Kagame in deep trouble with the UK & US over jailed opponents

Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Pic credit: LA TRIBUNE FRANCO-RWANDAISE

The governments of the United Kingdom and the United States of America have exerted pressure on Rwanda president Paul Kagame to release senior Rwanda military officers who were jailed for politically motivated ‘crimes’.

Although there are several political dissidents and military officers rotting in various jails and Safe Houses in Rwanda, the army officers that have since become a thorn in the eye for Kagame are Brig. Gen. Tom Byabagamba and Col. Frank Rusagara, who are former Rwanda Patriotic Defence Forces, senior officers.

The duo was arrested in 2014 subjected to a Kangaroo military court where they were charged and summarily convicted for among other charges ‘Spreading Rumours and Tarnishing the image of government and their country.’

They were later both handed lengthy jail sentences, denied access to lawyers, family members, medication and jailed in filthy dungeons. All their efforts to appeal the sentence, seek decent medical attention or have access to their lawyers have been frustrated by Rwandan officials.

It was after failing the efforts to help Brig. Gen. Byabagamba and Col. Rusagara that their lawyers and family members petitioned the UK and US government to intervene in the matter by exerting pressure on Kagame and the Rwandan government to release the army officers.

Indeed the UK Parliament, through Rt. Hon. Baroness D’Souza CMG, wrote to Kagame through the Rwandan Embassy in the UK, informing him about the unjust incarceration of Brig-Gen. Byabagamba and Col. Rusagara and that they should be freed.

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Lukwago Joseph grew up in a newspaper family, and rumor has it that instead of playing the guitar in his infancy, his parents put a reporter’s notebook and a pen next to him shortly after he turned born eight years. Before becoming editor of UGANDANZ, Lukwago was a parliament news editor for WBS TV. He joined UGANDANZ in July 2018, A few months after the company launched. Lukwago also spent five years as a freelance reporter, where he covered reporting for the highest bidder, intelligence, foreign policy, and Ugandan police. Lukwago graduated from Makerere University in 2008 with a B.A. in Journalism and worked on his college newspaper.