The wife of Rwanda’s former head of external intelligence, Patrick Karegeya, is being used by President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda to tarnish the image of Rwanda’s leadership.
In an exclusive interview with Museveni’s mouthpiece, New Vision, of Saturday, April 13, Leah Karegeya falsely claims that her husband was an innocent man who fell out with his boss.
Karegeya was strangled in South Africa in 2013 by unknown assailants. However, a court case, which is still undergoing, has not determined who is responsible for his death.
In the interview, Leah Karegeya is guided by the interviewer, who declined to include his name, into presenting President Museveni as the regional Godfather and her husband a saint who suffered mistreatment and a death that she blames on Rwanda.
Surprisingly, Leah Karegeya confirms that her husband, while in South Africa, indeed started an opposition party. However, she deliberately omits the fact that the same organisation was involved in terrorism in Rwanda.
Karegeya’s terrorist outfit launched 28 grenade attacks that claimed the lives of 17 people and wounded more than 400 innocent Rwandans.
This was Karegeya’s gratitude to a country that gave him the privileges he enjoyed all the years as a senior military officer and chief of intelligence, a position his wife mentions as if it were a private possession that he was entitled to and shouldn’t have been removed from.
As the mastermind of these subversive acts, Karegeya mobilised and carried out 11 terror attacks during the run-up to the 2010 presidential elections, killing five people and fatally injuring 158 civilians.
Annociathe Mukayiranga, a resident of Jabana, a suburb of Kigali City, is one of the survivors of Karegeya’s terror acts.
On a calm Wednesday evening of August 12, 2010, over a dozen people were wounded, including two children, in a grenade attack at a bus station in Kigali, hours after the countdown of the election results.
Mukayiranga was severely wounded. “I had been waiting for a bus with other hundreds of passengers at the bus terminal,” she says.
“Buses delayed and I decided to board a taxi motorcycle,” she recalls. “A young lady grabbed the motorcycle before I did...and suddenly there was an explosion before they (assailants) took off.”
Two grenades blasted off in the rush hour at the busy bus station.
Later, some arrests were made and suspects testified that they were working for Karegeya’s RNC to destabilise Rwanda.
In the interview with the New Vision, Leah Karegeya praises her late husband as a man of fundamental values.
She says Karegeya had fled, “because he believed in human rights.” How someone who detonates grenades that kill innocent souls is said to believe in human rights is never addressed and the reporter is not interested in knowing.
Yet Mukayiranga is nursing a lasting injury caused by Karegeya’s coordinated attacks on innocent Rwandans. “I have a fragment in my leg. It hurts so much. I expect to be operated-on soon to remove it,” she says before wondering what kind of punishment awaits those responsible.
“After the attack, I thought we were back in the dark days of the Genocide against the Tutsi,” adds Mukayiranga, who is a Genocide survivor. “I did not expect anyone, except the Interahamwe (the militia largely blamed for the Genocide), to carry out such despicable acts,” she says.
Karegeya’s Criminal Record
Mrs Karegeya also didn’t tell the world that Karegyeya had all along been traveling on a Ugandan passport by the name of Patrick Batenga.
Karegeya, with the help of Museveni’s agents, fled Rwanda after serving a short sentence for insubordination and the subsequent stripping of military rank and dismissal with disgrace from the army.
This was the second time he had violated military rules on insubordination; the first time he had been pardoned.
As a fugitive in South Africa, Karegeya was asked why he had fled his country. His response was that he left the army due to “early retirement.”
Wronged many people
Karegeya had wronged and ran over many innocent souls on the continent, not just in Rwanda and Uganda.
“There was no difference between him and Al Shabab or other terrorists,” says Emmanuel Rwema, who is now permanently paralysed following a grenade attack that also caused him permanent damage to his spinal cord.
This is the human rights activist that Leah Karegeya praises as a holy man who only fell out with his boss.
“My husband hated injustice,” she claims in the full page interview whose intention was to portray Karegeya as a hero.
“He and President Kagame disagreed on many things regarding the values that they stood for,” she adds.
Yet, Karegeya died with the blood of 500 innocent people on his hands. The victims have never found the justice that his wife claims her husband stood for.
Also worth pointing out is that, while in exile, Karegeya had integrated himself into a network of criminal gangs trafficking in illegal drugs through the continent to South America. He likely messed with the wrong people.