by Charles Kabonero
by Charles Kabonero
Following the murder of opposition politician Ntare Semadwinga in Gisenyi, in June this year, a former RPF cadre, Emeritha Munkunda, 65, was also murdered in Goma, while on her way home in Gisenyi on 20, August, 2010.
According to reliable sources, in June, this year, two Department of Military Intelligence operatives found Munkunda at her home in Gisenyi and interrogated her about her ‘dealings with General Nyamwasa Kayumba and other state enemies’.
She is said to have denied any links with Kayumba but was forced to write a statement. Among the names of her other alleged collaborators was one Jean Bahati Bahavu, a former cadre of the ruling RPF.
"She was told that she frequently visited another former RPF cadre Bahati Bahavu in Goma," Munkunda’s 35 year-old son said in an interview on phone.
According to the man, two months later his mother was summoned by the RPF Secretary General (SG), Francois Ngarambe.
"She went to the ruling party Secretariat, was interrogated by the Party chief in the presence of some of her relatives who had been invited to the meeting without her knowledge," the son quoted one of the relatives who attended the interrogation, as saying. He further said that the RPF Secretary General told the mother: "Your time is up, now that you have stated working with Kayumba and Interahamwe."
Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa is a dissident former Army Commander of the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA), while the Interahamwe are said to have decimated the Rwanda Tutsi population during the 1994 Genocide.
Meanwhile, the relative who preferred anonymity citing security reasons, said that Ngarambe told Munkunda that unlike Kayumba, she would not escape. Later, Ngarambe is said to have instructed her to relocate from Gisenyi to Kigali .
"That’s when we will follow you up and make sure you are not in touch with Bahati in Goma,’ Ngarambe allegedly told Munkunda.
The source said that Munkunda had no money, but that Ngarambe told her that she had a house in Nyarutarama, where she should come and live.
"Emeritha insisted that the house was her only source of revenue as she was not working, but the SG said, the party will cater for her," the source said added that Munkunda was also ordered to sell her house in Gisenyi.
"She accepted and she was given someone to help her get a buyer. A day later the commission agent told her she had a client in Goma. They went together to Goma to meet the client, as Emeritha moved to implement the SG’s demands," the source said.
In Goma, the source said, Munkunda was introduced to Gen. Bosco Ntaganda, the former deputy to the defunct CNDP, a Rwanda-supported rebel group in the DRC led by Gen. Laurent Nkunda.
"On their way to meet Ntaganda, he called the ‘agent’ and told her : "Tell her (Munkunda), that we are at Nikuze’s home, she knows the place. Apparently, Ntaganda knew Emeritha. Emeritha was a friend to Nkunda, but not close to Ntaganda. The two, discussed the value of the house and the General sent his wife to inspect the house the next day," the source said.
The source adds: "Days later, Emeritha was supposed to go back to Goma, to meet Ntaganda for her money. But, before she and the RPF-sourced commission agent left, the latter asked for two million Rwandan francs as her commission. Emeritha told her that she would be paid after the general pays. The commission agent refused to go with her, prompting Emeritha to go with her son, a father of two.
It is said that while in Goma Munkunda and her son incessantly called Gen. Ntaganda to no avail, till he showed up late evening around 6pm, after which Emeritha decided to go back to Gisenyi but leaving her son behind.
"On her way back, with her two grandsons, she was stopped by two cars that surrounded her car. An unidentified man approached her, and when she opened the door to see what was going on, the man shot her twice, killing her instantly," the source said adding that: "that was only days after the warning from Ngarambe at the ruling party’s Secretariat."
Efforts to talk to Ngarambe were futile as his phone was off many times, before press time.
Emeritha’s assassination comes after the assassination of another opposition politician, the Green Party vice Chairman, Kagwa Rwisereka and a journalist, Leonard Rugambage. It also comes at a time, Rwanda is being accused of the attempted murder of the exiled former army commander, Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa in Johannesburg , in June.
"She was planning to flee before she was killed," the relative said. This was also confirmed by Jean Bahati Bahavu, who said: "We had discussed and agreed to flee as information of how Kigali was linking us to the exiled General (Kayumba) was gaining momentum by the day. Unfortunately, it was not to happen for her."Efforts to speak to Ngarambe Francois proved futile as he couldn't pick our repeated calls to him