A documentary on BBC compiled by Rob Walker, who travelled to various African countries mainly looking for people who are implicated in serious crimes against Rwanda, raises a lot of questions.
In the first leg of his arrival in Rwanda, Mr. Rob Walker visited the relatives of late Kagwa Rwisereka . In a statement by Antoine, the brother of Rwisereka, the latter asserts that his brother did not carry money on the night he was killed, well then! we all have brothers, but you cannot know how much money your brother is possessing, even our spouses are not always aware.
Such remarks should have attracted the reporter’s attention. Rob Walker never bothered to talk to police or justice officials who are in better position to offer the status of investigations, it could have provided a balanced documentary to the listeners.
From the beginning of the documentary, Rob made a conclusion that this murder is the latest in the series of similar cases. All the past murder cases that took place in Rwanda have a unique background as police investigations have shown.
Jean Leonard Rugambage was killed by one Didace NDUGUYANGU who had been tasked by a Genocide survivor, Antoine KAREMERA, from Kamonyi District, as a revenge for the alleged killing of his brother in 1994 Genocide, this is according to the Police spokesman Supt. Eric KAYIRANGA. The killer is in jail and accepts responsibility.
Mr. Kagwa Rwisereka killers are still unknown, but two suspects have been identified. One has been arrested and the other is still on the run. Mr. Kagwa Rwisereka was last seen with Ntivuguruzwa Thomas in late hours of the fateful night in the SOMBRERO night club. Police sources reveal that Mr. Ntivuguruzwa had had loan sharking conflicts with the deceased.
Rob Walker made a wild conclusion that in Rwanda, politics can be a dangerous occupation, a conclusion that is not supported by any facts. Political parties in Rwanda are allowed to operate from national to the lowest levels of government. All ten registered parties were allowed to nominate candidates for the presidential elections, but only four did.
Kayumba Nyamwasa as usual told Rob Walker that President Kagame deceived the world that he is an angel, that Kagame used to refer to Kayumba as an exemplary and dependable officer and Kayumba goes ahead and says that there is no RPF, there is no army, that there is instead a personal army.
During his tenure as the army chief of staff, he disappointed many Rwandans due to various malpractices such as patronage and unethical promotions in the army, that caused divisions and forced demobilization of some officers who were not his puppets.
According to RDF spokesman’s statement of 9th June 2010, “ Kayumba did not only fail to attain the standards expected of him, but also chose to undermine the institution that he was supposed to serve. While Kayumba has accused others in the government and RDF of intrigues, he was, throughout his tenure as a Chief of Staff, characterised not only by the intrigues he seeks to ascribe to others, but also by greed, lack of accountability, cheap popularity and creation of cliques among the Rwanda Defence Force fraternity”.
The RDF spokes man also added: “Indeed, he tried to bribe some officers into forming cliques using money meant for military operations until some officers went public and exposed him”.
He amassed a lot of wealth beyond his means. For example, he owns two mansions in Nyarutarama worth hundreds of millions of Rwandan francs. According to some reliable sources he owns a house in South Africa worth one million USD. It is common knowledge in Umutara that Kayumba grabbed hundreds of hectares of land ignoring the cries of other landless Rwandans especially returnees of 1994.
Thanks to President Kagame who ordered land redistribution in Umutara, the issue was resolved.
How in this world can Kayumba say that there is no RPF, when he was made the chief of staff of Rwandan army after the successful struggle by the RPF. For the benefit of the readers, RPF like other registered parties in Rwanda has structures from the grass root to the national level.
During the current presidential campaigns RPF has attracted the biggest followers than other contenders. Which RPF is Kayumba talking about? He calls RDF, a personal army of Kagame! RDF has demonstrated that it is a national army, the former fighters (ex-FAR) were integrated into RDF, the Rwandan army does not only provide security to Rwandans only but has gone beyond borders, in Darfur, Comoros, etc. . RDF does not operate in vacuum but operates under approved structures according to law n° 19/2002 of 17/05/2002 establishing the Rwanda Defence Forces. (j.o. n° 13 of 01/07/2002)
Article: 3 of the law n° 19/2002 stipulates “The Rwanda Defence Forces are a Professional Army. Any Rwandan citizen may voluntarily be recruited into the Rwanda Defence Forces on condition that he/she meets the requirements as per specific statutes governing the Defence Forces without any discrimination.
Article: 4 The Rwanda Defence Forces comprise of ;
a. The High Command Council of Rwanda Defence Forces;
b. The General Staff of Rwanda Defence Forces;
c. The Rwanda Land Force;
d. The Rwanda Air Force;
e. The Specialised units
It is not only the RDF that Rwandans can boast of, but there are several other Rwandan institutions that are strong and effective. This has been confirmed by the many awards in peace building and reconciliation, promotion of human rights, women empowerment, advancement of education, ICT and many others.
In the documentary, Kayumba was asked the purpose of his attack in South Africa, he said that President Paul Kagame has always wanted to do away with him. He claims that when he left, President Kagame was so annoyed that he was not under his control and the only thing he can do is to follow him and kill him.
When asked about the evidence that President Kagame ordered this attack, he said that President Kagame thinks that he wanted to challenge him for political power and that anybody perceived to be possibly about to challenge him for power has to be eliminated. This is speculation with no proof!
There are many possibilities that could trigger the shooting of Kayumba; he created so many enemies some related to the properties he looted during the war. Kayumba made strange remarks on BBC in January 1998, “We have the means, we have the will, we will kill until they lose the appetite for war”.
Kayumba made these remarks when he was overseeing the operations against the Hutu insurgency in Ruhengeri. This is the same Kayumba who is trying to forge an alliance with the same people he threatened to exterminate, which is political opportunism.
Such remarks he made in 1998, could also have created for him a lot of enemies. Another possibility is that enemies of Rwanda could be behind such shootings and attribute it to Rwanda with the aim of tarnishing its image.
From such reckless answering, he forgets that Rwanda is governed by the constitution. Legally, Kayumba was serving as a military officer and could not compete for any political office; secondly it should be noted that Kayumba did not escape due to president Kagame, but he fled justice.
According to Rwandan prosecution, Kayumba is wanted by Rwandan justice to answer charges related to lack of accountability and terrorism. He is implicated in the grenade attacks that rocked Kigali early this year.
In the documentary, Rob quotes John Bosco Gasasira of Umuvugizi newspaper as one of the sources on the ongoing South African police’s investigation into the shooting of Kayumba. Rob should be informed that Gasasira escaped the country after being implicated in several defamation cases in his newspaper with the intention of extorting money from his victims.
In one of the cases, the Umuvugizi publisher was found guilty of defamation and invading the individuals’ privacy. In the ruling, the court ordered that Mr. Gasasira pays up to Rwf 3 million (about US$ 6,000) as damages to the plaintiffs.
This is the man Rob Walker quotes as a trusted source. Let us wait for the completion of the investigations by South African Police, there is no need of preempting and confusing the public.
Gasasira has been misinforming the public that Rugambage was killed because of investigating the case of shooting of Kayumba in South Africa. But for God’s sake, what competence did Rugambage or Gasasira have to investigate such a case which happened miles away from Rwanda? Gasasira has been the mouthpiece of misinformation by Kayumba and Karegeya.
Gasasira has been questioning the independence of Rwandan justice, this is for obvious reasons, because he has several cases in courts and that is why he has joined his comrades in crime (Kayumba and Karegeya) to fight a losing battle. Birds of the same feathers.
In the same documentary by Rob Walker, Karegeya Patrick made a wild allegation that there is a long list of political killings ordered by President Paul Kagame. To quote the words of Minister Mushikiwabo; “This is a leadership that is quite popular and therefore wouldn’t gain anything from insecurity, killings and assassinations”.
The claims by Karegeya that he left Rwanda after disagreeing with top Rwanda leadership, especially on the orchestrated political killings, are only aimed at sanitising his image. What is true is that Karegeya escaped after serving two years in jail for misuse of public funds, insubordination and recklessness.
He was deprived of all military ranks by a competent military court. According to Rwanda prosecution, Karegeya and Kayumba are both responsible for the grenade attacks in Kigali early this year.
Karegeya, during the interview in the Uganda observer of 02nd August 2010, called upon Rwandans to rise up and topple the elected Rwandan government. This is another serious crime on top of terrorism charges.
In conclusion, Rwanda is a law abiding country, democracy is deeply rooted, reconciliation, good governance and respect for human rights have become part of Rwandan culture. The Rwanda detractors have no room.