Mutabazi In Rwanda To Face Robbery Charges

4019 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
Mutabazi who was picked from Uganda over the weekend by Uganda police and handed over to Rwandan security operatives had an Interpol arrest warrant for his arrest on charges of robbing Banque de Kigali, Rwanda’s biggest local commercial bank.

Former Kagame Bodyguard Lt. Joel Mutabazi has arrived in Rwanda where he is expected to face charges of murder, robbery and treason.
 
Mutabazi who was picked from Uganda over the weekend by Uganda police and handed over to Rwandan security operatives had an Interpol arrest warrant for his arrest on charges of robbing Banque de Kigali, Rwanda’s biggest local commercial bank.
 
According to the Interpol arrest warrant, Mutabazi is wanted for spear-heading a bank robbery on Banque De Kigali which is one of Rwanda’s biggest commercial banks.
 
State Minister for Relief and Disaster Preparedness Musa Ecweru told URN on Thursday that he had been informed that Mutabazi had arrived in Rwanda and is going to face charges.
 
When Uganda Radio Network (URN) contacted Rwandan police spokesperson Damas Gatare, he said he was in between meetings and needed more time to ascertain Mutabazi’s whereabouts.
 
Before his handover, Joel Mutabazi was living under United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) protection at an undisclosed location in a safe house. It has since emerged that the safe house was SkyView Hotel in Naalya.
 
According to the Daily Monitor, Mutabazi was picked from SkyView Hotel by Ugandan security operatives on orders of Police Deputy Director in Charge of Criminal Intelligence Joel Aguma and handed over to Rwandan security operatives.
 
Police spokesperson Judith Nabakooba also says the arrest warrant had been with police since September but an extradition agreement had not yet been secured.
 
Police has also suspended Joel Aguma over irregularities in the manner in which Mutabazi was extradited to Rwanda.
 
Mutabazi is a former bodyguard of Rwandan President Paul Kagame but has since fallen out of favour with the government in Rwanda which he criticises for master-minding his arrest and detention in a torture chamber on allegations of connection to Rwandan Opposition figure Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Mutabazi was earlier on arrested by Ugandan police in September but he was released after UNHCR protested that he was an asylum seeker under their protection. He was then transferred to a different safe house and plans to take him to another country were underway before his fresh arrest.
 
In 2011, Rwandan intelligence services accused Mutabazi of subversive activities and detained him in a safe house for 17 months. He managed to escape from the safe house and came to Uganda where he was granted asylum. He was attacked by unknown gunmen at his home in Kasangati the following year and the house was shot at. He survived the attack and was then placed under UNHCR protection.
 
UNHCR has continuously called on the Uganda police to investigate attacks on Rwandan asylum seekers with alleged links to Kayumba Nyamwasa. Charles Ingabire, a former news editor of Inyenyeri news, a Rwandan online news agency was gunned down in Kikoni by unknown assailants in 2011, Innocent Kaliisa also a former Bodyguard of Kagame was kidnapped in Kampala the following year. Police say they are still investigating the cases of both attacks.
 
Minister of state James Baba has also denied signing any extradition document for Lt. Joel Mutabazi.
 
UNHCR has also said they are to release a statement soon regarding the arrest and extradition of Joel Mutabazi.