Former Kagame Body Guard Denies Terrorism Charges

2174 Views Kabale, Western Region, Uganda

In short
The former Body guard to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was last month deported to Kigali under unclear circumstances, has denied terrorism charges in a Kigali court.

The former Body guard to Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was last month deported to Kigali under unclear circumstances, has denied terrorism charges in a Kigali court.
 
 Lt. Joel Mutabazi, who until October this year was a refugee in Uganda, appeared in court on Monday. The charges were leveled against him by a Military Tribunal in Nyamirambo, Kigali. Mutabazi, a former Rwanda Defence Forces officer, appeared before the tribunal alongside 14 others.
 
Presiding Judge Charles Sumanyi read the charges against Mutabazi before asking him to enter a plea but Mutabazi pleaded not guilty to all charges.
 
The former Body guard faces charges of Terrorism, Murder and Robbery.
 
Shortly after Mutabazi entered a not guilty plea, court went for recess of about 20 minutes before Judge Sumanyi ruled that the case will continue in camera as a result of a prosecution’s request to the court.
 
The Judge revealed that the prosecution had moved an application for in-camera proceedings on the basis that the case is highly sensitive to the Rwandan National security.
 
Mutabazi deserted from the Rwandan army and left for Uganda in October 2011.
 
According to the Rwandan government, the former presidential body guard operated several attacks in Kigali using Uganda as his base.
 
The Rwandan government also says that Mutabazi is a collaborator of the DRC-based Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), the remnants of the former Rwandan army blamed for masterminding the 1994 genocide. Up to a million people are believed to have died during the 100-day campaign between April and July 1994.

The government says both the FDLR and the renegade army officers including General Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col Patrick Karegeya are behind the grenade attacks that rocked the capital Kigali in recent years.

 

About the author

Anthony Kushaba
For Anthony Kushaba, journalism is not just a job; it is a calling. Kushaba believes journalism is one of the few platforms where the views of the oppressed and margainalised can be heard. This is what his journalism aims to do: bring to light untold stories.

Kushaba is the Mbarara region URN bureau chief. Mitooma, Ntungamo, Bushenyi, Sheema, Isingiro, and Kiruhura districts fall under his docket. Kushaba has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Kushaba is a journalism graduate from Uganda Christian University Study Centre at Bishop Barham College in Kabale. Before joining URN, Kushaba worked with Voice of Kigezi (2008), Bushenyi FM (2010) and later on to Voice of Muhabura.

Kushaba's journalism interests centre on conflict, peace and electoral reporting. Kushaba occasionally writes on tourism, health, religion and education. He describes himself as highly driven and will pursue a tip until it yields a story.