Uganda receives bodies of busnenssmen shot in Rwanda
Drama ensued today when bodies of Ugandan businessmen who were shot dead in Rwanda were handed over without postmortem report in Kamwezi Sub County in Rukiga district.
John Bosco Tuhirirwe and Job Ebyarishaga, both residents of Kamwezi Sub-county were shot dead by Rwandan security at Tabarwe in Nyagatare district in the wee hours of Sunday morning, about 200 meters from Ugandan border for allegedly smuggling tobacco.
Three other Ugandans who were with the deceased including Aron Ainebyoona, Christopher Byamukama and Emmanuel Niwamanya managed to flee back to Uganda. In a press release issued on Sunday evening, the Rwanda Rational Police Spokesperson, Commissioner of Police, John Bosco Kabeera, said the Ugandans were shot in self-defense when they turned violent and assaulted police officers on duty.
On Tuesday 12 at around midday, Ugandan time Ugandan, Pecurity, Political authorities and the deceased’s relatives gathered at Uganda-Rwanda border in Buziba village in Kashekye parish, Kamwezi sub county, Rukiga district to receive the bodies. Ugandan authorities were headed by the Kigezi region Police Commander, the Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson Elly Maate, the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner Prikeria Muhindo Mwiine, and the Rukiga District Vice Chairman Jackson Muganiizi.
It took about an hour for Rwandan security officials led by the Eastern Province Region Police Commander Emmanuel Hatari and the mayor of Nyagatare district David Claudian Mushabe to arrive at the border with bodies under tight security on both sides of the border.
Drama however erupted when, Ugandan Security authorities demanded their counterparts to present postmortem and handover report before receiving bodies. Rwandan authorities instead handed over death certificates of the deceased.
Ugandan authorities were also frustrated when they saw death certificates written in French and Kinyarwanda languages instead of English language which all of them can easily understand. Sserunjoji, Maate and Muhindo declined to receive bodies and demanded Rwandan officials to first write a handover report.
This forced some of the Rwandan officials to drive back to Nyagatare to pick a police stamp and headed papers to write handover report after Ugandan Authorities protested when they wanted to put it on a plain piece of paper. The misunderstanding lasted for about one and a half hours for the handover report to be drafted. Regarding the postmortem report, Rwandan authorities said that they will hand it over through embassies.
After the handover of bodies to Ugandan Authorities, the Rukiga Resident District Commissioner Prikeria Muhindo Mwiine condemned theact saying that killing does not solve problems. He added that smugglers should have been arrested and charged accordingly. She also called for maintaining of relationship between Uganda and Rwanda.
The Mayor of Nyagatare district David Claudian Mushabe maintained the stand of Rwanda that Rwanda National Police Officers killed the smugglers after they turned violent while resisting arrest. Mushabe added that despite the incident, a lesson has been learnt that each country has its own rules and mandate with security.
Johnson Mushure, the father of Job Ebyarishaga said that the death of his son is a big loss to the family since he was the sole bread winner. Mushure asked the government of Uganda to compensate him with money to cater for funeral bills as well as look after the widow and her three children.
Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda in February 2019 to purportedly expedite the construction of the single customs at Gatuna border.Rwanda advised truck drivers destined to Kigali to use Kagitumba border via Mirama Hills. President, Paul Kagame later accused Ugandan authorities of abducting its citizens and locking them up in ungazetted detention centres
Rwanda also accused Uganda of hosting and facilitating dissidents especially Rwanda National Congress-RNC and the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda FDLR, which have declared war on the Kigali government. Rwanda advised its citizens against travelling to Uganda, saying it can’t guarantee their safety.