Tuesday August 26 2014

Kagame’s former top security officer arrested


By Ignatius Ssuuna

Rwanda’s army arrested a high ranking army officer and former head of the Republican Guard, a highly trained elite force that guards President Paul Kagame.

Col Tom Byabagamba was arrested on Saturday, August 24. According to Rwanda's defence and Military spokesperson,Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita, the officer is suspected of committing “crimes against state security”.

Col Byabagamba’s arrest brings to three the number of army officers detained by security services in week. The army arrested and detained Brig. Frank Rusagara and Captain David Kabuye, who recently retired from the army on Monday and Wednesday respectively.

Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita told The NewTimes, a local pro government newspaper that Col Byabagamba was arrested as part of investigations into the case involving Brig Rusagara and Capt Kabuye.

Brig Gen Nzabamwita said Brig Rusagara and Capt Kabuye were held in connection with State security offences.

Col Byabagambi was removed as head of the Republican guard in 2011 and taken to RDF to head the anti-terrorism docket.

Rusagara was retired from the army in October last year and also served as Rwanda's Defence Attaché to the United Kingdom.

Before his UK posting, Brig Gen Rusagara served as the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Defence as well as the head of Nyakinama Military College. Capt Kabuye is a businessman and married to Rose Kabuye, former director of State Protocol.

President Kagame has said in the past that army officers get arrested because the army in Rwanda does not tolerate indiscipline.

However, Kagame’s critics in exile have accused the President of “purging” whoever has divergent views from the President and his inner circle. Colonel Byabagamba is married to Mary Baine, former Rwanda Revenue Authority boss.