, asking him if he knew Egessa Ivan and wanted to know all that he knew about him.
“When Egesa’s employer discovered that the concealed number belonged to the Immigration Department after inquiring from the telecom service provider. He went to the immigration office to find out why he was being asked information about Egessa his whereabouts. Having told the immigration officials all he had known about him, he then asked them for his whereabouts. They answered that they didn’t know of his whereabouts.
This development follows the continuing tension between Uganda, which heightened at the start of last year.
Rwanda has often accused Uganda of detaining its citizens without taking them to court.
Throughout the diplomatic row however, which saw Rwanda close down its border and block its citizens from traveling to Uganda, Rwandan leader Paul Kagame has maintained that Ugandans living in Rwanda would not be persecuted and that those trying to go there will not be stopped.
An association of Ugandans living in Rwanda has over 5000members.
Meanwhile, a missing persons file for Egesa has been filed at CID headquarters in Kibuli.
Egesa’s father Leuben Onyango also wrote to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of East African Community Affairs and Hon. Julius Maganda, Minister of State for East African Community Affairs and Member of Parliament for Samia Bugwe South Constituency.