The mystery surrounding the disappearance of ex-army chief Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa took another twist Tuesday when the Rwandan government suddenly blamed him for the recent grenade attacks in Kigali, which killed 3 people and injured dozens, RNA reports.
Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga told an impromptu press conference that Lt. Gen. Nyamwasa has been in “constant contact” with Col. Patrick Karegeya – a former head of intelligence. The two have now linked up in South Africa, Ngoga said, reading from a prepared statement.
No questions were allowed at the press briefing, with Mr. Ngoga claiming that the prosecution was setting the record straight to stop “unfounded rumours” being published by the media.
“Security and judicial officials have evidence indicating that Lt. Gen. Kayumba and another officer who fled before called Col. Patrick Karegeya, working together, have planned and started implementing acts aimed at creating state insecurity,” Ngoga said.
“Among these acts includes hurling grenades in Kigali city and other places,” Ngoga added.
The country’s top prosecuting authority said Col. Karegeya has not been interrogated on the accusations because he has not been around. “Gen. Kayumba was interrogated once, but fled before he could respond to the second summons,” Ngoga told listening reporters, in a mixture of English and Kinyarwanda.
Announcing the sudden fleeing of Gen. Kayumba on Friday evening, the Foreign Affairs Ministry statement did not say the charges on which he is being pursued. The government claimed the General was in Uganda, but it emerged on Tuesday that he only used Uganda as transit route – heading to Kenya, where he flew to South Africa on Sunday.
Mr. Ngoga confirmed that Gen. Kayumba was indeed in South Africa, affirming that he had linked up with Col. Karegeya. A combination of judicial, security and diplomatic efforts are underway to have the two men extradited to Rwanda to face justice, according to Ngoga.
Col. Karegeya was the head of the External Service Organisation (ESO) before he fell to the wrong side of the law in 2005. The following year saw him battling insubordination and desertion charges which resulted in him being stripped of his rank and he was jailed for about two years.
In November 2007, it emerged that Col Karegeya had fled the country, but there has not been any information about his whereabouts.
When three grenades exploded in Kigali two weeks ago, the Police claimed Rwandan rebels in eastern DR Congo – the FDLR, were behind the blasts. Three people are already in detention over the blasts – and they have apparently confessed. The accusations ended there.
Meanwhile, information available to RNA claims that on Monday, another grenade was found at the Ministry of Local Government (MINALOC) headquarters in Kacyiru before it exploded. The MINALOC office is located in the same area with several other ministries and government departments. A few meters away are the US Embassy and the Office of the President.