Get more Mail & Guardian
Subscribe or Login

Exiled Rwanda general wounded in SA shooting

An exiled Rwandan general was shot and wounded in South Africa on Saturday in what his wife called a Rwandan-backed assassination attempt, a charge the Kigali government dismissed as “preposterous”.

Lieutenant-General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa was in the intensive care unit of a Johannesburg hospital after being shot in the stomach, Rosette Kayumba told Reuters Television.

Once a close confidant of President Paul Kagame, Nyamwasa fled to South Africa this year after falling out with the president, later accusing him of using an anti-corruption campaign to frame opponents.

Nyamwasa’s wife said she, her husband, their children and a driver had returned home from a shopping trip when an armed man approached their car and shot her husband.

Her husband and the driver got out of the car and scuffled with the gunman before he fled, she said. She said doctors told her her husband would survive.

Kayumba said she believed Kagame was behind the attack, and ruled out an attempted robbery or car hijacking because the gunman targeted only her husband and did not try to steal the car.

“He must be behind this, I don’t have proof … but we’ve been harassed for such a long time,” she said of Kagame.

Louise Mushikiwabo, Rwandan foreign minister and government spokesperson, told Reuters by telephone: “Not only do I deny it, I think it’s preposterous for Mrs Nyamwasa to be making that kind of comment.”

She added: “The Rwandan government does not go around shooting innocent citizens …The time when presidents and governments went around assassinating their citizens is over in Rwanda.”

Top aide
The flight of Nyamwasa, who fought alongside Kagame to end the 1994 genocide in the central African nation, was a sign of a growing rift between the president and some of his top aides.

During and after the war to end the genocide, Nyamwasa held a number of key positions, including army chief of staff and head of the country’s intelligence services.

Rwanda is due to hold a presidential election in August, which Kagame is widely expected to win. The United States has toughened its stance on the country, saying it is concerned about democratic freedom there.

In the run-up to elections, Rwanda has suspended two independent newspapers, arrested a high-profile opposition figure and prevented two opposition parties from registering, US Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Johnnie Carson told the US Congress this year.

Rwandan authorities link Nyamwasa and another fugitive senior officer in South Africa to a series of deadly grenade attacks in the capital this year, and accuse him of nepotism and unlawful accumulation of wealth.

He has rejected the charges and said the president has used his anti-corruption campaign to frame opponents.

“If accountability is going to be used as a political weapon to frame perceived opponents, then it ceases to be meaningful or useful,” Nyamwasa said in a statement printed in the Ugandan newspaper the Monitor in May. – Reuters

Subscribe for R500/year

Thanks for enjoying the Mail & Guardian, we’re proud of our 36 year history, throughout which we have delivered to readers the most important, unbiased stories in South Africa. Good journalism costs, though, and right from our very first edition we’ve relied on reader subscriptions to protect our independence.

Digital subscribers get access to all of our award-winning journalism, including premium features, as well as exclusive events, newsletters, webinars and the cryptic crossword. Click here to find out how to join them and get a 57% discount in your first year.

Related stories

WELCOME TO YOUR M&G

If you’re reading this, you clearly have great taste

If you haven’t already, you can subscribe to the Mail & Guardian for less than the cost of a cup of coffee a week, and get more great reads.

Already a subscriber? Sign in here

Advertising

Subscribers only

‘The children cannot cope any more’: Suicide in Calvinia highlights...

How Covid-19 has intensified the physical and emotional burdens placed on children’s shoulders.

Capitec Bank flies high above Viceroy’s arrow

The bank took a knock after being labelled a loan shark by the short seller, but this has not stymied its growth

More top stories

Council wants Hawks, SIU probe into BAT’s Zimbabwe scandal

The cigarette maker has been accused of giving up to $500 000 in bribes and spying on competitors

How Alpha Condé overthrew Alpha Condé

Since the coup d’état, Guinea’s head of state has been in the custody of the military officers. But it was the president who was the primary architect of his own downfall

‘The Making of Mount Edgecombe’: A view of history from...

Indian indentured labourers’ lives are celebrated in a new book, Sugar Mill Barracks: The Making of Mount Edgecombe

Case of men arrested with 19 rhino horns is postponed

Alleged rhino kingpin and a Mpumalanga businessman appeared in court on charges of the illegal possession and selling of rhino horns
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…
×