Lieutenant Colonel Rugiana Kayumba Rugemangayo was found guilty of plotting against the state and releasing false information. Kigali’s High Court sentenced him to nine years in prison, dismissing a third charge of treason. The officer is the brother of the former Rwandan chief of staff Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, who is living in exile in South Africa and was convicted in abstentia to 24 years for threatening state security.
The Colonel’s lawyer announced they will appeal the ruling,, claiming that the evidence against his client was weak and therefore the sentence “unjust”, said Geoffrey Butaré. The prosecution, which had requested a life sentence, also however announced an appeal.
The two brothers were convicted in the same case: a series of attacks in Kigali in March 2010, which left two dead. Kayumba Nyamwasa fled to Johannesburg and a few months later escaped a murder attempt, which his family attributed to the Rwandan government. The Rwandan Court of Kanombe also handed down sentences in abstentia against Theogene Rudasingwa, former cabinet speaker of the regime, Patrick Karegeya, former head of Rwandan foreign intelligence, and ex attorney general Gerald Gahima.
All of the convicted were among the promoters of the National Congress of Rwanda (CNR), a party created in the US in December 2010. In a statement released after the founding of the party, the movement accused President Paul Kagame and his Rwandan Patriotic Front (FPR), in power since 1994, of monopolizing the state and impeding the democratic development of the country.