Kigali: Dr Paulin Murayi, a leading founder member of genocide radio RTLM has been named to the Belgium chapter of the opposition grouping, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), RNA reports.
Billionaire Felicien Kabuga may be on the run, but his money keeps his tainted legacy in the form of his family. This is the only latest photo of the man whom the US has put a US$5m bounty for his head
Following the resignation of the entire RNC-Belgium committee last week, the group’s leaders, who include four of Rwanda’s most vilified opposition members, named Dr Murayi to the new committee. RNC is led by exiled ex-army chief Lt. Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, ex-spy chief Patrick Karegeya, ex-prosecutor general Gerald Gahima and ex-envoy to US, Dr Theogene Rudasingwa.
Kayumba and Karegeya are based in South Africa, while Rudasingwa and his half brother Gahima live in Washington. In a statement, Rudasingwa, the RNC coordinator, named Dr Paulin Murayi as deputy to Jean Marie Micombero.
With the public elevation of Dr Murayi to head the Brussels wing of the troubled RNC group, Kayumba and his colleagues could be looking at the Kabuga family financial power, say analysts. The RNC could also be targeting members of the Habyarimana era establishment – most of who are either on the run, in jail or exiles who have remained bitterly hostile to the current establishment in Rwanda.
Though a very powerful voice behind the operations of hate radio RTLM, Dr Paulin Murayi’s name has been off the public record until recently. Dr Murayi is married to Winnie Kabuga, the daughter of Felicien Kabuga, one of the most wanted fugitives on earth.
A medical practitioner by profession, Dr Murayi’s background will shock many. In 1993, when the genocide radio RTLM was being established, Murayi was a medical student in Belgium and headed two very crucial bodies: the MRND chapter there, as well as the Rwando-Belgo association, according to witness testimony at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR).
During the fundraising period, RTLM shareholders, including majority owner Kabuga, tasked Murayi to solicit support for the station among Rwandan extremists in Belgium at the time. He did not fail.
Dr Murayi personally hired Georges Ruggiu, the Belgo-Italian convicted by the ICTR for genocide due to his role at RTLM. Ruggiu became involved with genocide extremists in the Rwanda community in Belgium a few years before RTLM was created.
House rent for Rudasingwa?
He was introduced to RTLM’s founders by the youthful but very powerful Murayi, the then MRND representative for Belgium. Despite his role with the RTLM, no charges have surfaced against Dr Murayi – mainly because he worked behind the scenes to set the venomous programming of the station, but did not do the hate broadcasts.
There had been rumours since the beginning of this year that Dr Murayi and his wife Winnie were collaborating with RNC. In April, reports say Dr Rudasingwa stayed at the home of the two in Brussels during his disappointing mobilization tour of Europe. Reports from Brussels also say Winnie paid three-month rent for Rudasingwa for his home in Washington, which he shares with Gahima and wife Anne.
The link between RNC and the Kabuga family is not new. One of the crimes for which Patrick Karegeya was convicted and later fled, is alleged secret links to Felicien Kabuga himself. It is claimed Karegeya used his office, as head of Rwanda’s external intelligence body, to often tip off Kabuga in Kenya when his arrest became imminent.
Documents put before the military court showed that Karegeya facilitated entry into Rwanda of Kabuga’s children as they tried to regain custody of the dozens of family properties. In return, it is alleged, Karegeya got kickbacks amounting to unknown large sums of money from the billionaire fugitive. Surprisingly, the upkeep at one of Kigali’s high-end hotels, of these visitors was billed to the state.
Meanwhile, RNC is seeing its support fade away quickly in the past few months. Several high ranking officials in Southern Africa, Europe and the America’s have resigned – accusing party leaders of having no vision. The former Belgium committee headed by one Kazunga tendered their resignation in a letter to Kayumba, in which they said they had had enough of the confusion in the RNC.
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