Kayumba Nyamwasa re-affirms he did not merit his rank and appointment: Once a General not always a General

1. In an interview with Mukombozi, “Nyamwasa hits back at Kagame over sentence”, that appeared in the Monitor Newspaper on January 19 2011, Kayumba argued that he can never relinquish his rank because he “risked his life for it”. 

1. In an interview with Mukombozi, “Nyamwasa hits back at Kagame over sentence”, that appeared in the Monitor Newspaper on January 19 2011, Kayumba argued that he can never relinquish his rank because he “risked his life for it”.  In the same interview Kayumba dismisses the judgment arguing that the court was presided over by an officer of the rank of Brigadier General. In Kayumba’s article that appeared in The Observer Newspaper late last year, my response to it was titled “KAYUMBA  NYAMWASA: AN ARCHETYPE OF WHAT GENERAL SHOULD NEVER BE”. It brought out Kayumba’s arguments that never reflected an army officer, let alone one of the rank of General.

The arguments brought by Kayumba in this recent interview simply went further to re-affirm that Kayumba did not merit his rank and appointment in the first place. It went further to expose Kayumba’s character and what he actually set out to fight for during the Rwanda’s liberation war. It simply demonstrates that Kayumba was fighting for pips on his shoulders.

2. Having been the head of intelligence during the liberation war, and later the army Chief of Staff, Kayumba presided over a number of cases where various Rwanda Patriotic Army, later Rwanda Defence Force officers, were stripped of their ranks by the military courts for various crimes. These officers who were stripped of their ranks had risked their lives more and had less severe crimes than Kayumba. He never at any one time defended these officers to say that “those who risked their lives to get the ranks should never be stripped of their ranks by the military courts, whatever crimes they commit”. Kayumba, even as the Army Chief of Staff, never even proposed the amendment of the criminal law relating to the stripping of ranks of officers who commit certain crimes after “risking their lives for the country”.

Kayumba should also be aware that even the soldiers who are recognized with the “Order of Bravery” Medals are reminded in the citation that the honour will be stripped off if they commit crimes that embarrass RDF and the country. This is the honour you acquire for putting your life at the highest risk, but all the same you lose it after committing a crime.  

3. This means, according to Kayumba, we should have had two laws applying to one crime; one meant for those who risked their lives for the country and another for those who never risked their lives for the country. Here Kayumba’s myopic outlook of the military limits him to view the military personnel’s sacrifice for their country to only the liberation of the country which he thinks ends with the capture of state power. To Kayumba, those who fought insurgency when he had abandoned the army to go to UK never risked their lives for the country. What about those who fought the Congo wars to protect the country from being taken over by the genocidal forces? What about all the soldiers who are still sacrificing their lives to protect the sovereignty and integrity of the nation? What about all the soldiers sacrificing their lives to keep and preserve the regional and international peace and stability in Sudan, Liberia, Chad, Haiti and elsewhere?

4. According to Kayumba, fighting for and the liberation of the country end with the taking over of state power. This is a reflection of the gross deficiency in the understanding of liberation philosophy. The capture of state power by any well- intentioned and visionary liberation movement simply marks the first phase in the long journey of the liberation struggle and not the end as Kayumba and his cohorts take it to be. The state power only offers the platform to implement what you set out to fight for in the first place, which include, mainly; good governance, peace and security and socio-economic prosperity of the people. This is what marks the difference between Kayumba with his cohorts and the rest of the Rwandans who fought for the genuine cause. The real liberators believe the struggle for the emancipation of Rwandans is still an ongoing process. The concept of nation-building does not exist in Kayumba’s mind; it’s only the pips on his shoulders and other personal material gains that matter at what he calls the end of the liberation war. It explains why Kayumba has allied with the genocidal forces that are bent on completing their original mission of Genocide.

5. Nullification of what was offered to you to enable you practice the profession is not limited to the military profession alone, but is rather applicable to other noble professions; including medicine and law among others. In the medical profession, if a  specialized doctor, say a surgeon or gynecologist who has achieved his papers through over 20 years of hard work, is found embarrassing to the profession at one time in his practice, he/she will be stripped of his rights to practice as a doctor throughout his life. The same applies to the law profession. The military profession being the most noble and unique profession, penalties are always much higher. This is because the implication of the failure of the profession spells the collapse of the nation. Every nation constantly strives to ensure that its military never fails in its profession. Kayumba should therefore not cry foul for the court sentence of 24 years and dismissal from the army with disgrace leaving him with bare shoulders. This is the verdict that befalls military servicemen who maneuver to the top while serving their personal interests. The government which gives you the rank when you are serving national interests reserves the right to strip you of the same when you go against the national interests. Kayumba should know that military ranks are not a personal property but rather institutional property controlled by the government.

6. The argument that the court was presided over by a Brigadier General in rank, simply reaffirms the utmost ignorance of the existing Rwanda Defence Force’s laws by someone once called a General and Chief of Staff at that. This has been brought out in various responses to the same interview or other utterances by the like-minded criminals of Kayumba including Gahima, Karegeya and Rudasingwa. In accordance with the law, any officer within the class of a General rank can preside over the judgment of any General in the same rank bracket.

7. Kayumba should come to terms with the verdict and understand that he is no longer a General. Anyone who deals with him should also know that he/she is dealing with a wanted criminal and not a General. Any professional soldier anywhere in the world that recognizes or treats Kayumba with the traditional military respect should know that he/she is  indeed disgracing his own army. This should only be left to his own recruited militia which he is busy building up. The officers and his guards in the host country should not discredit their own army by giving military respect to someone dismissed from the army with disgrace. It’s only the non-military circles which can be forgiven for the continued referral of Kayumba as a General but not definitely the noble military profession. 

8. In conclusion, Kayumba presided over many officers who were stripped of their military ranks by the court when he was the army chief of staff with no mention of its illegality. Kayumba as an army officer committed crimes that earned him the verdict that any respectable military officer would never dream of meeting in his/her life time. His argument that he will not accept the court ruling that stripped him of his rank is a demonstration of  Kayumba’s myopic outlook, gross deficiency in military issues and simply goes further to re-affirm that he did not merit the rank and the appointment in the first place.

The Writer is the Defence and Security Advisor to HE The President of the Republic of Rwanda


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