Kabale residents yesterday defied a police ban and went ahead to demonstrate against the detention of two Ugandans by Rwanda. Whereas the police on Monday warned that they would arrest any demonstrators, yesterday no one was detained, with the placard-carrying protestors promising to return to the streets today.
Led by Mr Leopold Twesigye and Mr Julius Tituryebwa, councillors, the about 800 demonstrators jammed Kabale’s streets and later briefly blocked Katuna Road that connects to Rwanda. They raised placards with inscriptions calling for the release of the detained men. “Rwanda must stop kidnapping Ugandans,” read some of the placards. “Subject them to court if they have a case,” screamed another.
Today marks 18 days since Mr Simpson Mpirirwe, a local businessman and Mr Didas Ndamira, an accountant at Voice of Kigezi Fm, were arrested from Cyanika border post near Kisoro District and detained by the Rwandan Military. Whereas Rwanda has been tight-lipped on the actual crime of the suspects, its ambassador to Uganda, Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage, had earlier indicated that they were involved in subversive activities.
Yesterday, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesman, Mr Patrick Muganda, refused to confirm whether Uganda’s ambassador to Rwanda, Mr Richard Kabonero, had visited the detainees as had been anticipated. Maj. Gen. Mugambage did not pick our repeated calls.