Kampala- A retired Rwandan army officer who fled the country in 2004 over persecution was last Saturday kidnapped by armed men at a bar in Bakuli, a Kampala suburb, where he had gone to have a drink with friends.
Rtd Sgt Rene Rutagungira was held at gunpoint by three men at Bahas Bar, bundled into a waiting vehicle that sped off to unknown destination.
His wife, Ms Jasinta Dusangeyezu, told Daily Monitor yesterday that her husband fled Rwanda because there were attempts to re-arrest him even after being acquitted of “trumped up murder charges”.
She now fears for his life. “I don’t know whether he is dead or alive,” she said.
Police spokesperson Asan Kasingye, confirmed the kidnap and said they are reviewing footage from the cameras installed around the bar. “Our officers are already reviewing the footage. They have the pictures of those who picked Sgt Rutagungira, and I think by tomorrow, we shall have known what exactly happened,” he said.
The footage, according to Ms Dusangeyezu, shows two vehicles were involved in the kidnap of her husband.
“One of the vehicles was a Premio and the man who put my husband at gunpoint was putting on a leather jacket and a cap,” she said.
The manager of the bar, Mr Peter Habayambere, refused to give details about the kidnap. “If you have any questions, ask police. I gave them the footage of what happened. I don’t want to jeopardise police investigations,” he said.
Ms Dusangeyezu said her husband had earlier been approached by a group claiming to be anti-Rwanda government to engage in rebel activities against Kigali regime but he refused.
Several Rwandan refugees fleeing political persecution back home have been kidnapped and taken back by unknown armed people.
One of them is president Kagame’s former guard, Joel Mutabazi, who was arrested in Kampala by Uganda police and controversially extradited to Rwanda in 2013.
He was in 2014 sentenced to life in prison by a military court in Kigali for involvement in terrorism, forming an armed group and attempting to incite the public against the state.