Moses Ishimwe Rutare, a Rwandan businessman who was operating in Kampala, had spent seven months in Uganda’s Chieftaincy of Military Intelligence (CMI) dungeons under constant torture and harassment.
He is finally back home after being released from Ruzira Maximum Prison with severe body and psychological torture.
He had been falsely charged with illegal entry by Nakawa’s Chief Magistrate’s court in March.
It all began on December 22, 2018, when Rutare was serving with his friend Eunice at Zoe Ministries, a local church in Bugolobi, a suburb in Kampala, when his cell phone rang.
He stepped outside to pick the call. It was her mother calling.
No sooner had he ended the call than armed people dressed in civilian attire surprised him. He was asked to identify himself.
As Rutare walked around the church speaking to his mother, he was suddenly confronted by unidentified individuals and the ordeal began from there.
They were CMI agents.
He told the agents that he was a Rwandan businessman. His face was immediately covered and taken to the dungeons of Mbuya military barracks.
In there, there are many Rwandans rotting.
Victims are beaten with electric cables, heavy and blunt objects.
“They said first of all, that it was because I look like Kagame,” Rutare says, agonizing about his mistreatment, “but they also suspected that I was a Rwandan spy,” Ishimwe told reporters on Monday during a press conference at the Rwanda National Police General Headquarters in Kacyiru.
While at Mbuya Headquarters, he was subjected to various types of torture. He was beaten and tortured while his face was masked.
As a result, after a month, he forgot days and dates.
“We were held in a dark place where there was no sunshine at all. And when they removed the mask, it was just for a short time, when being taken to the toilets or to eat,” he said.
Apart from that, detainees are also subjected to unhealthy conditions such as not being able to wash themselves. They are also starved.
During several interrogation sessions by CMI operatives, Rutare said they accused him of being a spy, and trafficking Rwandan prostitutes to Uganda.
He was also beaten and punched in order to coarse s confession, but he denied all the charges.
“I didn’t know anything about any of these charges. I was beaten and punched but there was no investigation whatsoever. I was simply kidnapped. This is something the institution (CMI) always does. They asked me to tell them how many members of the Rwandan army I was acquainted with,” he said.
After being beaten, injured and tortured, Rutare fell sick and was taken to Kileka detention, a military run healthy facility, for treatment.
From there, he was presented to court and charged before being transferred to Luzira Maximum prison.
“There, we thought we were going to die and we didn’t know what was going on outside,” he said.
Fred Butare Irumva who is the victim’s older brother says the family attempted to have him released. They failed..
Butare says that they had earlier over Ugs20 million to CMI operatives to set him free, but they took the money and refused to release him.
Rutare thanks the Rwandan government through the embassy in Kampala for following up his case and the friends and relatives who mounted pressure via social media campaigns to call for his release.
Many other Rwandans are still held there.
Here below is Rutare before his kidnap.