Nickson Kanyesigye, a resident of Bigaaga and Victor Arinda a taxi driver, says that as locals they have many unanswered questions. They note that official transport from Butanda to Kabale town is Shillings 10,000 but Rwandan passengers using taxis driven by their fellow Rwandans willingly pay between Shillings 100,000-500,000 per route.
Butanda sub-county in Kabale district have staged a peaceful demonstration protesting the continuous entry of Rwandan nationals into Uganda through porous borders. The residents mostly taxi drivers blocked Butanda-Rubaya-Kabale road at Habubaare trading Centre in Butanda sub-county using their vehicles on Sunday afternoon.
They displayed placards with different messages such as “Minister Abantu Ba Rwanda Beikiriziibwe Kugyira Enganga Muntu ibiri” loosely meaning Minister are Rwandan nationals special to have
national identity cards for two countries? “We have a problem of illegal entrants in our area, our leaders are being corrupt and
covering illegal entrants and Hon. Minister Bahati Tuyambe Abanyarwanda batumaraho
(Hon. Minister Bahati help us Rwandans are finishing us),” reads another.
protesters argued that Rwandan nationals cross from Burera district to Butanda especially through the porous borders of Kabere-Hakyoma, Rutare, and dwell in Habubaare trading and
Bigaaga trading centres. They also say that some of the Rwandan nationals have of recent bought taxis and started operating along Butanda-Katuna-Kabale road
while aiding their fellow Rwandan nationals only and at very high fares.
Locals also say that the Rwandan nationals
especially those who have ventured into the transport business have declined to join their associations and threaten Ugandans whenever they ask them to join local associations. Nickson Kanyesigye, a resident of Bigaaga and
Victor Arinda a taxi driver, says that as locals they have many unanswered questions.
They note that official transport from Butanda to Kabale town
10,000 but Rwandan
passengers using taxis driven by their fellow Rwandans willingly pay between Shillings 100,000-500,000 per route. Kanyesigye and Arinda say that they have received
reliable information that the Rwandan nationals paying high transport fares cross with the knowledge of Rwandan security.
They want Ugandan security to follow up on the matter and make ensure that any Rwandan national
who dwells in the area is investigated.
//Cue in: “ekintu ekitatushemeize nokureeba…
Cue out: …twaguma kuhunama.”//
Peter Mwijusya, the Chairperson of Rubaya-Butanda Taxi driver’s Association, says that as residents they have decided to
demonstrate because the continuous illegal entry of Rwandans could trigger insecurity for Ugandans since the two countries have sour relations.
Mwijusya also says that it is wrong for Rwandans to continue crossing into Uganda illegally and freely mix with locals
without undergoing COVID-19 testing.
//Cue in: “We are afraid…
Cue out: …to come.”//
//Cue in: “eshonga eya abanyarwanda…
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Edward Champion, the Butanda Sub County LC3 Chairman, says that he is aware of Rwandans nationals who recently
ventured into the taxi business and are only transporting Rwandan nationals between Shillings 100,000-500,000 from Butanda to Kabale instead of the usual Shillings 10,000.
nationals illegally cross into Uganda under the pretext of
visiting their relatives in Bunyoro and Tooro regions where they settled before the border closure.
//Cue in: “I saw one…
Champion also says that last week they held a security meeting and realized the need for
deployment of security
personnel because the two police officers at Butanda police post can’t man the porous border. He also says that efforts to
use village local
council chairpersons to arrest illegal immigrants hit a snag because most of them are related to the Rwandan national near the border.
//Cue in: “we had a…
Cue out: …the feedback.
Our reporter was unable to get a comment from Elly
Maate, the Kigezi Region Police Spokesperson since he could not pick calls to his known mobile
Major General Francis Takirwa, the Uganda People’s Défense Force (UPDF) Second
Division Commander, says that as security they often arrest deport the illegal immigrants. Takirwa however, says that some Rwandan nationals continue to use porous borders out of ignorance or with intentions of provoking Uganda.
//Cue in: “illegal entrants are…
Cue out; …them back.”//
Takirwa says that because of
the cmany porous
routes, it is not possible for security to deploy a soldier per metre because of manpower problems.
//Cue in: “for the regional…
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Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda on February
27, 2019. Rwandan President, Paul Kagame issued a travel advisory to his nationals
against travelling to Uganda, saying
their safety is not guaranteed. He accused Ugandan
authorities of abducting
Rwandan citizens and locking them up in
Since then, Ugandans who cross Rwanda through
porous borders have been receiving a rude welcome from Rwandan security. Justus Kabagambe, alias Kadogo, a resident of Rutare village in Rugaga parish,
Kabale district was
shot dead on August 18 at Kitovu village in the Northern Province in Rwanda, about half a kilometre from the
After the incident, Rwandan security
claimed to have gunned down Kabagambe for smuggling Movit Jelly products into their territory. But on repatriating the body on August, 29th,
authorities led by the District Police Commander for Burera, Superintendent of
Police (SP) Aphrodis Nkundineza and Marie-Chantal Uwanyirigira, the Burera District
Mayor, said Kabagambe
killed for smuggling waragi alias Kanyanga into Rwanda and resisting arrest.
authorities led by the Kigezi Police Spokesperson, Elly Maate, Muhammad Byansi, Kabale District
Police Commander, Reuben Mutabazi, the District Internal Security Officer, and Nelson Nshangabasheija, the District Chairman tasked Uwanyirigira to present the exhibit of the waragi
the deceased was
smuggling in vain. She instead claimed that the waragi poured down during the scuffle. Kabagambe is the 7th
Ugandan to be killed by Rwandan security since impasse between the two countries