KIGALI - Following the recent court sentencing and issuance of a diffusion notice to Interpol member countries by the Rwanda National Police to apprehend Kayumba and his fellow fugitives, the group has been gripped by panic. Kayumba in particular is wild in the media exposing further his true character!
For those who did not know Kayumba, this should be another look at the fellow’s wicked personality. In his recent interview in the Daily Monitor of Uganda of 19 January 2011, Kayumba shamelessly argues “I risked my life to get to this [general] rank and it was not a privilege or gift..” Well, in accordance with the RPA/RDF values and ethos, people risked their lives in order to liberate the people of Rwanda and to contribute actively to socio–economic and political transformation of the country. Some comrades died in the process of this liberation campaign and while battling the enemy to stop genocide against the Tutsi. Nobody fought with view to be a General or a Corporal. What individuals became, whether a General or a Corporal is in order to maintain the service function to the organization. This is the brand of the RDF.
Therefore, by his own utterances, Kayumba can only succeed in crystallizing his opportunistic and wicked character and thus why he fell out with the RDF. One of the problems he had to answer when he was the Army Chief of Staff was that he used to promise some officers promotion and even claim credit for those that would be promoted. And yet for all who know the workings of the military systems, particularly one with discipline at its core like the RDF, this was virtually impossible. But he kept deceiving and confusing some RDF officers, a situation that partly led to his eventual rejection. Such a counterrevolutionary character cannot find room in the Rwanda Defence Force.
While it is true that Kayumba rose to the rank of Lieutenant General, what this individual is ignorant about is the fact that a General without an Army is not a General. The rank of any General is linked to the role that he plays together with his comrades in furthering the interests of the institution he serves. One retains this status even when he retires but when an individual irrespective of his scale of contribution betrays his institution, he faces justice.
Kayumba betrayed his institution and one of the punishments he earned was dismissal from the military institution and having his rank stripped off. He may argue that he is still a General but nothing can change this fact. His situation is like that of a rich man who suddenly goes broke and sometimes commits suicide.
In a desperate attempt to dismiss the court verdict, Kayumba further argues that the military court acted outside its parameters. In order to back his false argument he told the Daily Monitor, “I am a Lieutenant General. How can Peter Bagabo [Judge], a Brigadier General sentence me? Gerald Gahima, a fellow renegade to Kayumba has also been making the same argument over the media. According to Article 34 of the “Organic Law Determining the Organisation, Functioning and Jurisdiction of Courts [No 51/2008 of 09/09/2008] that appeared in the Official Gazette of the Republic of Rwanda of 10 September 2008, “the Judge presiding over the trial shall be at least at the same military class with the defendant”. It is therefore in order for a Brigadier General to preside over a trial of a defendant who holds the rank of Lieutenant General or even full General.
One therefore wonders whether this is a deliberate distortion of facts or whether it is ignorance on Kayumba’s part. Ironically, Kayumba Nyamwasa, Patrick Karegyeya and Gahima Gerald studied law at university level.
In the same interview, Kayumba Nyamwasa makes some false and absurd statements and uses an irrelevant analogy in an attempt to mislead the public on the competence of Brigadier General Bagabo as a presiding judge in his trial. In Kayumba’s own words, “Laurent Nkunda’s case has failed to proceed because Rwanda cannot find a military officer of his rank to try him. If Gen Nkunda’s scenario has been given due consideration by the RDF, why couldn’t the same respect be offered to its own military officers?” What is this rank that Kayumba is talking about that cannot be found in Rwanda? What is this respect that Kayumba is looking for during his trial? Kayumba should be reminded that there is no scarcity of Lieutenant Generals or even full Generals in Rwanda. The argument here is whether it is legal or illegal for a defendant to be tried by a presiding judge of a rank lower than that of the defendant but in the same military class as happened in Kayumba’s case.
Kayumba was tried by a competent court with a competent presiding judge and in accordance with the law of the land and was pronounced guilty of six charges. His latest false, demeaning and desperate utterances are nothing but the last kicks of a dying horse.
Lt Col Jill Rutaremara, Defence and Military Spokesman