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Sunday 20th of April 2014 06:11:55 AM
 

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Kayumba shooting: `Karegyeya engineered my detention’

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Francis Gakwerera

Francis Gakwerera is one of the people arrested for the June 19 shooting of former Rwanda Defence Forces Chief of Staff, Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa, in Johannesburg, South Africa. He spoke to The Independent’s Andrew M. Mwenda.

Where do you live and what do you do for a living?

Francis Gakwerera: I live in Mozambique where I have been running a business since 2005. However, whenever I am travelling between Maputo and Kigali, I travel through South Africa. I also buy things from South Africa which I sell in Mozambique.

How did you get arrested in relation to shooting Kayumba?

I was in South Africa in transit to Maputo. I had some business to do in South Africa and also to find a place in a boarding school for my child. I use South Africa for many things. My wife studied there for five years. I arrived Wednesday and was arrested on Saturday. The police accused me of being the person who shot Kayumba.

Why you? Do you know Kayumba? Do the two of you have historical wrangles?

I know him very well. We are family friends. I know him, his wife and their children. They are like family to me. I first met Kayumba in Kitgum in 1987 when he was Assistant District Administrator (ADA) and I was a sergeant in the 19th Battalion of the NRA, now UPDF. We shifted together to Gulu. On October 1, 1990 we drove in the same motor vehicle to Kagitumba when the RPF was launching the struggle. It was an Isuzu double cabin pickup with UC number plates. We have since remained very close personal and family friends.

So why were you accused of trying to kill him?

That is what surprises me. Kayumba is my friend and he knows that I cannot do something like that to him. Besides, he also knows that if I was involved in his shooting, he would not have survived.

Did you do business with him that went wrong?

I have never done any business or financial transactions with Kayumba.

Do you still work for Rwandan intelligence? They too could have had an interest in killing him.

I am a businessman and so I do not get involved in politics anymore. I used to be a soldier in the Ugandan army, then later in the Rwandan army and finally a soldier in the Congolese army. In Congo, I was the Commanding Officer of the Presidential Guard of Laurent Kabila from when he was a rebel leader to the time he became president.

I fell out with Kabila and returned to Rwanda. I asked to retire from the army and then I went into business. I never got involved in military, intelligence or political work again.

But why did the South African police arrest you?

I think this whole thing was engineered by [Patrick] Karegyeya (former director of Rwanda’s External Security). Whenever I travel through South Africa, I meet and talk with Karegyeya because he too is my friend. Sometimes he picks me from the airport whenever I get into South Africa. On this occasion, I got into South Africa on Wednesday and called him on Friday, the day before Kayumba was shot. On Saturday, I had a lunch appointment with Karegyeya which he cancelled saying he was going to watch soccer.

Then later, he called me saying Kayumba had been shot. He said the situation was tense but promised to call me back later. Thirty minutes after, I called him to ask the state of Kayumba and he again said he was busy but would call back. I was at the home of Albert Gatare, a brother of the late Miko. He told me that Kayumba was in Riverside Hospital. Then I went back to the Guest House where I was staying. It is then that police called me. They said they want me.

And then...?

The police came armed to the teeth – in all, nine police were involved. There were many policemen with police dogs. They took me to prison and dumped me there. Then on Sunday night – almost 30 hours later, they brought other suspects among them one Richard who, as it turned out, is Kayumba’s driver. The other suspects included two Rwandans, a Kenyan and a Tanzanian.

Did you know any of the suspects?

I knew the two Rwandans.

So what happens when you get company?

That night, I had a long chat with Kayumba’s driver. He told that he was actually involved in the shooting of Kayumba. He said someone called him on telephone saying his name is Dr. Ndahiro. He promised to give him $2,000 dollars if he could help them kill Kayumba who is an enemy of Rwanda. He said that this Dr. Ndahiro promised that the driver would be rewarded by President [Paul] Kagame if he cooperated.

The driver also said that the shooting was the second attempt on Kayumba’s life. The first had been at his house. He told me the killers came into the house at night a few days earlier. They had special keys which allowed them to enter easily. Kayumba was sleeping in his bed with his wife. They wanted to go into the bedroom and shoot him. The driver said he stopped them saying that would be bad. He could arrange a better rendezvous. So three days later, he tipped them off when Kayumba and wife were going to the shopping mall and that is how they came to shoot him.

What did you tell him?

The story sounded suspicious to me. First, I understood him to be referring to Dr. Emmanuel Ndahiro, the head of the National Security Services. So I asked him if he knew this Ndahiro and he said no. I asked if he had ever met him. He said no. I asked if he knows his voice, he said he has never seen him or heard him speak. So I asked him why he believed that it was Dr. Ndahiro. He said he simply trusted.

Second, this story of killers coming into the house at night all sounded phony. You cannot want to kill someone, have him in the best place (his home) best location (his bedroom), best time (at night) and in the best situation (when he is asleep) and just walk away and wait to do it at a shopping mall, in broad daylight and in front of many people. What type of killers are these? They must be amateurs!

How do you know all these things, you sound like a professional assassin?

I told you I was a soldier in the NRA, RPA and later in Congo. I was commanding officer of the presidential guard of rebel leader and later President Laurent Kabila. In these struggles, I worked as a sniper sometimes. I had to cross enemy lines, leave our frontline and go into the frontline of the enemy and snipe the enemy. It was tough business. So I know.

The story of Kayumba’s shooting is all phony. I would have expected the killers to be smarter than the story the driver told me. For example, he said the killer came over to his window and shot at Kayumba in the stomach. But a killer would aim for the head, not the stomach. Then the killer went over to the side of Kayumba and they had a physical fight, the gun jammed and then the killer ran away. All this does not sounds like childish games to me.

Then what happened?

On Monday we were transferred to John Foster Prison. There we recorded statements. Kayumba’s driver recorded his statement in my presence and he repeated to the police what he had told me in jail. It seemed all rehearsed. On Tuesday we were taken to court and I was told I had no case to answer. The judge told me to go home. Instead of being released, I was taken back to Bramelene Prison to clear myself. I spent two days there and was finally released on Thursday.


Comments (33)Add Comment
this guy is a liar
written by seremani, August 03, 2010
this Francis guy is a liar .he claimed in the Focus , a newspaper in Rwanda that he didn't know that Kayumba was shot until South Africa Police told him ;

Police: “Do you know about his shooting?”

At this point Gakwerere began to imagine he was having a bad dream. He said he knew nothing about the man’s shooting.

“In fact I am learning from you that the man was shot,” he told the policemen.

from "http://focus.rw/content/view/1589/26/" now he changed the story he is saying that Karegyeya told him about the shooting...
this guy is a liar
written by seremani, August 03, 2010
this Francis guy is a liar .he claimed in the Focus , a newspaper in Rwanda that he didn't know that Kayumba was shot until South Africa Police told him ;

Police: “Do you know about his shooting?”

At this point Gakwerere began to imagine he was having a bad dream. He said he knew nothing about the man’s shooting.

“In fact I am learning from you that the man was shot,” he told the policemen.

from "http://focus.rw/content/view/1589/26/" now he changed the story he is saying that Karegyeya told him about the shooting...
this guy is a liar
written by seremani, August 03, 2010
"Then later, he called me saying Kayumba had been shot. He said the situation was tense but promised to call me back later. Thirty minutes after, I called him to ask the state of Kayumba and he again said he was busy but would call back."

and Mwenda is beleiving him or want us to beleive him by emphasizing the driver story.....seriously we are not that stupid and you can lie and lie but scriptures will always remain and will come back to hunt you Mwenda....what else this guy is not telling
It can only happen in Africa.
written by Sad, August 04, 2010
Imagine this guy has served in three national armies i.e Uganda, Rwanda, Congo then Rwanda. Surely this can only happen in Africa.
...
written by Asiimwe, August 04, 2010
So Andrew what do you make of his story in the focus?

http://focus.rw/content/view/1589/26/

Did you know what he had said there before you interviewed him? If so why didn't you ask him about that story?
Francis Gakwerera is very suspicious , to be expelled
written by Dunia, August 04, 2010
This guy should be expelled from South African countries. He is definitely killer, bad man. He can kill anyone. We know how many people have been killed in Rwanda? In Uganda? In Congo adn this man was involved.
To me he is very suspicious even if he is not involved in Kayumba shooting; he has been involved in many killings. How he can be in 3 national armies?? This can happen only when some powerful countries are involved. How can South Africa allow this man on his soil? There other people like this man in South Africa and all of them should be deported or jailed.
Mwenda has really sold his soul
written by bemanzi, August 04, 2010
Mwenda, Yes Ndahiro is an amateur intelligence officer and incapable operative. You are trying to cover for him because he is the go between u and the killer Kagame. If they are trying to kill Kayumba who fought for them to be in power, do you think they will spare because you simply write for them? It will not take long.
Who else wanted to kill Kayumba
written by uwimbabazi, August 04, 2010
Mwenda, you say there could be some other factions in Kigali who wanted Kayumba dead, Since you are familiar with the state of Rwanda, who composes those factions? Does the Kigali government have freelance assasins? What is Kagame's role in these factions? Are u saying the Kigali regime u praise so much, have different and uncordinated death squads? May be u can tell us which of these squads killed Rwisereka and Rugambage. Some day you may be called to witness!
...
written by rutatina, August 04, 2010
Mwenda, this article is substandard. There are no groups in government. Try to be proffessional. While i like your reporting, sometimes i think you tend to drift and lose track.
Killer!
written by joseph, August 04, 2010
This guy is among those who wanted to finish Kayumba. If not, why didnt he go to see him in hospital after being told that he was shot since he says kayumba is like his family member?
Reign of terror
written by twinomujuni f, August 04, 2010
History teaches alot, in regards to politics, despotism has been shown to be a durable yet destructive means of governance. Those who live by the sword perish by the sword. So called "democratically elected president" Paul Kagame is a living, breathing example of rule by terro not by law. Having decided to rule Rwanda with an iron fist he has made many enemies. He thinks by killing some, others will be threatened.
Enterprising and cosmopolitan
written by Rev Amos Kasibante, August 05, 2010
Kayumba and Gakwerera are bosom (family) friends. And Karegyeya is also a bosom friend of Kayumba's. And Karegyeya (allegedly) got Gakwerera arrested. That's how complicated things can get. And Gakwerera was in three armies: NRA, RPF, and Congo (here head of the Presidential Protection Unit). He would be senior in the Rwandan army today, given his background. But the enterprising man that he is, he chose to go to Mozambique, possibly learnt Portuguese, and trades in S. Africa. Cosmopolitan character, would you say? Are there a few others like him?
Very suspitious
written by Blackie, August 05, 2010
I also think this guy is really linked. But you readers, what has Mwenda done in this case. He simply put questions for you to judge but you are rushing to judge him instead. You would rather ask Andrew to make an analysis out of this interview. They guy Gakwerera looks and sounds very tricky.
Gratuitous violence without a political value
written by Ocheto, August 05, 2010
Wow! The shocking and sad thing about all this is the level of gratuitous, mindless, and senseless violence. It just goes to show a low level political maturity. Where is the political motive of value in all these, backyard like brawls? It isn't different than the kinds of brawls lasy week at the NRM grass-roots elections. They are like kids playing with [toy] guns or a drug cartel gangster hunt down: it would be funny if it wasn't true. Pathetic. NRM and RPF, with their predilection to violence as means to resolving political problem, are siamese twins that will drown Uganda and Rwanda in chaos again.
...
written by biruumaso, August 05, 2010
Talk about it... the only amusing thing in this article ...serving in in three national armies ... how does that happen?
Nomads
written by Ocheto, August 05, 2010
Hey in makes sense. They installed Kaguta (Museveni) in Kampala, Uganda, and then moved to instal Kagame in Kigali, Rwanda, after which they moved and installed Kabila in Kinshasa, the Democratic Republic of Congo. It was the same violent ideology god-fathered by Museveni that was in employment. They, however, got ditched in the Congo, though, that is why they dispersed to Southern Africa. Could some be headed to Somalia? The puzzling thing is after serving in all these countries why couldn't they find homes in any them? There is a point when nomadic and adventurous life becomes counterproductive.
BUSINESS: cheap questions for Gakwerera
written by Margaret S. Maringa, August 06, 2010
If I was the South African Government -- I would be demanding better answers to the following questions:

1: Exactly where were you and what were you doing -- when Laurent Kabila was assasinated ?

2. Exactly what kind of "business" are you now engaged (the Mata Hari was doing profitable "business" for both sides during the First World War -- dressed in ballet clothes and boa feathers).

3. Are you aware that 90% of all murders and assassinations are carried out by folks who are "quite close" to the victims. The kind of "family closeness" that does not trigger suspicions of foul play.

Frankly -- total silence is your best friend in this business.
INTERROGATIONS: suspects not usually placed in the same cells
written by Margaret S. Maringa, August 06, 2010
One more observation for Gakwerera:

Suspects are not normally placed in the same cell (during the investigation period) especially with regard to capital offenses. The police deliberately separate prisoners -- so that they can play "good cop bad cop" designed make the suspects talk freely and incriminate one another..............

the cat is out of the bag
written by elis, August 06, 2010
so according to this guy..a key suspect told him that Emmanuel Ndahiro directed and paid 4 him (the suspect) to shoot or have Kayumba shot...he can believe himor not....but now its not just Mrs. Kayumba or Mr. Karegeya...its also suspects...moreso people talking freely and voluntarily to fellow suspects....hmmmm..funny the cat is coming out of the bag...n its doin so in the independent...the unofficial mouthpiece of the regime in Kigali...a paper whose editor is challenging laws on sedition in Uganda while openly supporting a regime that shoots editors and generals....
the cat is out of the bag
written by elis, August 06, 2010
so according to this guy..a key suspect told him that Emmanuel Ndahiro directed and paid 4 him (the suspect) to shoot or have Kayumba shot...he can believe himor not....but now its not just Mrs. Kayumba or Mr. Karegeya...its also suspects...moreso people talking freely and voluntarily to fellow suspects....hmmmm..funny the cat is coming out of the bag...n its doin so in the independent...the unofficial mouthpiece of the regime in Kigali...a paper whose editor is challenging laws on sedition in Uganda while openly supporting a regime that shoots editors and generals....
Its Independent Media Stupid. Grow-up!
written by Bulcanan, August 06, 2010
Reads like a really bad IFC script with just Francis doing the talking and laughing but what do I know!. I am wondering where I have seen Francis (read; James Bond ) before; trust me its not any of the places he mentioned. Do News Desks in Ug do a BCI's on news subjects? P.s. I disagree with the habit of trading threats to Journalists that are trying to do their job. Before we seek change around us, lets begin with changes within us. Each life lost, is dreams stolen...lives robbed.
...
written by tn requin, August 07, 2010
Kayumba and Gakwerera are bosom (family) friends. And Karegyeya is also a bosom friend of Kayumba's. And Karegyeya (allegedly) got Gakwerera arrested. That's how complicated things can get. And Gakwerera was in three armies: NRA, RPF, and Congo (here head of the Presidential Protection Unit). He would be senior in the Rwandan army today, given his background. But the enterprising man that he is, he chose to go to Mozambique, possibly learnt Portuguese, and trades in S. Africa. Cosmopolitan character, would you say? Are there a few others like him?
Robert Ludlum
written by Francis, August 08, 2010
This is putting Robert Ludlum's fiction into real life.
This guy is a professional killer bwana
written by KAMAKUZO, August 08, 2010
He killed Ugandans, then moved on to Kill Rwandans, and later went on to kill Kbila senior, when he finished business Kagame started a business company for him in Mozambique to go and eliminate Rwandan Hutu refugees there, after that now he is after his really cousins..hahahha Tutsis like blood
Can of Genocide Worms
written by Lakwena, August 09, 2010
This is a can of cross-border Genocide worms. Thank God; the devil has a way of exposing himself. The duo in Kitgum and Gulu in 1987: one an Assistant Special District Commissioner (ASDC) the other a sergeant in the 19th Battalion of the NRA; sounds familiar. I hope Mr. ICC Ocampo is listening. Here we are, with cross-border killer on the loose doing business like there is no tomorrow when their victims are 10 feet in unmarked mass graves.

Margaret S. Maringa, thank you for the rhetorical questions. I hope we get an answer.
I don't like the Tutsi Hutu thing
written by Rutabikangwa, August 09, 2010
Can;t we say anything about Rwanda without referring to Hutu Tutsi? Why do they come up when talking about Kagama, Kayumba and Gakwerere? We should talk of Killers and their victims and both categories include both ethnicities. And what is Mweda by the way? A Hutoro I guess.
Ms
written by kente, August 10, 2010
Andrew, why do you sometimes fall out of questions to such kind of people?
why didnt you ask him after knowing that KAYUMBA WAS SHOT from Karegeya, if he attempted to call the claimed family friends of his...i mean the wife to Kayumba, if at all he imagined Kayumba could not speak by then?

This guy is a killer even by the looks of his face!
Sometimes I wonder how the world will end with these kind of personalities all over !
Mr.
written by patu, August 10, 2010
Francis... i wish i had another name to all you,

you are saying KAREGEYA WAS ACTUALLY your friend...picks you from the airport...have lunch with him, talk regularly..etc...etc..
then from nowhere you say your detention was engineered by Karegeya..are you out of your senses???

I wish there was a place you could be tried and purnished for whichever sins you have so far committed!!
Deadly Francis
written by Mphuso, August 10, 2010
I understand this man sneaked back in Rwanda, he is no longer in south Africa, Looks like his boss Smuggled him out, My Question goes to the prominent Mwenda, the NRM challenger and the RPF's son, as a journalist, in fact an editor, did you know that the gun that shot Kayumba was purchased by Francis? Did you at least read that story? of course you did, but you just don't wanna put him in a hot seat. Truth prevails Andrew.
is it by coincedenceI
written by Bob Wandera, August 13, 2010
Reading this guy's narration one cant stop wondering about his background,He seems to display an image of freelance soldier i mean where the deal is he will be there as long as his terms are met to grow his business empire in Mozambique,He owes no allegiance to any government except missions assigned to him.Andrew we are also smart enough!
Ret.Mag
written by Mugisha Abdul, August 16, 2010
When i read this nonsence, i can not beleive that, it is apiece which passed through Mwenda`s hands!!! Oh no Mwenda i thought you were above money-aticles and instead a proffesional, but you too have succumbed to unproffesional habbits of writting rubish for the sake of money--read bread? what a shame.You allow to run lies here and you call it a day??Ohh Mwenda you have dispappointed us.
francis,francis.
written by ibra, September 04, 2010
if i were to do some thing of such calibre i would hire FRANCIS,who has better experience than him?aah,who?he worked for for Uganda,Congo,Rwanda.who else wd u recruit?he knew Gen.Nyamwasa like the back of his palm.But any ways all is innocent until proven guilty.
mwenda u just making money.
written by mukasa dan, September 15, 2010
Adrew u have sold your sold your proffessional ethics bse of money from kigali but the people you protecting are needed in Hague, soon than later they will be there may be you want to go with them.

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