It is not fair that renegade General Kayumba Nyamwasa runs away from the monster he helped create. He should have the taste of his own medicine!

Nyamwasa is not just an ordinary Rwandan official. He once belonged to the inner circle of (President Paul) Kagame’s ruling clan. In fact it is said that the two generals belong to the same baganza clan.

He is a man who executed Kagame’s orders without question and with swiftness. He would never brook any form of dissent or criticism of RPA and its leader Gen. Kagame.

He believed so much in the efficiency of military skills in solving political problems. When there was political dissent and resistance in northern Rwanda by former FAR (Forces Armées Rwandaises) and those conveniently tarred ‘Interahamwe’, he unleashed his military firepower to beat them into submission.

In fact he bragged to BBC:  “We have the means. We have the will. We will kill them until they lose appetite for war.”

Nyamwasa says he could not stay in Rwanda because he did not think that he would get justice. He says he and his colleagues, who were also very senior in government and the ruling party, have fled the country because they have no faith in government institutions and the judiciary.

Nyamwasa and others decided to promote the cult of personality other than create institutions. By then the cult of a macho Kagame worked for them, therefore there was more need to promote it than nip it in the bud!

How ironic that now Nyamwasa labels Kagame an absolute dictator who has been corrupted by absolute power! Who helped Kagame become an absolute dictator, if at all he is?

Many people including the former President Pasteur Bizimungu have been tried under this justice system, and the likes of Nyamwasa knew it was a sham but they never complained.

There was no effort to revamp this system. It did not matter then because it never touched them. How selfish! Once out of power, Bizimungu was arrested on politically motivated charges which included embezzling state funds, inciting violence and criminal association.

Later, when he was taken to court, the charges were changed to stirring up divisions between the Tutsis and Hutus. He lost the appeal and he was sentenced to prison for 15 years.

Nyamwasa has watched many of his colleagues who fell out with their ‘superman’ being isolated and some purged. He is one of those who never wanted to identify with those who annoy the big man.

He had never imagined how it feels to be ostracised until he lost his dear mother and then all his former colleagues, including the President he served so well, shunned him.

It’s people like Nyamwasa who have failed efforts to inculcate democracy in Africa. They don’t want to create institutions. And when they are created they only honour them when they appeal to their tastes.

He is even now accusing the Rwandan government of planting bombs in Kigali in order to incriminate him. Having been the head of intelligence services, should we assume, he is speaking from experience?

It is not uncommon for revolutionaries to purge their comrades. Former Soviet Union ‘emperor’ Josef Stalin, did it in the 1930s, when he started killing, imprisoning, and exiling his colleagues in order to consolidate his political power. Nyamwasa seems to be accusing Kagame of following in Stalin’s footsteps.

We need to get rid of African dictators but we cannot succeed when we have the likes of Nyamwasa who only appeal to our sense of justice and democracy only when it touches them. So, Nyamwasa should pack his bags and return to Rwanda to face the kind of justice that he has so often meted out on others before him.  

The author is the Business Development Director, The Observer Media.

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0 #1 mugisha abdul 2010-03-07 19:34

The Observer is my paper with all great researched information,how ever i am wondering where PIUS KATUNZI, was given space to give dirty, un-researched wrong information about Let.Gen.Kayumba and Rwanda!!! However i know the Observer news paper belives in democracy, probably they let you say what you thought you knew though its wrong and dirty and supposed to be cleaned to be good for the known standards of my paper the Observer.
0 #2 mugisha abdul 2010-03-07 19:35
In the first place Kagame s born from Gitarama, which is in central Rwanda as you head to Burundi and it was atown that was with majority Hutus and its from this town that Kagame's mother fled with baby kagame then of 4 years, unlike late Rwigyema who was born from here Uganda.

kagame is from the clan of ABEEGA.This clan from time immemorial, has been fighting the ABANYIGINYA, from which the Royals to be kings etc are choosen from.Abanyiginy a live in Nyanza which is the next town to Gitarama, but in Butare otherwards its like mukono district boardering Jinja.

Now, the problems of Kayumba and Kagame stem from far and not as superficial as you want it to begin it from.

First of all it began when president Bizimungu was removed from power by group that wanted to walk according to their interests of overwhelming Hutus, something they could not do when Bizimungu was the president and actually one time he told Ge.Kagame in Cabinet that if you want i can give you your office and you do what you want to do when iam not party to it and all was to do with equal proportion representation in political and other posts in the country, something the Tustis were not accepting especially the Anglophones from Uganda

although not all of them and Gen. Kayumba was one of those who opposed the kagame and his other group, who wanted the sidelining of Hutus and so Gen.kayumba was seen as a Bizimungu follower or supported and mind you during that time he was the RPA Commander.

The Kagame group now began to mark Kayumba as a Kipingamizi and what also followed was the argument that after all Bizimungu was choosen by Museveni as president in Rwakitura and not by Rwandese so immediately they removed him as President and Gen.Kayumba, the elit in RPA, majority Hutus were all aganist the disposition of Bizimungu.

All GPs(Guard Presidentially) who were protecting Bizimungu were either demobilised, regularised and deployed to other units or arrested and actually some fled Rwanda.

Now Gen.Kayumba, one time was asked by kagame who was now president why some tonnes of Bullets were moved from a certain military position to another,areas i do not remeber well and by then Kagame was out of Rwanda and what happened was that Kayumba answered him how he was to brief him when he Kagame was back in Rwanda, something kagame did not buy and what happened was his removal and others from many key positions and with many kayumba confidants were arrested and others killed and actually some committed suicide.

I remeber one Major who killed himself with a pistol just becasue they had gone to pick him from Umutara on suspicion that he was pro Kayumba and that he knew something about Kayumba plotting aganist Kagame.

So after Kayumba's removal as Army Commander, he was read as the new Ambassador of India, something he had refused and this led to all his escorts withdrawn and DMI personnel were deployed as escorts and monitors.

However as he kept refussing the pffer of being a diplomat, he was put under house arrest at his residential house at Kimihurura, which actually was ahouse he had forcefully got from a Hutu who was in exile and he was in house arrest until the time when Uganda intervened and he was also asked to go to India as an Ambassador.

While there many things within the new army groups of especially the now Gen.James Kabarebe etc were looking up tom what could keep all those who were their senior army bosses, an exist and more so when Kagame had promoted and deployed all former less known junior soldiers to big army posts.

Peolpe who are less educated and also less known and with no contacts with Kampala, e.g Maj.Ndahiro Tom, Kayonga,Ibingir a(P7 drop out),etc So without going far, Kayumba criticised bad leadership before and after what you might see today and mind you Gen.Kayumba was on so many fronts unlike Kagame who has never been on any as you may know.Kayumba by the way is not the only one under such political witchunt.

Other families like of late Rwigyema are in a somewhat a house arrest as they refused the widow to move anymore out of Rwanda, because Kagame and his group thought she was dealing with Uganda government to overthrow Kagame, so are other families of late Bayingana, Bunyenyezi,kayitare,etc.

Can you imagine that even the man whom the widow of late Rwigyema had fallen in love with or as was suspected to have fallen in Love with, was abducted and since then he has never been seen anywhere??/

Pius i hope together with other Ugandans with interest in Rwandan affairs have some truth written here and please if you want to know if what i have said is true, ask Ge.Kayumba to verify my information and i know i will score 99.9% correct.

Iam still in rwanda but all i can say is that all is not well with Kigali and soon you will see a lot unfolding.
0 #3 Emperror 2010-03-07 20:36
If ever there was a case for abuse of press freedom, then this installment in the Kitunzi trite sale is another. There seems to be some kind of vendetta against Nyamwasa, and if so, then the platform utilised is in-appropriate.

It would have been palatable had Kitunzi based his vendetta purely on the verifiable acts rather than the assumed ommissions attributed to Nyamwasa. In any event, government officials are not newspaper vendors, and I do not expect to lookup Nyamwasa's democratic aspirations when still "in the circle" from the papers (I am sure Kitunzi writes in the papers as a matter of public reference .... how pathetic).

That Nyamwasa was posted to India (from the relatively superior Army commander role) should in itself be an indication to Kitunzi that Nyamwasa's fall from favour is not as recent as he interprets it.

It takes some measure of idiotic analysis to reach the conclusions (that Kitunzi has reached) as to Nyamwasa's culpability in the creation of a dictator. And to then swiftly justify "the purge" by drawing parallels with Stalin is truly beyond comprehension.
0 #4 Don Kato 2010-03-07 21:01
Pius you have written what most African Journalists will not write. I think it is an African culture to sing praises for people who have committed injustices or who have helped build unfair systems when such people eventually fall out with the system they helped set up.
Like you said it seems he only realised the system was unfair after he was fired.
0 #5 kabayekka 2010-03-07 23:38
Indeed this guy has fled to South Africa a country that had all the black and white tribulations of human rights restrictions. Those times of Ruanda tutsi rule 1920s no African was safe North, West, South, and East. To think that South Africans are now the people who are keeping African fugitives who are running away from mischief is very unfortunate indeed. Look how this long suffered country of Southern Africa is pampering African dictatorship in Zimbabwe.
0 #6 Rugangura 2010-03-08 01:07
Thank you mr pmK.I do not understand why when things get rough these guys(the Nyamwasas) normally fall victims of their own masters. Why at this time is Nymwasa saying that there is no formidable justice in Rwanda to try him for the offences he has committed but the same justice was right to lock poor man Bizimungu.

It has not been only in Rwanda but also in uganda. Blue eyed guys have been eliminated in away that is suspicious. Nyamwasa is just lucky that he escaped being eliminated.

All this can be summarised by:- Overstaying in power is the root cause..Please watch what will be next. Mambo Baado.
0 #7 MABO 2010-03-08 02:34
Mr Katunzi has written a well thought out article,though some how it defeats the essence of freedoms & expression in some ways.
The role of Gen Nyamwasa in RFF & RPA is evidenced both in & out of Rwanda. To some,his roles were bad & others applaud him!
The irony of this article is tht it justifiably states tht the General never did the right things/roles to ensure tht the countries' democratic institutions are nurtured. Its after "falling" out with Mr Kagame or "inner-circle" tht he realises the needs of free expression & independent justice system. All this said & done,would the same journalist(s) write a similar article abt ugandan politician(s) esp those in opposition but were formerly in NRM struggle & regime dating back in early 1980s or later? Should we dismiss all wht FDC,PPP,JEEMA,D P etc say more so by those who worked with Mr M7 laying foundations on wch the current govt is pivoted? Using tht yard stick,then most likely its politicians in UPC ( e.g Hon Cecilia,Atubo,M alinga,Rwanyara re,Kanyomozi,Na budere,Wacha,Ok ello) Dr Otunnu who have been consistent in vehemently opposing the NRM/NRA before & after 1986!
Looking at politics in ugandan trend,no one would accept to be gaged just because they worked with Mr M7 & later "fell" out. Hence Mr Katunzi your article is good for "political post mortem" but not applicable/good as a way foward niether for Rwanda nor Uganda. Democracy is a process not an event,so sustained advocacy & reforms is paramount.Let those wth crimes face the law & the innocent shld continue wth political activism as long as violence/war is not part of this activism. For God & my country.
0 #8 sissa 2010-03-08 03:05
“We have the means. We have the will. We will kill them until they lose appetite for war.”
0 #9 Godfrey 2010-03-08 07:56
This is the most brilliant yet precise artical.What has happened to Nyamwasa is the same thing that happened to Besigye.You prop up a ditator assit him to kill institutions and then after you cry fowl when become a victim.Its now too late to change anything unless total regime change occurs.
0 #10 Andrew Kamya 2010-03-08 08:48
Mr Mugisha abdul,

Tell more about other clans in Rwanda.

Is the BANYANDUGGA a clan?
0 #11 Salim 2010-03-08 08:49
Pius Well done with this piece, this is the kind of candidness that we require from independent newsoutlets. The same senario has played out in Uganda for a long while but we have been to cowed to say anything!!!

Please continue with the good work.
0 #12 ndikumana 2010-03-08 09:15
president p kagame i thak u 4 whatever you're doing in Rwanda,those guys who're corrupt,who think that they're above the law

saying that they fought like what's happening in uganda where people like muhwezi ask the judge that"where were u when were fighting" 4them they think that 2 liberate a country like uganda/Rwanda automatically u became the owner of that conutry which is tottaly [foolish]2 a developing coutries in africa.

people in africa should sto that slogany that they fought.presiden t kagame you're on the right truck 2 restore rule of law and constutionalism in your country sir and i strongly advise president museven 2 do the same like kagame,to eliminate corrupt people and himself because him [museven]his the trouble cause in uganda.fellow ugandans GODbless u all
0 #13 Jim Kamezza 2010-03-08 10:00
we have to use the experience to fight all forms of dictatorships ,Pius is not againist the Rwandese general but his role in fostering a dictatorial regime and running away from it
0 #14 Russo 2010-03-08 10:05
Mugisha Abdul,you seem to have alot of material about the embattled army general, it is good knowledge; but also I think Pius has a point and some truth though some facts could have been misrepresented.

No one can retain 100% of what they learn. His major point; I understand, is that the so called elites should serve with justice and equality in matters that govern the ordinary citizenry and not be selective and repressive in carrying out their orders from above without analyzing the implications should they become the hunted or haunted!

There is always a law in the land and a constitution to follow.I don't know why many of our elites don't follow this!African elites should serve the "Wanainchi" not "mtukufu raishi" whatever,democr acy is democracy it has no gray line that it should be practised according to location or level of development-atl east that is not the dictionary definition.

Many of these "elites" when they land on the job especially presidential related appointees they want to serve the power that be and not realizing what damage they are causing to development of strong independent institutions and dwarfing their own country!
0 #15 MacD 2010-03-08 13:33
You are right a hundred percent Pius
0 #16 Peter 2010-03-08 18:13
BRAVO Pius Katunzi. It is great shame that Kayumba Nyamwasa now decides to run away from Kagame and his dictatorial regime that he helped create and maintain. His claim that he cannot receive justice in Rwanda is cowardly considering how many others he subjected or helped subject to the same type of justice. He sometimes even denied justice to his victims by killing them instantly.

Paul Kagame is equally as cowardly by continuing to run a dictatorship that runs off even his comrades in arms.

The only right thing to do is for Nyamwasa to go and answer to the indictments in Spain and allow his and Kagame's victims to receive "some" justice. Nyamwasa and Kagame are no victims.

"we have the means. We will kill until they lose their appetite for war" Kayumba Nyamwasa in Kagame's service.
0 #17 Kapipo 2010-03-08 19:18
Poor country needs prayers.Thank you Abdul for your informed analysis.People like Pius do not know Rwanda.In Rwanda,the population are held at gun point.You either sing Kagame tune or shut up if you want peace in Rwanda.Many former officers fled or just disappeared like Major Alex Ruzindana.I credit Museveni because almost all his sworn critics and enermies are free within the country.Am sure even the few like Kyakabale will soon return and stay alive under Museveni.Kagame and his inner cicle are poor learners of history.The day they decided to turn against YK who made them what they are, is the day I knew that it wont take long before the system cracks.Pray for Rwanda please.
0 #18 Katunzi James Rutaro 2010-03-08 19:38
Katunzi, Looks like you have a big born to pick with the guy! Do you realize that this guy started having issues with rwanda in the early 2000s? Plolitical issues are never analysed as business issues chief with all due respect. Do what you do best and don't gamble on what you have no idea on.
0 #19 P Kyemari, Luanda 2010-03-08 19:44
The day light has just broken out of Rwanda while its still dark in Uganda.
When it eventually breaks out in Uganda, we won't see any difference with Rwanda.
0 #20 Josh Kisoma 2010-03-09 02:25
Is Nyamwasa related to Amelia Kyambadde?
0 #21 Matovu-Mutesasira 2010-03-09 07:48
Every para contains solid information and argument. Thank you The Observer!
0 #22 Stephen Kakooza 2010-03-09 10:47
I have all along been un comfortable with opposition politicians who served in past regimes and only to turn out to cry fowl when the system they helped to entrench catches up with them on the wrong footing.
0 #23 gigi 2010-03-09 11:00
abdul, i would have tolerated you saying anything else you said but i cant let you get away with saying that "kayumba fought at frontlines while kagame did not.." may i inform you that kagame is the magic that turned around the war to liberate rwanda when rwandan refugees had started to lose hope of being liberated? Do you know that kagame has won himself of being one of the world's best military strategists because of the rwandan war that stopped genocide and the wars in congo? did he have to go to the front?
0 #24 Muhimbise Andrew 2010-03-09 14:46
Rwand intrigue;
Over the weekend i hiked Mountain Muhabura in Kisoro once you are at the top you can cross over to Rwanda (Uganda/Rwanda border passes through the peak)- i had the Ugandan flag with me; i jokingly told my Guide that i was going to place it in the Rwandan side of the mountain top; "ehh be careful those guys (Rwandese) have been flying over the border area since Nyamwasa escaped." "they are hostile fellows yet they had a base here (he showed me a hollow section where once the RPA hosted a mast for their propaganda radio during their rebellion days, i was also shown old bullets and rusted cans of beer)" all this on top of Muhabura.

On Nyamwasa, there is a poem that exposes this inconvenient truth on the General part, written by one of the guys i think from world war II that goes like:

They came for the jews, but since i was not a jew i kept quiet
Then they came for the trade unionist and since i was not one i kept quiet
WHEN THEY CAME FOR ME THERE WAS NO ONE LEFT TO SPEAK FOR ME....Pius you are spot on here; this is exactly where Nyamwasa is now..atleast he is speaking for himself.
0 #25 Mugisha Abdul 2010-03-09 15:53
kagame has never been on any frontline in command of the 1990-1994 war although he did so there after and mind you all that took place from 1990 to 1994 was so much with a Ugandas arm and with much details i can't say here.
From 1996 you will be surprised that that is the time Kagame took direct command and control of his forces.Believe it or not but that is the fact.
0 #26 Pierre 2010-03-09 21:37
I agree with most of what Mugisha Abdul has got to say about Rwanda. On the other hand, I do agree with some of Pius' statements. Just before 2000, Nyamwasa came to the UNR and he was addressing students in the Auditorium. And that was the same period when Major Suruma had fled Rwanda to Uganda. During this visit by Kayumba and the then president Bizimungu, Kayumba did best the job of tarnishing and trashing the name and character of Major Suruma calling him a nobody, stupid, a coward and and useless fighter who shot at the french jet fighter with a pistol. This was in Mutara when the RPF rebels were battling it out with Habyarimana forces being supported by the french. What was interesting to hear however was a question that was posed by one student asking Kayumba that How come that you promoted someone with all these deficiences. Kayumba tried to evade the question by always accusing Uganda was behind all these defections. What baffles me is that all those people that were on the good side of history with Kagame, hurling all sorts of insults on Uganda and its president, when tables are turned against them, they either flee to Uganda or use Uganda as an escape route to other countries. Anyway Kuyumba has his own share of blame to promote a system that he thought would catch up with him but others. Abanyarwanda baca umugane ngo "Amaherezo y'inzira nimunzu" kandi ngo "Utaranigwa agarami, angira ng'injuru ririhafi".
0 #27 DAVID 2010-03-09 21:38
Unlike his pioneer Rwandan co-fugitives who used the official route to Uganda via Katuna(or Gatuna) to escape the fangs of the highly hyped "democrat" of Africa(read Kagame),Kayumba was indeed wise to use a mouse route(read panya) to gain incognito entry into the Ugandan territory basing on his antipathy towards Ugandans and the UPDF.

Uganda particularly under the M7/NRM has been a safe haven for these loose-mouthed anti-M7/UPDF propagandists(K ayumba et al) thanks to the magnanimity of M7 and the lenient security apparatus a la CMI,ISO,ESO,UPF etc,and so most of them after falling out with their angel(Kagame) and escaping from Rwanda,Uganda is then used by these RDF apostates as a "safe-corridor" to their final exile.

For starters,Kayumb a Nyamwasa needs no introduction in the history of the UPDF-RDF proxy war that has been punctuated by accusations and counter-accusat ions,espionage, sabre-rattling etc since the Kisangani clashes(1999-20 00) between the two erstwhile allies when they entered the DRC to rout rebels fighting their respective governments.

At the height of these clashes in one of his media outbursts,Kayum ba Nyamwasa is reported to have referred to his then Ugandan counterpart,Gen Jeje Odongo,as a mere "platoon commander",afte r having turned down a joint trip with the latter to Kisangani in a bid to discover the cause of the skirmishes.(The Monitor,Friday 12/05/2000,"Jej e Meets Kagame,UPDF Call Rejected").

During Odongo's visit to Kigali,he met both Kagame and Kayumba.Kayumba is reported to have said,"I don't need to be in Kisangani.I'm not a platoon commander.",he then further added,"If Maj Gen Odongo has that problem,let him proceed to Kisangani."

This braggart also boasted about the destruction of the UPDF tanks by the RPA,the fleeing and scattering of the UPDF troops and the latter's failure to evacuate their dead and casualties due to the fierce encounters by the RPA.

All this palpable nonsense was being uttered by a "generalissimo" who was tele-commanding his troops from Kigali and even couldn't bother going with his counterpart for an on-spot impact assessment!!!!!.

Such venomous talk by a senior military official to nationals of a foreign country that baby-sitted him is usually typical of truculent school boys undergoing adolescence.

Its indeed such guilty counsciousness that prompted this renegade to use a panya in his escape in a bid to indirectly seek the protection of the Ugandan "platoons"(read UPDF units as per Nyamwasa).Gen Kazini(RIP) with whom he exchanged a verbal altercation must be smiling in his grave.

Nyamwasa and his RDF ilk remind me of the Kiganda adage that goes,"Gyotega amaggwa,bwe baba bakugoba gyoddukira",lit erally meaning,"its a place where you set a trap that you retreat when your erstwhile ally is hot on your heels(in a hope of seeking refuge)."

So like it has happened to Nyamwasa and others like Col Patrick Karegyeya,Maj Alphonse Furuma,Gen Emmanuel Habyarimana,Maj Theogene Rudasingwa,Maj Fred Kwikiriza etc,the surviving Kagame inner circle members like the notorious RDF CMI Chief,Brig Jack Nziza,should be wise enough and contemplate to seek penance from M7 before its too late.

It should be remembered that in a bid to humiliate M7 and the entire Ugandan government,Brig Jack Nziza(then a Colonel) disregarded diplomatic ettiquette and subjected M7's motorcade to rigorous checks at Gatuna Border Post and even went to an extent of ordering some vehicles in the motorcade to return back to Uganda when the former was proceeding to Kigali to hand over the COMESA chairmanship to his Rwandan counterpart,Kagame.

This errant Brigadier wasn't even reprimanded by his seniors for this diplomatic blooper,but was instead promoted,maybe as a token of appreciation!!! !!
0 #28 Bob 2010-03-10 06:26
Better late than never!
maybe the Gen. tried tolerance and failed completely?!
all is not well.

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