A Kenya Army soldier allegedly assigned to protect wanted Rwandan genocide suspect Felicien Kabuga disappeared — and may have been murdered — after he secretly took pictures of the fugitive, investigations have revealed.
The soldier was part of a shadowy unit set up by people close to the National Security Intelligence Service (NSIS) and the military or who appear to have had access to facilities controlled by the two institutions. Kenyan government denied knowing his whereabouts.
The disappearance of Michael Sarunei, an infantryman who was part of Kabuga’s bodyguard, has raised questions about the government’s handling of the hunt for the fugitive businessman, whom the United States Government has always insisted was being harbored by Kenya.
Contacted yesterday, Government spokesman Alfred Mutua denied the involvement of the present government in the Kabuga saga. He said that all the allegations that have been made about Mr Kabuga’s refuge in Kenya point to events before President Kibaki took over at the end of 2002.
“This particular government has not been aware of anything to do with the protection of Mr Kabuga. We are working very closely with the Rwanda government to ensure that this man is arrested,” Dr Mutua said.
NTV investigations over the past five months, however, point to Mr Kabuga still being in the country.
Relatives of Sarunei, who joined the Kenya Army infantry in 1996, told of the soldier’s mysterious disappearance early on February 13, 2009, after saying he was protecting Kabuga.
They believe he was killed after he secretly took pictures of the elusive businessman. Three of those photographs were given to NTV. Shown to Rwandan Government officials and people who had worked at Kabuga’s radio station in Rwanda, they confirmed that the elderly man in a blue T-shirt was indeed the wanted suspect.
Sarunei’s disappearance is the latest twist in the Kabuga saga, which previously resulted in the murder of a freelance journalist, Michael Munuhe, who was tortured to death as he prepared to lead FBI agents to Kabuga’s hideout in Nairobi.
A relative of the soldier, who remains anonymous for his own safety, was interviewed by NTV reporter John-Allan Namu in Rift Valley, where he produced the pictures of a man later identified as Kabuga and video images of a white government Land Rover in which Sarunei was driven away by his captors.
Said the source: “Four years ago Michael (Sarunei) began earning a lot of money. I asked him whether soldiers were getting paid better these days. He told me that he was working for a very rich man from Rwanda, who the government had wanted to keep in hiding, and that’s why he was getting paid a lot. Michael told me that the rich man who he and others were protecting was called Kabuga.”
Sarunei had reportedly told his relative that his bosses had ordered him never to reveal anything about the man they were protecting or he would be killed.
Jean Bosco Siboyintore, the Head of Genocide Fugitive Tracking Unit said that he is not aware of the Kenyan army support to Rwandan genocide suspect but he has read the story in newspapers.
Siboyintore said that they think Kabuga is still hiding in Kenyan land but they have any proof that the government of Kenya protects him.
See article in Kinyarwanda
Umutwe ushinzwe ubutasi muri Kenya ngo waba ukorana na Kabuga
Kabuga Felicien ashakisha n’urukiko mpuzamahanga mpanabyaha rwashyiriweho u Rwanda (ICTR) kubera uruhare ashinjwa kugira muri Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi mu Rwanda.
Urupfu rw’umusirikare w’umunyakenya wishwe azira gushaka kuvuga amakuru yerekeye Kabuga ndese no gutahurwa amufotora rwihishwa nirwo rwabaye intandaro y’amakuru avuga ko umutwe w’ubutasi wo muri Kenya ukorana na Kabuga Felicien.
Michael Sarunei yishwe tariki 13/02/2009 ngo yazize ko yatangaje ko yari mu bashinzwe kurinda Kabuga ndetse akaba yaranashatse gutangaza aho Kabuga aherereye.
Uyu musirikare wari ushinzwe kurinda Kabuga yari mu itsinda ryashyizweho n’abantu bakorana na serivisi y’ubutasi yo muri Kenya (NSIS). Iryo tsinda rifatanyije n’uwo mutwe rikurikiranira hafi ubuzima bwa Kabuga ndetse n’umutekano we wa buri munsi ; nk’uko ikinyamakuru Daily Nation cyo muri Kenya cyabitangaje.
Daily Nation ivuga ko nubwo igihugu cya Kenya gihakana ko gicumbikiye Kabuga ngo sibyo kuko arinzwe n’abasirikare b’icyo gihugu bafatanyije n’umutwe ushinzwe ubutasi muri Kenya (NSIS).
Abemera kurinda Kabuga babikora kubera agafaranga gatubutse bahabwa dore ko ngo ugize amahirwe yo kurinda uyu muherwe aba aciye ukubiri n’ubukene; nk’uko ababonaga uyu musirikare mbere y’uko yicwa babyemeza.
Umuvugizi wa Leta ya Kenya, Alfred Mutua, avuga ko Leta ya Kenya nta ruhare ifite mu guhisha Kabuga kandi ko igisirikare cyabo ntaho gihuriye na Kabuga.
Yagize ati « Igihugu cya Kenya nta hantu na hamwe gihuriye na Kabuga, yewe nta n’umuntu n’umwe muri Guverinoma yacu ufite uruhare mu gukingira ikibaba Kabuga. Twe kugeza ubu dukorana na Leta y’u Rwanda ku buryo bunoze kandi buboneye kuko twese dushaka ko Kabuga yatabwa muri yombi».
NTV, televisiyo yo mu gihugu cya Kenya iherutse gutangaza ko Kabuga aba muri Kenya kandi ko umusirikare Michael Sarunei yishwe amaze gufata amafoto ya Kabuga ndetse n’ayo mafoto iyi televisiyo ikaba ifite atatu muri yo.
Michael Sarunei ngo yavuye aho yabaga ajyanywe n’imodoka ya Leta yo mu bwoko bwa Land Rover ifite puraki GK 029K, kuva icyo gihe ntiyongeye kugaragara; nk’uko abaturanyi be babitangarije Daily Nation.
Uyu musirikare yapfuye akurikira umunyamakuru Michael Munuhe wakubiswe kugeza apfuye ubwo yashakaga gutangariza FBI aho Kabuga aherereye.
Hari amakuru avuga ko Kabuga, Umunyarwanda ukurikiranyweho icyaha cya Jenoside, aba muri Kenya ariko Leta y’icyo gihugu yakomeje kubihakana yivuye inyuma.
Leta Zunze Ubumwe za Amerika zashyizeho igihembo cy’amadorali agera kuri miliyoni eshanu ku muntu uzatanga amakuru avuga aho Kabuga aherereye.
Uhagarariye istinda rishinzwe gukurikirana abakoze jenoside ya 1994, Jean Bosco Siboyintore avuga ko ayo makuru yayabonye mu binyamakuru ariko nta gihamya bafite yuko Kabuga yaba afashwa na guverinoma ya Kenya ariko akeka ko ashobora kuba akiri ku butaka bwa Kenya.