Rwanda: Update on Kidnapped Alfred Nkubili and on Egide Gatera, Purported Transporters of Missiles Used in 1994 Assassination of Rwanda and Burundi Presidents

Egide Gatera left), Rwandan Businessman with Rwandan President General Paul Kagame

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On July 07, 2020, sources within Rwandan intelligence services told AfroAmerica Network that on Friday, July 03, 2020  President Paul Kagame's security forces arrested Alfred Nkubili, a Rwandan businessman, at his house (see AfroAmerica Network & AroniSmart : Rwanda: Alfred Nkubili, Purported Transporter of Missiles Used in 1994 Assassination of Rwanda and Burundi Presidents, Kidnapped in Kigali).  Alfred Nkubili is a prominent business man whose trucks allegedly transported to Masaka hills missiles that were used by Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF)  troops to shoot down the airplane carrying the Presidents of Burundi and Rwanda, Cyprien Ntaryamira and Juvenal habyarimana.  AfroAmerica Network has obtained, from additional sources, new facts regarding Alfred Nkubili’s alleged role in the transportation of the missiles.

On the Kidnapping of  Alfred Nkubili by Rwandan President General Paul Kagame's security forces 

As Nkubili was returning home in the evening on July 3, 2020, Rwandan President General Paul Kagame's security forces followed him into his compound and forcefully removed him from his vehicle at gun point, threw him into the back of a truck, and sped off. AfroAmerica Network correspondent in Kigali says  that Rwandan security forces violently removed him from his car after he had just crossed the gate to park his car in his compound. His wife and the guard who opened the gate to his compound watched in dismay.

AfroAmerica Network correspondent reports that as Nkubili was being removed from his car, he tried to sit on the ground and beg for mercy. Four guys heavily armed picked him up and threw him into the car they were driving and sped off. Everything happened so quickly that his wife and guard could not speak nor identify the four kidnappers.

Alfred Nkubili and Egide Gatera, two prominent Tutsi businessmen in Rwanda  before 1994, allegedly transported the missiles 

Alfred Nkubili is one of the many Tutsi businessmen who prospered under President Juvenal Habyarimana's regime and were among those who were prioritized in getting government contracts, import and export licences, incentives in opening and expanding businesses and other government incentives and benefits. 

Since the kidnapping, AfroAmerica Network correspondent has gathered more details about Alfred Nkubili and his truck allegedly involved in transporting the miissiles used in 1994 assassination of the Presidents of Burundi and Rwanda,  their close aides, and the airline crews. Alfred Nkubili gave his truck to the RPF battalion housed in the Parliament Building or CND to transport missiles from the Parliament Building or CND to Masaka Hills on April 06, 1994. Two trucks were involved in the operations.

The missiles had been moved from Mulindi, Byumba, hidden in firewood in detached parts. Some selected members of the RPF battalion put them back together at the Parliament Building and loaded them on Nkubili’s truck, a Toyota Hilux double cab. On the way to Masaka Hills, there was a second truck involved, a Toyota Hilux pick up that tailed Nkubili’s to make sure that in case the yellow double cab Toyota Hilux broke down, the missiles would be transferred to the second one and the military operation would continue.

Egide Gatera, another prominent Tutsi businessman, was the owner of the second truck. Egide Gatera had lucrative businessess that included supplying food, meat, and woods to the Juvenal Hayarimana's troops, Ex-FAR and the prisons and was very close to the Ex-FAR high ranking military leaders. Egide Gatera has also been close to the Rwandan first Lady, Jeannette Kagame Nyiramongi, since they were both very young.

On the evening of April 6 1994, RPF soldiers drove the two trucks to Masaka Hills, AfroAmerica Network sources say. They add  that Nkubili did not have a driver. Before 1994, he would drive himself or let his brother in law named Gasongo or his old brother drive his car. The soldiers dropped off Nkubili’s truck on April 7, 1994 at his house, located in Remera by the road leading to Giporoso.

Before April 6, 1994 Nkubili’s trade was selling cows to butcheries across Rwanda. His wife specialized in selling dry beans in Kigali. His friends and neighbors remember him as a very nice guy and an RPF sympathizer. The couple lived peacefully in their house located in Remera.

After the RPF victory, Gasongo went around  joyfully bragging about the exploit accomplished by the yellow Toyota Hilux double cab. Sources said that he would say in Kinyarwanda, “Iliya modoka yakoze akantu.” "that truck accomplished something valiant".  At the time it was common to speak freely of the RPF’s downing of the airplane, a major exploit, the RPF was proud of. Furthermore, the RPF treated Alfred Nkubili, his family and relatives as heroes. It awarded Nkubili lucrative business contracts. Nkubili’s brother, Aranda married the sister of one of RPF honchos, Kaberuka Donald.

Despite the euphoria following the RPF victory, sources close to Alfed Nkubili’s family say the Rwandan genocide he witnessed and his role in the downing of the plane have haunted him and left him very traumatized. He was so frightened that he did not want people familiar with his alleged participation in the tragedy that followed the downing of the plane to see the yellow Toyota Hilux double cab truck on the road. He decided to dismantle the truck and sell parts. That is how the famous yellow Toyota Hilux double cab truck disappeared from the streets of Kigali.

Is Egide Gatera next after Alfred Nkubili’s kidnapping?

AfroAmerica Network sources in Kigali say that in the current Rwanda political culture Egide Gatera is an “umushumba” (herder), that is, a person used by powerful high ranking RPF officials to hide wealth and launder money. He owns between forty and fifty big trucks with trailers, methane gas exploitations, and tea factories but in name only;  these trucks reportedly belong to the RPF. About a decade ago Egide Gatera reportedly fell out of favor with the RPF and fled to Belgium where he stayed for a while then returned to Rwanda.

Some sources said that he survived poisoning attempts by RPF agents and has to regurlay seek treatment in Europe and does not associate with other people.

As to Gasongo, he lives in Kigali but  is no longer bragging about the feat achieved by Alfred Nkubili’s truck.

Nkubili, Gatera and Gasongo are active members and sponsors of an ethnic extremist organization known as Ibuka, one of the multiple associations created after 1994 by the RPF to impose its hegemony in Rwanda.