A 41-year-old Rwandan businessman was on Thursday evening shot by the Rwandan security officials as he tried to smuggle about 500kgs of beans into Uganda.
The victim identified as Mr Innocent Ndahimana is currently admitted at Katuna Community Medical Clinic in Kabale District, with gunshot wounds on the right arm.
Police authorities said he was smuggling beans to Ugandan side through panya route (ungazetted border point) in Rushaki village in Rubaya Sub County Kabale District.
Mr Ndahimana told Daily Monitor on Friday that Rwandan security operatives warned him against crossing into Uganda but the fact that beans in Uganda fetch better prices, he defied before he was shot.
“The security operatives stopped me from crossing into Uganda with my goods but I defied because in Uganda a kilogram of beans is bought Shs2,350 while in Rwanda it’s only Shs2,000,” Mr Ndahimana said.
“They shot me on the right arm and I fell down on the Ugandan side before they impounded the beans and my colleagues carried me to Katuna Community Medical Clinic for treatment.”
Mr Ndahimana said that he is a resident of Nyakabungo village, Chumba Sub County in Gicumbi District in Rwanda where he has a wife and five children. He is however worried that he might be arrested when he returns to Rwanda. He suspects when he returns home a severe punishment awaits him for violating rules.
Rwandan authorities in February discouraged their nationals from entering Uganda and denied cargo trucks from entering Uganda through Katuna border on claims that they were upgrading their one stop border post at Gatuna. They also cited harassment of their nationals and accused Uganda of hosting Rwandan enemies.
The in charge for Katuna Community Medical Clinic, Mr Alex Niwahereza said on Friday that the patient is out of danger, but he’s yet to be discharged. “The victim arrived at the clinic with a deep wound on the right hand that was bleeding. We washed the wound, treated and dressed it. He is now out of danger,” Mr Niwahereza said.
Mr Justus Karambuzi, the LC1 chairman for Burambira Village at Katuna town council where the victim is being admitted reported the matter to the security officials at Katuna border post to avoid being accused of hosting an injured foreigner in his village.
Although the authorities in Rwanda couldn’t be reached for a comment on the incident, Kigezi Regional Police Commander ACP Richard Ecega on Friday confirmed the incident saying that he visited the area where the victim was shot from and later went to the clinic to assess the situation.
“This man was shot after he had stopped about two meters on the Ugandan side. He was carried to a clinic in Katuna town council where he is being treated and I hope once he heals, he will go back to his country,” Mr Ecega said.
The officer in charge of customs at Katuna border post Mr Emmanuel Bamanya said that the traffic of small cars and buses is normal though the entry of Cargo Trucks into Rwanda is still restricted by the Rwandan authorities.