Kangura No. 57

Editorial: Difficult Times for Our Politicians; Who Killed Bucyana? Why Was Gatabazi Murdered?

Hassan Ngeze

Kangura recently reported that the President of the Republic would be assassinated in March this year. Those who could not see beyond their noses scoffed at us. These are people who only think of their stomachs. All the same what should one make of the Rwandan proverb which says that “someone who beats a dog is targeting its master.” Do you think you would be spared if your wife and child are murdered by the enemy? What other death would you want to strike Habyarimana? Gatabazi and Bucyana were murdered in the month we predicted. The same fate may befall Ngirumpatse, the M.R.N.D. boss. How about Habyarimana? Has it not yet dawned on him that what we write is based on reality? Instead of mourning someone’s death, should we not rejoice at having protected him from the enemy [sic]? Let us wait until the end of the month to find out if there are other victims. What should be done so that those who have ears can hear and those with eyes can see?

Why Was Gatabazi Murdered?

Without hesitation, Gatabazi was murdered because of Twagiramungu as confirmed by Gatabazi’s wife. At a P.S.D. meeting in Butare, Gatabazi had made a speech which had angered the Inyenzi. He was then criticised by Twagiramungu who declared that “[s]uch a speech [was] not different from Nsengiyaremye’s statement in Kibuye in which he had threatened to dispatch tough young men to the front if the Inyenzi did not end the hostilities.”

You will remember that Gatabazi had said that the Inyenzi and others who wanted to seize power by force needed to consider the events in Burundi and how the people stood up as one to condemn those who wanted to lead them by force of arms. That statement caused outrage among many of the Inyenzi who had become members of the P.S.D. in order to infiltrate it. Who would benefit from Gatabazi’s death within the P.S.D.? Ngango Felicién is being accused. Mention is made of some disagreement between Gatabazi and Ngango due to a report which Ngango produces on a daily basis accusing Gatabazi of theft; this report was relayed over Radio Rwanda. That was the source of the misunderstanding between both men. Gatabazi then started conniving against Ngango. He felt that Ngango should not occupy the post of President of the Legislative Assembly. He had in fact stated that instead of voting for Ngango, he would prefer to have Mbonampeka and the latter was hoping to get four votes from the Gatabazi group of parliamentarians. The investigators must not overlook that situation; they would also need to question the other “Abakombozi” who do not agree with Gatabazi in their struggle for power.

Gatabazi’s Final Moments

It is now possible for you to get acquainted with the events as they emerge from our investigations and indeed from the testimonies of the Gatabazi family. Around 9:00 p.m., Twagiramungu calls on Gatabazi to invite him to a meeting at the Meridien. Gatabazi complains that he is tired but Twagiramungu insists. Gatabazi ultimately leaves home for the meeting. He dismisses offhand what he is told by other participants at the meeting on the grounds that they needed to produce documents jointly signed by the two wings of the P.L. Party indicating that Twagiramungu supported the Lando rather than the Mugenzi group. This caused anger and brought the meeting to an end barely 35 minutes after it had started. All the participants then left.

The Mystery Surrounding the Death

A Unamir vehicle started off first, followed by that of Twagiramungu, which in turn was followed by another Unamir vehicle and finally by that of Gatabazi. They took the Kacyiru–Centre Ville direction. At Kimihurura, Gatabazi, who was at the back of the convoy, veered off onto the road to his residence. At the gate which opens into the courtyard of his residence, he is met with a hail of bullets. On hearing the gunfire, Twagiramungu’s escorts stop his driver who in turn informs his boss; the latter tells him not to make anything of it saying: “let’s go man; these are things that happen in Kigali every day.”

Not being able to stop, the Unamir escorts continue up to Twagiramungu’s residence. On arrival, Twagiramungu rushes to call the P.S.D. party leader, Nzamurambaho Frederic, to inquire if Gatabazi’s death would affect the formation of a Government. He is told that there would be no problem; that Gatabazi was not particularly different from the others who had died. That is why Twagiramungu could declare early the next morning that the P.S.D. leadership had agreed to the formation of the Government and that Gatabazi’s death was not going to an obstacle. Could you imagine what? Did you really grasp the significance of what Twagiramungu was telling you that morning over Radio Rwanda before he even went to view the corpse! The investigators need to check on all these facts we have mentioned and which actually occurred.

Some Other Issue

Why did Gatabazi’s killers wait at the entrance to his courtyard for one hour after he had gone to the meeting? Who could have informed them that he was going to go out at that time? Why hadn’t they intercepted him before his departure to the meeting or at some other time prior to that? Why did they have to wait for him to return before carrying out their act? Before leaving for the meeting, Gatabazi had spoken to and conveyed his concern about it to the Rwandan Ambassador in Bujumbura, Uwibajije Sylvestre. All these facts do prove to us that Twagiramungu and the Inyenzi of the R.P.F. were responsible for Gatabazi’s death. What is unfortunate is Twagiramungu’s statement suggesting that the M.R.N.D. had asked him to include in his policy speech the issue of a general amnesty for all those who had committed offences prior to his assumption of office; it is obvious, given that situation, that the Inyenzi would soon start eliminating a lot of people because of the impending amnesty. All should be left in the hands of God. Only those who have spent a sleepless night can talk about the night!

Who Murdered Martin Bucyana?

While in the case of Gatabazi’s death, the investigations of those responsible are not complete yet to warrant the arrest of Twagiramungu or of his accomplices, the situation in the case of Bucyana’s death is a totally different matter in that the investigations are easier. In fact, those who murdered him are all known. These were the people involved in demonstrations in a locality known as Mbazi. All of them, without exception, live in the area where Bucyana was killed. The vehicles in which they were transported are there. If we had had an efficient government, these people would already have been arrested. In any case, if they are not arrested, we shall do so ourselves and have them punished. Bucyana was intercepted at about 11:00 a.m.; he sought refuge at Nkundabagenzi’s house some 6 kilometers from Butare town. All the authorities, at the commune and in the prefecture, were informed but since this was a plan that had already been hatched and known, no steps were taken to save Bucyana and his younger brother.

The Disturbing Factor in Bucyana’s Death

While Bucyana was seeking refuge at Nkundabagenzi’s house, his younger brother and the driver managed to hide in the ceiling of the communal office. Vehicles, known to everyone, continued to transport people to the commune to kill Bucyana. When there were enough people, the demonstrators decided to burn down the communal office so that those inside would be burnt to death. They had in fact started demolishing the communal office. All these incidents occurred in the presence of the authorities of Butare. Reports suggest that the bourgmestre escaped. However, what did the secretary, who had stayed behind, do? When Bucyana’s younger brother, whose name is Maurice, noticed that they were going to be burnt to death inside the office, he chose to come out with the driver. The demonstrators took hold of them and tortured them to death thinking that they were killing Bucyana. Nkundabagenzi’s daughter-in-law then arrived at the commune and told the demonstrators that Bucyana was not among those being murdered and that he was instead at her father-in-law’s house. This was about 12:30 p.m. They tortured them to death and then moved to Nkudabagenzi’s house on the tarred road where they dragged out and killed Bucyana the way they did Ndadaye. They castrated him, pulled out one of his eyes, his brains and chest. Bucyana was tortured in an atrocious manner. According to Bucyana’s daughter-in-law, they pulled out Bucyana’s eyes and asked him to repeat that he was vigilant. He refused to utter anything until his last breath! Nkundabaganzi daughter-in-law came out exclaiming: “What a courageous man! He refused to say anything until his last breath!’ This is proof that there was collusion between Bucyana’s assassins and this lady.

Who Has Already Been Identified?

Bucyana had spent the whole day of Monday cementing the grave of his wife who had passed away a year earlier. He was being spied upon by some people who were trying to find out when he would be leaving; they include in particular a certain Karangwa, a member of the P.S.D. party residing in Cyangugu, as well as a certain Marianne who also resided in Cyangugu. These are some of those who were monitoring Bucyana’s movements. A certain Serubyogo, for his part, also got in touch with those mentioned above for information on Bucyana. A P.S.A. project vehicle assigned to Nzamurambaho’s Ministry followed Bucyana from Cyangugu to the place where he was murdered. All these facts have been confirmed by eyewitnesses residing in Cyangugu. Besides, Marianne hid in Bukavu, in Zaire, so that Bucyana’s murder occurs while she is in exile.

In Butare, those who had a role to play in Bucyana’s murder were people with influence to the extent where the P.S.D. party objected to their arrest whereas their guilt was established. Besides, Bucyana’s assassins were mere errand boys; they are the ones now giving away the names of all those who were not arrested. For instance, persons such as Juvénal Bihira, an important businessman in Butare, Bashimiyiki, also a well-known personality, Alexandre Ryambabaje, a lecturer at the University and Ignace Rutazigwa had their names mentioned by Bucyana’s assassins and by Nkundabagenzi’s wife and daughter-in-law. The Pajero vehicle belonging to the P.S.A. project is known together with the person in charge of driving it. There were a lot of other vehicles transporting the killers but to date justice has turned a blind eye on what happened. Evidence on the death of Bucyana and of his younger brother is clear to men of goodwill are concerned. If the competent authorities do not do something about this situation, the population will do what they expect the authorities to do on its behalf. Of course, Gatabazi is dead, same as Bucyana and his brother; Ngirumpatse may also be killed if one were to go by the statements of the Nzamurambaho. By the way, why hasn’t he disclosed the identity of those who killed Bucyana whereas he had been in a hurry to announce that the M.R.N.D. killed Gatabazi? Death spares no one.