Tensions as Rwanda arrests Ugandan businessman
There is growing tension at the Uganda-Rwanda border of Chanika in Kisoro district following the reported arrest of a prominent businessman and the area Manager of Horizon Bus Company, Emmanuel Sebuzuru.
A Ugandan security official who sought anonymity told our reporter that Sebuzuru was arrested by Rwandan security officials on Wednesday evening.
He said that Sebuzuru had crossed to Ruhengeri town in the Northern Province of Rwanda to pick company cash but was arrested before returning to the Ugandan side of the border.
According to Geoffrey Barore Nombe, the Chairman of traders at Chanika border, Sebuzuru had earlier in the day received a phone call from the Manager of Jaguar Bus Company in Ruhengeri town asking him to cross to Rwanda and pick money for banking, on behalf of his company.
Borore said that Sebuzuru was cleared by both Uganda and Rwandan Immigration officials to cross to Ruhengeri to pick the money. However, he was intercepted at the border while crossing back to Uganda and questioned why he was carrying huge sums of Ugandan money. He reported had exchanged Rwandan francs worth Shs 5 million.
Borore said that Sebuzuru was questioned to explain where he was taking the money and to prove its source.
A lady, only identified as Zauda, who had given him the payment was also arrested afterwards.
Borore says that Rwandan security officials indicated that Sebuzuru had been wanted by Rwandan security for facilitating Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a rebel group led by Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Borore says that their efforts to secure Sebuzuru’s release did not yield positive results. On Thursday evening, he was transferred from the border to Kigali for further questioning.
According to traders, the arrest is an indication that Ugandans who still cross to Rwanda put their lives at risk.
Kisoro District Police Commander Charles Okotto expressed reservations on the matter. Rwanda closed its borders with Uganda on February 27, to purportedly expedite the construction of the single customs post at Gatuna border.
Rwanda advised truck drivers destined to Kigali to use Kagitumba border via Mirama Hills.
However, Rwandan officials including President, Paul Kagame later accused Ugandan authorities of abducting its citizens and locking them up in ungazetted areas.
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. Rwanda also deployed security officials and destroyed all temporary bridges to bar Rwandans from crossing to Uganda.