From CHIMP REPORT
Exiled Rwanda General Kayumba Nyamwasa has given a vivid description to a Johannesburg Court how he survived a dramatic assassination attempt on his life outside his Atholl residence in June 2010.Nyamwasa placed his hand on one of the six suspects, Hemedi Sefu, when prosecutor Shaun Abrahams asked him to identify the shooter in court.
“I am a trained military man. I tried to dive out of the vehicle but the bullet hit my stomach. I later wrestled with the shooter to disarm him before running away,” Nyamwasa told court in a politically sensitive case that involves army officers and deadly covert intelligence operations.
Nyamwasa said Hemedi was wearing black trousers and an orange sweater on the fateful day.
He further testified that he earlier knew a plot to kill him was in the pipeline thus alerting South Africa’s head of military intelligence. He was shot weeks later.
The former Rwanda Defence Forces (RDF) Chief of Staff said he fled Rwanda to Uganda then Kenya and later South Africa.
Nyamwasa said he overheard a conversation where one of the people on the other line was Brigadier Jack Nziza, then military intelligence chief –Rwanda Defence Forces.
“I reported the phone call threat to police because my life was being threatened.”
Rwanda’s government spokesperson Louse Mushikiwabo was not readily available for comment but Kigali has repeatedly denied allegations it was involved in the assassination plot that severed relations with Pretoria in 2010.
Nyamwasa said his private security was arranged only after the shooting incident on June 19, 2010.
He also told court that he spent several days in hospital after the shooting and was bed ridden for a month. He said a bullet is still lodged in his spine.
During the trial, Nyamwasa gave a brief background about his military career, his escape from Rwanda and the formation of the opposition Rwanda National Congress (RNC).
He had left India, where was the ambassador, after learning that his mother was ill. She later passed away.
After the funeral, Nyamwasa claims to have asked President Paul Kagame if he would stay in Rwanda.
“On February 24, after a meeting with RPF, I feared being arrested and incarcerated. I asked accused 4 Richard Bachisa, whom I trusted, to drive me to Uganda. Bachisa dropped me some metres away from the border where I swam across a river before being picked up on the other side of Uganda,” Nyamwasa told court.
On RNC, Nyamwasa said former government officials, MPs, journalists and members of the public joined to form the opposition party.
Regarding his military career, Nyamwasa said he served in the Uganda army in 1986 before joining RPF thus capturing power in 1994.
He also participated in the Nsele and Arusha peace agreements in 1991 between RPF and government of Juvenal Habyarimana in 1991.
In October 2000, he was appointed Major-General thus relinquishing his job as chief of staff.
Rwanda government’s lawyer told court today that Kigali is interested in the case.