Reports reaching our News Desk from the Mozambican capital Maputo say four Rwandans including a senior military official, are reportedly being held in Mozambique in connection with the killing of former Rwandan chief of external intelligence Col Patrick Karegeya.
Col Karegeya is believed to have died from asphyxiation after he was lured to a plush Johannesburg hotel on New Year’s Eve. His body was discovered the next morning after his family became suspicious when he failed to contact them to wish them Happy New Year. Mozambique police spokesman Joao Machava said the Rwandans were detained a week ago and are awaiting extradition to South Africa. Machava gave no details as to where the four suspects had been detained but it is believed that the Mozambican police were acting on a tip-off from their South African counterparts.
One of the four suspects is a senior official in the Rwandan armed forces, Lt Col Francis Gakwerere. His name was on a list of seven people claimed in a blog run by Rwandan dissidents to belong to a hit squad sent to South Africa to eliminate Karegeya. Police in South Africa suspect the former spymaster was strangled. A bloodied towel and curtain cord were found in a safe in the hotel room. Opponents of the Rwandan government say he was murdered at the behest of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Karegeya was once an ally of Kagame, and they fought together in the Rwanda Patriotic Front. He headed the feared external intelligence agency from 1994, when Kagame’s rebel movement took power and ended the Rwandan genocide, until 2004. Karegeya was then arrested, and served an 18-month sentence for alleged desertion and insubordination. He had been living in exile in South Africa since 2007. Earlier this week Kagame said it’s a matter of time before those who’ve betrayed Rwanda face consequences.