KAMPALA – Exiled Former Rwanda Defence Force Chief Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa has finally broken his silence about the disappearance of Mr Ben Rutabana, a French National of Rwandan origin.
“Firstly, it is sad because Ben Rutabana has a wife, children and extended family and until today we don’t know his whereabouts like our colleagues who have disappeared in the past. My prayer is for him to be found safe.
Unfortunately media outlets and some people associated to his family have claimed that Uganda has him and yet, a competent court in Uganda proved otherwise,” Gen. Nyamwasa said during a Talk show on Washington- based Radio Itahuka on Thursday.
He vehemently denied involvement in the disappearance adding: “What can make me happy today is being able to see him alive and safe and able to re-unite with his wife and children.”
Gen. Nyamwasa also acknowledged the work of Uganda’s courts of law and security agencies in trying to get to the bottom of the matter.
“His relatives took this matter to court and I saw the judgment recently. Security Agencies there (Uganda) have made it clear they don’t have him. I have also seen something like a tract saying he’s in Uganda safe and free. I hope this is true; that means whoever has him will be able to challenge security agencies in Uganda before the courts for lying that they don’t have him and it will also give us an opportunity to know who is behind his disappearance,” he said.
Pressed about allegations by sections of media especially social platforms, blogs and commentators on Rwandan politics accusing him of involvement in the dissappearance, he said, it was all nothing more than a smear campaign.
He said: “I hear people saying I am behind Rutabana’s disappearance in Uganda and it’s almost 10 months now. It sounds like the powers Kagame gives me all the time when he says a lot of things I have done when it’s completely untrue. ” Gen. Nyamwasa added.
“How can Kayumba go to Uganda and jail Rutabana who is a French Citizen and Uganda simply allows to have problems with France just because they like Kayumba? How would the jailing of Rutabana in Uganda be of benefit to me anyway? He questioned, adding that if Uganda had Rutabana in custody it would be a “silly mistake to incarcerate someone without charge.”
He noted that his worry in this matter was not about accusations of his involvement but rather the disappearance of a colleague and a family man whose family can’t seem to untangle circumstances of his whereabouts.
“What’s very important to note here is not because I am wrongly accused in this matter. That’s not a problem for me, what I wish is for him is to be alive and join his wife, children and family.”
Gen. Nyamwasa said he had desisted from making commentary around this matter because it was before the courts of law in Ugnda. Doing that, he said, would have amounted to interfering with and undermining a sovereign country’s institutions.
“I can’t behave like Kagame to start making commentary on matters before the courts. Luckily the judgement is out and nowhere does it mention my name.
Surprisingly it is Kigali that is more interested in this case. You wonder where they are getting the empathy to speak for him,” Gen. Nyamwasa said.
It is obviously, he said, that Rwanda finds this case an opportunity to tarnish his name as well as the rather good image of Rwanda Nation Congress.
In fact, he says Rwanda’s hand in this case is more visible.
“I have no doubt that Rwanda knows Ben Rutabana’s whereabouts because the first person to write about his dissapearance was their agent(Tom Ndahiro). Where did he get the information?” he said.
He noted that the Kigali establishment is now now running psychological operation with the case to purposefully create confusion among his friends and family while trying to absolve themselves of any culpability.
“We are all worried, I am worried & RNC is worried that he is not with his wife, children and family and what Kagame thinks is that he can use Ben Rutabana’s dissapearance to tarnish my name and that of RNC when they clearly know his whereabouts. The judgment is out and clear . It can’t work,” Said Gen. Nyamwasa.