By Ellen Kampire
It has long been obvious that Kampala’s propaganda media will leave no stone unturned to tarnish the Rwandan leadership. Such was the case a few days ago when NBS – one of Uganda’s supposedly mainstream media houses that have now been fully incorporated into the regime’s misinformation services – hosted the completely unhinged, long-out-of-service UPDF major general known as Kasirye Ggwanga.
One of the things the long-retired general did at the interview with NBS’s Simon Kaggwa Njala was to hurl gratuitous insults at Rwanda.
Kasirye Ggwanga is a man known to have Idi Amin-like tendencies, having served in Amin’s army from 1972 up to when the Tanzanians routed them in 1979 when he was a staff sergeant. In 1985, Ggwanga left the Mawokota and Mubende (Buganda) based UFA rebels to join Museveni’s ascendant NRA.
Hosted by NBS’s Kaggwa Njala, Ggwanga yelled: “Kagame went and killed Patrick Karegeya!”
Ggwanga – whose utterances on that very show also included demented assertions that he had “died and went to heaven and spent there five days but God sent me back to earth” – did not explain how he reached his conclusions.
More importantly, NBS has left itself a laughing-stock even with its most loyal viewers, for hosting and giving free rein to an aged man that everyone knows is always out of his mind from his extensive abuse of illegal substances, and whose main method for sorting disagreements is grabbing his gun and firing it, at anything that his deranged mind does not like. In the comments section, a viewer called Myers Mushabe rightly commented: “Kaggwa Njala is the wacky one! How do you even think of bringing this junky in front of cameras?”
According to inside sources in NBS, Ggwanga’s utterances about Karegeya are part of a plot to keep dredging the discredited accusations against Kigali in the man’s death in Johannesburg on New Year’s Day 2014. In Rwanda, however, people viewed Karegeya as a public enemy. That was after Kayumba Nyamwasa and Karegeya, the RNC founders – with Museveni as their inspiration and main backer – openly declared war on the lawful government in Kigali, and went ahead to put their words into action.
In interviews on their propaganda organs, such as Radio Itahuka, beginning in the 2010s, the RNC chiefs quite openly admitted, “to dislodge the regime in Kigali is our goal number one, and we shall do it!”
In subsequent 2010-14 grenade attacks in crowded public spaces such as markets and bus stops in Rwanda, which investigations showed were RNC’s doing, 17 people died and over 400 were injured or maimed. Those investigations further showed how the masterminds; the planners of the attacks were operating from neighboring Uganda – a state whose leadership for several years now has partnered with RNC and other terror groups like FDLR and RUD-Urunana in plots to destabilize Rwanda.
Ggwanga, whose utterances upon examination always turn out to serve the interests of Museveni and his brother Salim Saleh, likely didn’t notice, but the moment news of Karegeya’s demise reached Kigali, people hit the bars and other places of leisure in celebration. One of the killers had met his end, and people celebrated in ways some compared to how Americans did the news of Osama Bin Laden’s killing.
Observers point out that Ggwanga’s masters – who are determined to weaponize Karegeya’s demise in a South African city well known for its high murder rates – miss the point that to the average Rwandan, whatever way Karegeya died was of little concern to them. All that mattered to them was that a terror perpetrator was dead and out of the way.
On the other hand, even Ugandans wonder: Why are these Museveni minions always peeping into Rwandan matters when they have far bigger issues in their own country that remain unaddressed?
The Museveni regime is openly guilty of extra-legal murders of so many Ugandans. Beginning way back in 1987 when the late Minister in Museveni’s government and former commander of a rival rebel group, Uganda Freedom Movement (UFM), Andrew Lutakoome Kayiira was gunned down in his house, by people who left without taking anything, the hand of Museveni is always seen in those crimes.
The extensive report of the British Police investigation into that murder submitted to Museveni has to this day not seen the light of day. The Ugandan ruler received it, and somply sat on it. “If Museveni is not guilty why has he never released the report?” people like exiled opposition leader Dr. Aggrey Kiyingi ask.
The regime also is yet to come clear on the deaths of Gen Aronda Nyakairima, who died on a flight from South Korea to Dubai in September 2015. The former minister – and former army chief – was known in the circles of power for strongly opposing the machinations known as the “Muhoozi Project” to ensure Museveni’s son inherits the presidency. It has been reported by sources from inner circles of power that Aronda died of poisoning at the hands of a female regime agent planted on him.
Before him Brigadier Nobel Mayombo, a highly popular officer, respected and seen by many as a future leader had died, also from poisoning. Ironically, Mayombo and Aronda were relatives through the latter’s mother. It was of little wonder to anyone when video surfaced of David Sejjusa, a former regime insider, disclosing that not a single Museveni official – ministers, generals, or MPs trusts him.
“It has reached the extent none will eat food served at any public function, so that they move about with little bottles of water and rolled chapattis in their coats,” said Sejjusa.
So many have died leaving behind loved ones, widows, and orphans. AIGP Andrew Kaweesi, Sheikhs and Muslim clerics have been killed. Ibrahim Abiriga was assassinated with his brother cum-driver/bodyguard. CIP Muhammad Kirumira died. Yassin Kawuuma died – shot dead by Museveni’s praetorian guard, the SFC, on orders of the President’s son Muhoozi, in the vehicle of Kawuuma’s employer, Kyadondo MP Robert Kyagulanyi better known as Bobi Wine. The killing was obviously a mistaken identity, the real target having been Bobi Wine.
Despite all these cases of regime-murders that they should be explaining to the Ugandan public, Museveni minions are intent on using the death of self-admitted terrorist Karegeya in South Africa to try to demonize Rwanda, some note in wonder.
The very fact that NBS would choose to host Ggwanga as some kind of expert analyst or authority who can even comment on Rwandan matters is reflective of a desperation in Kampala that has for some time been apparent for anyone to see. The Kampala regime is desperate to keep the narrative alive that “Rwanda somehow is the bad party in the deteriorated relations between the two countries”.
Now their desperation has reached a level where they feel the need to call on an obviously unhinged individual like Kasirye Ggwanga as their messenger!
This old man, who with his unkempt white hair and dark sunglasses – a perfect image of the dreaded Amin State Research agent or Papa Doc and Baby Doc Duvalier’s Tontons Macoutes – looks and talks like someone with a very short fuse, is best known for the frequency with which he shoots at people’s vehicles and other machines without provocation and with total impunity.
On one of his drug binges last August, Ggwanga shot out the tyres of a truck carrying eucalyptus tree logs, claiming he was protecting the environment.
People were asking: “who gave Kasirye Ggwanga the brief to protect the environment?” On the other hand, the owner of the truck, one Gerald Wambi in Mityana said the trees were on his private property, not on public land.
However, according to Wambi, even when he recorded a complaint with the police he got no help. Up to today.
The unhinged retired general that very year, in January, had shot musician Catherine Kusasira’s car. He was complaining that the music coming from the vehicle was too loud. No law and order authorities has investigated that incident to this day. Kasirye Ggwanga also had shot and burnt someone’s tractor.
These are the activities of a lawless individual that, when subjected to scrutiny, are emblematic of the very regime he serves. It beggars belief that Kin Kariisa’s formerly respected NBS has sunk to a level where one of its chief anchors, Kaggwa Njala, now considers a mad man and drug addict like Kasirye Ggwanga to be a serious political analyst and commentator on Rwanda or any other subject. This is the most convincing proof that Museveni and Saleh have now fully coopted the NBS as paid shills for the regime’s propaganda effort. It also confirms that any dissenting and independently-minded journalists and media managers have been sacked as earlier demanded by the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC), on orders from Museveni’s State House.