The former Rwandan intelligence chief, Patrick Karegeya, was murdered on New Year’s Day in South Africa in 2014. General Paul Kagame’s Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo spoke first about the killing — ”Karegeya was an enemy of Rwanda and deserves no pity.” Kagame’s defense minister James Kabarebe followed — ”Karegeya chose to be a dog and died like a dog.” Kagame was third — ”it is a matter of when traitors wherever they are meet similar ends.”
It has taken South Africa five years to look into the assassination of Karegeya, but the inquest is finally about to take place. The inquest is scheduled for the January 16, 2019, and will run for a duration of 16 days.
The inquest will not only expose how Karegeya was murdered, but most importantly, it will bring closure and justice.
Let us recall that at the time of Karegeya’s murder, Kagame was unleashing violence both at home and abroad. The 2010–2014 chronology of Kagame’s attacks on democratic freedoms and threats against Rwandans may be outlined as follows:
- Jan-April 2010 Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza of FDU repeatedly detained and interrogated.
- Jan-May 2010 Leaders of opposition Democratic Green Party, Frank Habineza and André Kagwa Rwisereka, denied permission to hold meetings or register for election.
- 12 April 2010 Kagame announces in parliament that he would “kill flies with a hammer” — taken to mean critics in exile.
- April 2010 Editor of the newspaper Umuvugizi Jean Bosco Gasasira, fled to Uganda and later to Sweden after being severely assaulted by Rwanda police.
- 24 May 2010 Editors of Umuseso newspaper, Charles Kabonero and Didas Gasana flee into exile in Sweden after receiving repeated death threats.
- 19 June 2010 Kayumba Nyamwasa, Rwanda’s exiled former army chief of staff — a critic of Kagame — shot in Johannesburg, South Africa in an assassination attempt.
- 24 June 2010 Bernard Ntaganda, an oppositon leader from PS-Imberakuri arrested; in the months that followed, many party members arrested.
- 24 June 2010 Jean-Léonard Rugambage, deputy editor of Umuvugizi newspaper is shot dead in Kigali, Rwanda, after reporting the involvement of the Kagame government in the attempted assassination of Nyamwasa in South Africa.
- 14 July 2010 André Kagwa Rwisereka, deputy president of the Democratic Green Party, is found partially decapitated; his body dumped next to a river outside Butare in southern Rwanda.
- 9 August 2010 Kagame was re-elected for a second seven-year term with 93% of the vote after eliminating all opposition leaders.
- 4 February 2011 Journalists Agnes Nkusi Uwimana and Saidaiti Mukakibibi are sentenced to 17 years and seven years respectively for insulting Kagame.
- 11 February 2011 Bernard Ntaganda, opposition leader, is sentenced to four years in prison.
- 12 May 2011 Anti-terrorism branch of the UK’s Metropolitan Police warn two London-based members of Rwandan diaspora that ”the Rwandan government poses an imminent threat to your life”.
- 13 Nov 2011 Joseph Bideri, editor-in-chief of New Times newspaper is arrested.
- 30 Nov 2011 Charles Ingabire, critic of President Kagame and editor of Inyenyeri News, is fatally shot in Kampala, Uganda.
- 12 Feb 2012 Rwandan diplomat Evode Mudaheranwa is expelled by Sweden for espionage among Rwandan refugees.
- 27 June 2012 Kagame government accused by UN investigators of creating, arming and funding M23 rebel group in Congo, led by indicted war criminal Bosco Ntaganda.
- 28 July 2012 Donors suspend aid to Rwanda due to Kagame’s creation and support of M23.
- 13 October 2012 Theogene Turatsinze, former director of Rwanda Development Bank is murdered in Mozambique.
- 30 October 2012 Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire convicted on terror charges and genocide denial; sentenced to eight years in jail.
- 03 July 2013 Kagame made his infamous speech ”I will just wait for you at the right time and I will hit you”. This was directed at Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete after he suggested that Rwanda should negotiate with various opponents.
- August 2013, UN Intervention Brigade comprising of South African, Tanzanian and Malawian militaries defeated Kagame-supported M23.
- 01 January 2014, Patrick Karegeya was strangled to death in a hotel in Johannesburg, South Africa.
- 07 March 2014, South Africa expelled Rwandan diplomats in the wake of another attack on Kayumba Nyamwasa, only two months after the murder of Karegeya.
*The views of the above article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Africa Speaks 4 Africa or its editorial team.