Diplomatic relations between Rwanda and Uganda could go worse after a local church in Mbarara district of Western Uganda is discovered to be a recruiting base of rebels planning to destabilise Rwanda.
Visurnga post has unearthed details of the activities conducted at Agape Blessing Community Church. “It is no longer a spiritual ground for religious activities but rather a recruitment and mobilization base for the terrorist group, Rwanda National Congress (RNC),” the site reported.
The website reported that Agape Church owned by “Pastor” Deo Nyiligira has turned into a “centre for RNC covert operations in western Uganda where religious deeds are only used as a cover up for RNC recruitment and mobilization activities.”
Apparently, Agape church is one of the dozens of RNC cells operating freely in Uganda and engaged in mobilising for this ragtag terrorist outfit.
For these activities to be conducted successfully, the website alleged that it is “thanks to the support they enjoy from Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) under the command of Brig. Gen. Abel Kandiho.”
There are fears that Deo Nyirigira’s Agape church in Mbarara is not only a recruitment front for RNC but also a planning base for all RNC clandestine operations in western Uganda.
Eyewitnesses told Virunga that RNC fugitives frequently meet at the church under the guise of prayers and draw up lists of young Rwandans to recruit into rebel activities but also come up with lists of innocent Rwandans deemed ‘hostile’ to RNC agenda.
There after, its is said, “Rwandans classified as “hostile” to RNC propaganda are often baptized as Rwandan government spies and subsequently forwarded to CMI for arrest and torture.”
“For the recruitment and mobilization to succeed those that they see as an obstacle to their agenda are simply framed as Rwandan spies and handed to CMI…it’s a strategy that is working well for the group,” the church member that spoke to this website on condition of anonymity said.
One of the recent victims of those lists is Emmanuel Cyemayire, a Rwandan businessman based in Mbarara who was kidnapped on January 4 by CMI operatives. His whereabouts remain unknown till today.
The group at church does not only stop at recruiting and plotting kidnaps, they also work with CMI to transport the recruits to their training base as the case was with the 43 recruits that were detained enroute for Minembwe in DRC through Burundi.
It should be recalled that this very Agape church is where Dr. Ruvuma, a well known RNC mobiliser in Mbarara was arrested from but later released amidst pressure from CMI. Ruvuma has since continued to operate freely for the terrorist group RNC since his release.
Other top RNC agents who frequent the church are Charles Sande (alias Robert Mugisha) and Felix Mwizerwa (Pastor Nyirigira’son). Mwizerwa and Dr Ruvuma were part of the group that escorted the 43 RNC recruits to Kikagati border post but escaped upon seeing Uganda Police detain the group.
For the past two months, Nyirigira’s church has been active in framing cases of espionage on innocent Rwandans and hence leading to their arrest. This website has detailed information on seven Rwandan businessmen and women who were kidnapped and taken to Kampala CMI after their names were drawn up by a group working from this church.
Pastor Deo Nyirigira fled justice in Rwanda in 2000 after members of his AGAPE Church in Kigali reported him to the authorities that he was extorting money from them and that he was using the church for personal gains at the expense of the interests of the members.
Even members of his AGAPE Church in Mbarara have leveled similar charges against him his close links to CMI have helped to provide cover for these corrupt tendencies, according to sources with close links to the Church.
In 2009, Pastor Deo Nyirigira the church accused him of swindling Shs16m from the church. His defense was that a local hotel in Mbarara had stolen the money.
Rugema Kayumba, a cousin to RNC’s political head, Kayumba Nyamwasa and the CMI’s CPL Mulindwa aka Mukombozi are said to be the leaders of RNC operations in Uganda.