The President of the Republic of Rwanda, who also is the Commander in chief of the Rwanda Defence Forces made new appointments and promotions within some of the highest ranking positions in the Rwanda Defense Forces. Maj. Gen. Frank Kamanzi Mushyo was appointed the Army Chief of Staff replacing Lt Gen Caesar Kayizari, who had held the position since April 2010. Kayizari’s together with Rutatina as well as Dan Munyuza’s next destination was however not been highlighted in the statement. The new Army Chief of Staff, Maj. Gen Kamanzi, who has also previously served as a Brigade Commander, is a graduate of the National Defence University, US, where he obtained a Master’s degree in National Security Strategy. He is one of the two Rwandan generals who attended a UN Senior Mission Leaders Course held in Kigali in May of this year. The questions now lies at why now, just after Kagame’s visit to the united kingdom where he was continuously warned for using his killing machines to lead the armed forces, and attacking the neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo for his own interests. The desperation of having used most of his senior officers to engage in the activities of killings in the DRC and planning to kill Gen Kagame’s critics abroad has led him to appointing Major Gen Kamanzi Mushyo the man he never trusted since the early years of our attack on Rwanda in the early 1990’s.
Major Gen Kamanzi is a man of his word, he is a confident officer who never agrees with silly ideas, I remember during the struggle he was a supplies officer who used to travel day and night entering Uganda collecting rifles, food, clothes and medicine while others were on the front line. Major Gen Mushyo Kamanzi would cross the enemy fire to pick up the causalities without questioning the risks surrounding whatever was going on at the time. Although, he did have some character flaws that made him stay distant from Gen Kagame. Major Gen Kamanzi, like many officers, enjoys socialising and sharing a bottle of whisky or Uganda Waragi and during the war Gen Kagame never wanted to hear anything about the use of alcohol among his soldiers, and whenever he found out that an officer was using alcohol he would immediately lose confidence in them. So due to that, most officers were hiding their habit of drinking just to maintain the trust of the top man. Major Gen Kamanzi never dreamt of hiding his habit of drinking from Gen Kagame, at some point he was called by Gen Kagame who asked him to stop using the substance, this annoyed Major Gen Kamanzi and immediately responded by telling him, ‘’when we left Uganda to attack Rwanda we never agreed to quit drinking alcohol, what we agreed was to capture Rwanda and that is what we are doing’’ he immediately saluted and walked away. This destroyed their relationship since 1991, as no one would have considered addressing Gen Kagame in that manner.
The war continued until we captured in 1994 and Maj Gen Kamanzi was kept distant from any strong position in the army since the early days of the RPF government. Before Kigali was captured Major Gen Kamanzi together with the late Major John Birsasa worked hand in hand with the United Nations Forces in trying to maintain peace and to stop the war. Due to his performance during peace talks while working with Gen Romeo Dallaire of the UN forces, he was praised as a professional soldier who was well known in developing constructive ideas and plans. Major Gen Kamanzi served in many different capacities after the war but was always kept distant simply because Gen Kagame knows exactly his attitude, he is confident to defend his arguments not like many officers who just agreed with Gen Kagame’s ideas without questioning them. Kagame is very desperate because, as it was reported by the anonymous veterans managed to figure out what was going on in the meeting while Kagame was looking to appoint the above officers, it was stressed that Kagame made it clear that he was looking for the officers who had not been mentioned in the international arrest warrants or even in media being accused of the killings of civilians in Rwanda or in Congo. Maj Gen Kamanzi is one of the few officers who graduated in Makerere University back in 1980’s, rather than Kagame who was a dropout of secondary school until recently when he received a correspondence study certificate from the Germany College.
These issues surrounding Kamanzi which involved not tolerating his fellow officers when they argued on senseless ideas made him a target and he remained in Isolation for some time. At some point he had an argument with Gen Frank Mugambage in the senior officers mess in Camp Kigali surprisingly Kamanzi just stood up and punched Mugambage in the face: this was unbecoming of senior officers to fight in front of their body guards but it was resolved after the intervention of associate officers. Major Gen Kamanzi is a senior officer of his own caliber, however what most forces believe in, especially the anonymous veterans who knows him better back during the war time, he will never kill his own fellow comrades like his predecessors.
One wonders how Major Gen Kamanzi will work with his boss who does not agree with ideas or advice from his commanders and instead orders the killings including of his own commanders. Reliable Sources held have indicated that Kamanzi is a brother-in-law to Egide Gatera, a rich man in Kigali, who is very close to the Kagame’s. The relationship between these families has resurrected some trust for Major Gen Kamanzi to his boss Kagame. Maj. Gen. Frank Kamanzi Mushyo, prior to the appointment, was serving as the Commandant of the Army Military School of Gako, a job he assumed after his service as the Deputy Force Commander of the African Mission in Sudan (AMIS).
The other changes, according to the ministry of defense, Lt Col Franco Rutagengwa (J2) was appointed chief of military Intelligence. I remember Franco Rutagengwa as a short talkative man who enjoyed spending most of his time in Mbarara Uganda while others were on the frontline fighting. He worked in the Directorate of Military intelligence for some time. Together with Maj Karangwa, Maj Ruhinda are the intelligence officers who were responsible for the killing of the innocent civilians in the areas of Nyabweishongweizi, Kagitumba and the surrounding areas. The victims were coerced from different villages in Mutara just to be taken those Butchers. Lt Col Franco Rutagengwa’s trust comes from years ago when he was endorsed to Kagame by Gen Jack Nziza. He was also seen in Congo for many years and is among the many officers to answer the atrocities committed in the DRC.
Another appointment, Col Francis Mutiganda, was appointed Director General for External security in the National Intelligence and Security Services. Like Lt Col Franco Rutagengwa he spent most of his time shadowing Gen Jack Nziza, the only difference is that he is arrogant and ignorant and they will remain under Gen Jack Nziza’a guidance, the next step now is as it has always been, Gen Jack Nziza will remain the top man in RDF because he is the only man who is listened to by Gen Paul Kagame, it is evident that Rutatina, Dan Munyuza and Ceaser Kayizari are going to end up silently in Congo to back up Gen Kagame’s plans, if there is one thing that Kagame will never give up then that is destabilizing DRC because that is the only way he can use to sustain the Rwandan economy. Rwanda is a small country with an area of 26,338 square kilometers (10,169 square miles). landlocked with no minerals or any other thing that it can rely on and so the only way to cope is to make the money out of Congo which seems abandoned by its own people. However the price we are paying in Congo is worrying as we speak 18 bodies have just arrived in Kanombe barracks according to the Anonymous veterans, all of these young children do not benefit from the DRC natural resources apart from Gen Kagame himself. In conclusion I urge the Rwandese people as well as Congolese to question their leaders who sings accountability when they actually don’t know the meaning. I also remind the Rwandese people that they have not been any changes in RDF leadership, General Kamanzi will burnout because as we know him he cannot accept to become a puppet. The two young intelligence officers will continue to be instructed by Gen Jack Nziza on what to do, the Killings and kidnapping will continue.
BY: Noble Marara,
Edited by Jennifer Fierberg, MSW