By Henry D Gombya
Dead Men Tell No Tales is a saying that has existed for a long time, and which American actor Clint Eastwood often used in many of his spaghetti westerns. But it wasn’t extremely popular until it became famous through the Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland, in which a pirate-ish skull and crossed bones on the wall utters this very phrase, among other things. Basically, what it means is that to keep something quiet, kill anyone who knows about it and, since that person is dead, it would be pretty much impossible for them to tell your secret.
But former Rwandan external intelligence chief, Patrick Karegeya seems to have once and for all buried this myth and may now have relegated it to history by proving that, you know what, dead men after all, do actually tell tales these days. Having been mercilessly silenced allegedly by a group of assassins from Rwanda who enticed him to meet them at a Johannesburg upmarket Hotel on New Year’s Eve and left after strangling him, the former Director General of Rwanda’s external intelligence seems to be speaking from the dead as his thoughts shortly before he died exposes one of the West’s most admired African leader as a cruel, murderous and calculating killer who has used the West’s failure to stop the Rwanda genocide in 1994 to his own advantage.
In a letter that he wrote to a friend in the United States, a copy of which The London Evening Post has obtained, Col Karegeya, a Makerere University law graduate who, together with Rwandan President Paul Kagame, joined a band of fighters that helped Uganda’s Yoweri Museveni come to power in 1986, is today laying bare the inner working of the Kagame regime in Rwanda and how the ‘darling of the West’ has used repression to stay in power.
Writing clearly with passion for his country which is tinged with Christian values, and verging on the need for reconciliation by all, and also showing a great command of the English language, Col Karegeya says: “The RPF (Rwanda Patriotic Front) government relies on a wide range of laws, administrative practises and terror to restrict citizens’ enjoyment of political freedoms.” He adds: “Institutions of the State continue to subject real and imagined critics of government to a wide range of human rights violations, including arbitrary arrests, detentions and involuntary disappearances and extrajudicial killings.”