FOR the last few months, the controversy surrounding Rwandan fugitive officers, Kayumba Nyamwasa and Patrick Karegyeya’s decision to move to South Africa, and their subsequent activities, continue to feature in the news media in one way or another.
Now, the more you take a closer look at the entire drama and how it has unfolded with evident involvement of foreign governments at the highest levels, you begin to realize that there is more than meets the eye. Indeed for any one with some level of interest in world affairs and espionage, the Kayumba / Karegyeya story brings to mind similar cases that have played out elsewhere.
In January 1963, the Soviet Union announced that it had granted Kim Philby political asylum in Moscow. Indeed Kim Philby was no political refugee. He was a senior MI6 officer in the British intelligence, who had held key positions including MI6 representative in Washington where he worked as a high level liaison officer with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the CIA.
By the time he was posted to Washington, Philby was an accomplished intelligence officer, having worked for MI6 in various capacities in Europe and the Middle East, from the Iberian Sub-section where he was responsible for the British Intelligence in Portugal and Spain to Beirut in Lebanon, where he worked under the cover of a correspondent for The Observer and the Economist.
In Washington, Kim Philby was strategically placed and intimately privy to, virtually, all intelligence reports and analysis that related to the East-West rivalry, at the height of the cold war.
In July 1963, the British government announced that Kim Philby had been a high level Soviet agent dating back to the 1940s. Philby was revealed to be part of a British spy ring, a high level intelligence penetration that had, for a long time, worked for the Soviet Union.
The group known as the “Cambridge Five”, included Donald Mclean, Guy Burgess, Anthony Blunt, John Cairncross and Kim Philby, who is believed to have been the most successful among them, in providing critical intelligence to the Soviets.
Like the Soviet Union declared, in 1963, that they had granted political asylum to Kim Philby, a former top British intelligence officer, President Jacob Zuma of South Africa, declared in Kampala, March this year, that his government had granted refugee status to Patrick Karegyeya and Kayumba Nyamwasa, two former top officials in Rwanda’s National Security Services.
The South African President made the announcement hardly one month after Kayumba arrived in that country. We have since established that it takes a minimum of two years to process a refugee application in South Africa.
As it turns out, Kayumba did not have to apply for refugee status. While other applicants seeking refuge in South Africa wait for more than two years before they get to know their fate, by the time Kayumba landed in Johannesburg, his papers had been processed, a highly irregular and suspicious procedure that has baffled observers.
In its July 13th, 2010 issue, South Africa’s Business Day declared that “It still remains a mystery how Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa was not only allowed, but granted asylum in SA as a refugee”.
In spite of the massive wealth, fraudulently acquired before they left the country, the two fugitives are not spending any of their own money. Kayumba and Karegyeya have been treated like top government officials within the ANC regime, never mind the fact that the Government of Rwanda has clearly communicated to South Africa details of the terrorist crimes committed by the two individuals against the people of Rwanda, seeking their extradition.
They have been offered free executive housing in some of the most exclusive neighborhoods of Johannesburg, with all expenses covered, including utility bills.
They are provided with expensive vehicles, with 24 hr security, as well as air tickets and traveling allowances. By the time you get to this point, you know you are not exactly reading about some helpless refugee, lucky to be granted asylum in a caring country.
Indeed when, in June, someone took a shot at Kayumba on the streets of Johannesburg, the South African government betrayed its unprecedented interest in the Rwandan fugitives. The Vice President, Kgalema Motlanthe, led a high powered delegation that included the Chief of Intelligence to visit Kayumba at his hospital bed!
The question on everyone’s mind is: What does the South African government owe the Rwandan fugitives to a point where they are treated as royalty, in contravention of protocol and State relations? Indeed they have been given a free hand to use the South African territory to carry out subversive activities against their own country, including their recent declaration of war.
South Africa’s conduct in the whole controversy, more than anything else, confirms regional intelligence reports that Kayumba and Karegyeya, in their former positions at the helm of the security apparatus in Rwanda, served as agents for several countries, including South Africa.
The reports indicate that South Africa was prepared to pay handsomely for intelligence related to the Great Lakes region, with particular focus on the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Burundi, where the country had a peace keeping force.
Reports are emerging of how much information, the fugitives passed on to South Africa when they still held key positions in the Rwandan security system, including intelligence obtained from regional allies, and apparently South Africa owes them big time.
Historically, when their crimes catch up with them, double agents have always run or retired to the countries they worked for, against their own. Like Kim Philby fled to Moscow, Kayumba and Karegyeya moved to Johannesburg.
The ANC government, on the other hand, has lived by its part of the bargain, welcoming Kayumba and Karegyeya with open arms and providing them with their full pension and some. What more would a quisling ask for?