The year was Oct 1990, and the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) offensive to topple Juvenile Habyarimana’s government had just started. Ugandan President, Yoweri Museveni was in Copenhagen, Denmark at the sidelines of a UN General Assembly meeting he had attended in New York, accompanied by First lady Janet Museveni.
Museveni together with Janet were being chauffeured to visit farms, when he suddenly started dozing off. In an an instant, he received a terrifying vision which he shared in his book: Sowing the Mustard Seed, second edition on page 280 and 281.
Sabasaba revisited the pages of the book and tells the story of Museveni saying he pity the people who say there is no God because he on several occasions has received God’s messages in form of dreams.
Following the 02 October Tusti-led RPF invasion in Rwanda which was initially unsuccessful, the pioneer leaders of the rebel group notably Fred Gisa Rwigyema, decided to keep details of the attack a top secret. Not even to their Godfather, President Museveni. According to his own account, although he had been alerted on the intention he wasn’t notified about when they would attack.
Museveni says, he had actually nominated Fred Rwigyema to attend a leadership course in the US to bolster his leadership skills ahead of the invasion, but Fred declined claiming he wanted to keep an eye on Rwandan fighters in NRA who were “capable of making some mistakes” paving way for the appointment of Paul Kagame to attend the course.
On the day before Museveni left for the UN General Assebbly, he called Rwigyema for a meeting since the former had asked for one claiming he had important information to share with the president.
Unfortunately, the meeting never happened due to the tight schedule the president had that day and Museveni says it was the last time he talked to Fred Rwigyema.
The next day, while he was asleep in New York, at around 2 am New York time, Museveni received a call from the Army Commander Maj. Gen. Mugisha Muntu, who broke the news of the attack in Runyankole that: “Bariya baagyenda” –meaning “The other ones have gone.
Museveni says, the invasion had some operational mistakes which led to the initial defeat and the results did not take long to come in, including the death of Rwigyema on the first day of the attack. However, Museveni says that he was alerted about the death of one of his trusted NRA commanders through a dream, way before the real news came.
As he was being chauffeured half-sleep on a visit to farms in Denmark, Museveni was startled seeing (in a dream) somebody with a sharp, shinning knife, standing behind Janet as she sat facing the other way.
The invader was aiming the knife at Janet’s right breast as if he intended to cut it off! Then, he woke up. Pondering that the worst could have happened, Museveni’s mind went straight to their young girls –Natasha, Patience and Diana, who used to commute everyday from State House, Entebbe to Kampala Parents School for studies. In his mind, he thought something bad may have happened or was about to happen though, he proceeded with the trip to the farms.
Without mobile phones to call home to ascertain the truth about the family in relation to the dream, Museveni therefore took the first opportunity to get back to the hotel and call Kampala, only to be told that the kids were safe and nothing had happened.
He says, it was until he returned to Uganda from a prolonged trip, that he got to learn that the message in the dream was about Rwigyema’s death whose news were kept top secret.
Museveni writes that he doesn’t know why the RPF leadership chose to keep Rwigyema’s death a secret even from him, but the explanation he got was that the death of Rwigyema would send Habyarimana into celebration which they never wanted. He says he rejected their reasoning and announced Rwigyema’s death.
However, Museveni says this was not the first time he was receiving God’s messages through visions alerting him of certain events.
He notes, that on two other occasions, he got alerted about death of his comrades by an owl –a bird whose cry the Banyankole regard as a harbinger of death.
He says he did not believe this until one night during the Luwero bush-war days when he was woken up by an owl’s cry. The next day, Museveni got the news that Kaggwa, one of his most fearless machine gunner had died in combat.
On another occasion, while sleeping at his Kisozi country home, Museveni writes that he heard the same cries from an owl. The next day, he received news of an attempt on Former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak’s life during an OAU meeting in Adis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Museveni was slated to be at the same meeting but cancelled the trip at the last minute. He says whenever he hears an owl cry, some bad news follows in the next few days.