Finally Kigali has succedded in eliminating Patrick Karegeya. No doubt, by assasinating Karegeya implies that the struggle for dislodging Kagame is extended to more than a decade behind. For Kagame, among all opposed to his governance, its only Karegeya who gave him real sleepless nights. Kagame must have celebrated the new year as the happiest man on planet earth. Though Junior to Gen Kayumba the former army chief, Karegeya was the No. 1 on Kagame's list of wanted dissidents. The earlier assasination attempt on Kayumba Nyamwasa must have been a desperate move out of frustrations after failing to get Karegeya. The monetary cost of his assassination must have been the equivallency of the budget of three ministries in the Rwanda government. If the Rwanda exiles were planning to use force to dislolge Kagame, it was Karegeya who was the brain behind such plans. In 2011, a Rwandan military court sentenced Karegeya, Nyamwasa and two other exiled officers to 20 years in prison for threatening state security after they were tried in absentia.In 2010, Nyamwasa was shot in the stomach as he drove into the driveway of his upmarket Johannesburg home. He survived what his family said was an assassination attempt ordered by Kagame.In 2012, Karegeya, pictured above, said he expected to be killed because he knew the regime’s ‘dark secrets’.South African intelligence sources claimed his drink had been spiked with poison to make his death look like suicide.But they added that the killer seemed to have bungled the job and had to strangle him.
On 1 January 2014, Karegeya was found dead at the Michelangelo Towers, an upmarket hotel in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton in South Africa. Reports indicate he had gone to attend a meeting at the hotel when he was murdered. The circumstances leading to his death remain unknown. The South African police are conducting investigations although the Rwandan opposition party, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) said in a statement to AFP that “He was strangled by agents of (Rwandan President Paul) Kagame,” having previously survived several assassination attempts. Karegeya leaves behind his wife Leah and three children.
Karegeya was born in Mbarara in southwestern Uganda. He attended Makerere University where he earned a Bachelor of Law degree. He joined the National Resistance Army in Uganda but was arrested in June 1982 and charged with treason, spending three years in jail. Later he joined President Yoweri Museveni in the struggle that led to the overthrow of Milton Obote. He was a lieutenant in Ugandan military intelligence when the decision to invade Rwanda was made, at a time when his friend Paul Kagame was studying in the USA.
From 1994 to 2004 Karegeya was Director General, External Intelligence in the Rwandan Defence Forces. As chief of intelligence in Rwanda he had great power. Karegeya was arrested and served an 18-month sentence for desertion and insubordination. He was stripped of his rank of Colonel on 13 July 2006 by a military tribunal and fled the country in 2007. Later, Kagame claimed that he was in the pay of South African military intelligence.
In August 2010 Karegeya told the Ugandan paper The Observer that Kagame was a dictator who would not leave power unless he was forced out by war.The same month he told the BBC that Kagame had ordered a series of political killings.
Patrick, as populary known, had the exceptional capacity to gather intelligence inside Rwanda upto inside Kagame's trouser pockets. He had the capacity to rally the support and services of not only regional intelligence agencies but major world intelligence bodies. He was a genus in as far as the intelligence craft is concerned. That is why despite being a senior and founding member of the dissident RNC, he had no specific clear assignment thus a master of covert intelligence activities. Though a refugee he was brought up in a well to do family that owned a ranch Mbarara. After studying Law at Makerere, he was arrested on the way to joining Museveni's NRA guerrillas. He was being taken by NRA's contact Aston Kajara (now a Minister) but was betrayed by a senior Muganda Prisons Officer. Around 2003 Patrick told Mayombo to remind Museveni about Aston Kajara. He was kept in Luzira prison till 1985 following the Okello Lutwa coup. Patrick stright away headed for Museveni's NRA. After takeover, Patrick became a Sgt and an ADC to the DMI - Mugisha Muntu at Basima House. By 1989, Patrick was a Lt and an Asst. Director in charge of Counter Intelligence. At the time, Paul Kagame was a Major and an Assistand Director for Personnel, Administration and Finance. Under Patrick was Sgt Jack Nziza, who occupied room 14 next to Patrick's room 15 at Basiima house.
Patrick's charisma and humour distinguished him from other Rwandese who were being resented by members of the NRA. As a Lawyer but moreso his unique character enabled him to mix and be accepted by ugandans more than other Rwandese. He was close to Senior counsel Kakuru and Geofrey Rugazora of Castro Uganda among many others. He had alot of connections outside the NRA that enabled him to lead a descent life unlike ordinary NRA
Leutenants. He had his own money and never encroached on the megre office funds. He lived in a post house in Muyenga next to Hotel Diplomate. It is this unique character that afforded Patrick an upper hand in terms of intelligence gathering during the Uganda/Rwanda conflict of the early 2000s. Patrick was instrumental in the founding, preparations of the RPF attack, and moblisation of resources for the RPF. Shortly after the RPF invasion, Patrick was moved from DMI and deployed to thd NRA Anti-smuggling unit as the Admin Officer under Col. Andrew Lutaya while at the sametime spearheading the external wing of the RPF 4 years war. After the fall of Kigali, Patrick moved to Rwanda and became the Director of External Security. For over a decade he built a vibrant intelligence aparatus that made a name for Rwanda at a time when the RPF faced imminent danger from dissidents based in the region and beyond.
Patrick resident in Kiyovu with his wife Lea and three children. His parents remained in Uganda where his father died in 2004. He has a cousin who is a very senior Museveni government official. Patrick is the only Rwandese officer who went to Rwanda with a Muganda driver and retained him for decades. All the others including President Kagame had to deport their drivers after gruesome mistreatment. During the Uganda/Rwanda clashes, Patrick would recieve hard copies of intelligence reports meant for Museveni hours before Museveni could recieve them. At the height of the conflict, Museveni described Patrick as a "bad boy". Patrick was instrumental in sustaining the Uganda dissident PRA. He availed them with all the intelligence they needed. Museveni believes that Patrick assisted Dr. Besigye to escape to South Africa. Patrick availed Dr. Besigye timely and accurate intelligence from Uganda that the Doctor would stunn Kampala with during radio talk shows. He brought Andrew Mwenda closf to Kagame but the time of his death he described Mwenda as "HOPELESS". He was close to Uganda politicians like Betty Bigombe and others. He was a close friend of Gen Saleh with whom he maintained regular contacts even during the conflict. It is this closeness
to Uganda that Museveni exploited to antagonise Patrick with Kagame leading to a fall out eventual exile. The Ugandan government has allowed the family of fallen former Rwanda
intelligence chief, Col Patrick Karegeya, to return his body for burial at their home in Rwenjeru Biharwe Sub-county, Kashari County in Mbarara District in the west of the country.
The struggle to liberate Rwanda was premised on the establishment of democracy. This has not happened in the past 17 years of Kagame’s rule. We were all required then to participate and praise the rigging of elections where Kagame allots himself 95% in the Presidential Elections in 2003 and 94% in 2010. Some of us then wondered whether there was any difference between him and President Habyalimana (ex-Rwandan President), yet during the struggle we vehemently criticized the rigging of elections by his government.
MAY HIS SOUL REST IN PEACE