On the 30th March 2016, in my social media post, I noted that I wouldn’t comment about Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara’s death without facts. Since Facebook is not under the protectorate of Kagame’s regime, I therefore have the right to air my analysis on the death of a public figure. As I post my analysis, Jacques Bihozagara’s son in law, who is a white Canadian, has written to president Nkurunziza demanding for the repatriation of his body back to Rwanda. I would like to inform readers that none of his relatives’ i.e brother or sister who lives in Belgium and France respectively has written to the Burundian authority demanding for such repatriation, before an exclusive investigation is done by the Burundian government. What I ought to point out is that, Ambassador Bihozagara’s family are under enormous pressure by the criminal regime in Kigali to ask/demand Burundi to repatriate Bihozagara’s remains.
On this day, as Ugandans were waiting for judgement of the election petition. In Tanzania, the president was announcing on how he is going to reduce senior civil servants, in South Africa a corruption judgement being passed against President Jacob Zuma, in Angola new social housing being unveiled for the poor city dwellers of Luanda, in Senegal President Macky Sall holding emergency meetings with stakeholders on youth unemployment, different part of Africa it was a day of hype political, social and economic activities. In the land of thousand hills – Rwanda, it was as usual, a day when the ruler at Village Urugwiro was waiting the outcome of Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara’s assassination.
All quarters agree that, Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara was assassinated. In any assassination, there is a motive – beneficiaries. Between the two protagonists, Burundi and Rwanda, who was to benefit from Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara’s death? Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara was in a Burundian prison, therefore, the onus and responsibility was under Burundi’s authority to protect him.
Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara relocated to Burundi after years of being frustrated and harassed by the regime in Kigali. For example, in 2003, he had got a work contract with GTZ, a contract that was annulled/cancelled only after three days due to regime’s interference. I will not indulge on the pain and hard life of humiliation which he was subjected through, by the Kigali regime. An intelligent old man was reduced into a life of a pauper; the only crime committed was served diligently President Pasteur Bizimungu, and being a good friend to Pasteur Bizimungu. In 2000, through a putsch, after becoming a president, Dictator Paul Kagame went on a witch-hunt against Pasteur Bizimungu and his close allies/friends, thus, sending them into the fringes of the Rwandan society. I will not touch on the role of Jeannette Kagame in the marital well affairs of the just assassinated ex diplomat – minister; as I consider this subject to be private matters.
TIME LINE: I will start from the time he was arrested in Bujumbura on the 4th December 2015.
4TH December 2015: Arrested at around 10:00 by members of Service National de Renseignment (National Intelligence services), who took Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara in a white double cabin pickup to their tactical head Office in Rohero 2, Bujumbura. While other individuals arrested by SNR are always given some beatings after the actual arrest, on case of Ambassador Bihozagara, the information I have obtained is that, he was not touched/beaten or put in hand caff during his arrest or transferring. At SNR offices, he was questioned, and the nature of questioning was based on particular individuals who used to visit him.
These are people from Rwanda, who used to visit him and they would stay at his house while they are in Burundi. Two were related to Bihozagara and another, a relative to his ex-wife. All these individuals were ex-soldiers but demobilised from RPA/RDF in 2000 – names of these individuals are withheld at the request of those who gave me the info, due to ongoing investigation.
The names of these individuals had been mentioned by insurgents who had been arrested in earlier security operations. After the failed 13th of May Coup d’état in Burundi, armed insurgents raised in Burundi particularly in Bujumbura. In the proceeding crackdown against insurgents, some of those arrested named those individuals who used to visit Ambassador Bihozagara’s house as their handlers. Ambassador Jacques Bihozaga was arrested after starches of weapons were found on a house located in Kinindo.
On 7th December 2016: After vigorous interrogation, ambassador Bihozagara was transferred to Mpimba prison. This was done after being given an option of deportation back to Rwanda; an option which he refused, opting to fight and clear his name in the courts of law.
Before Christmas: After further investigation by SNR and finding out that he was innocent, the Burundian authority released him; an option which he also refused citing that he won’t be safe anywhere in Burundi, thus, proposing to the Burundian authority for a relocation outside the region; a proposal which the Burundian authority agreed. I have verified this point with four different sources.
His Immigration status: Around six years ago when Ambassador Jacques Bihozagara relocated to Burundi, he had entered the Country with a Laissez-Passer (travel pass). In Burundi he was an over stayer, exceeding the legal limits which allowed him to live in Burundi. In other words, he was an illegal immigrant in Burundi. When he was in Burundi, he tried on several occasion to apply for Rwandan passport through Burundian embassy, in all cases, his applications where turned down through different technicalities.
His relocation application: Bihozagara’s relocation to a 3rd Country was slow mainly because he was not living in Burundi as a refugee. Also not having a proper travel document, in this case a passport; was a hindrance in finding for him quickly a country of relocation.
Why assassinated now: The issue of relocation was the likely cause of his assassination. The Burundian Authority was on the final negation touches with South Africa in regard to Ambassador Bihozagara’s relocation to South Africa. This information may have been leaked to Rwanda’s intelligence services and its supreme leader, Paul Kagame. And this may have triggered the eventual assassination of Ambassador Bihozagara, at the orders of Paul Kagame. To Kagame, South Africa means Rujugiro Tribert, Kayumba Nyamwasa and RNC. Ambassador Bihozagara was a good friend to Rujugiro since their days in Burundi, while still in government he had a good working relationship with Kayumba Nyamwasa. With all this in mind, Kagame would never allow these amigos to re-unite in South Africa, as this would have been a psychological boost to his opponents.
On the fateful day: On the fateful day, he woke up complaining of stomach pain and serious heartburn. By mid-day, he was complaining of serious stomach burning and diarrhoea. This is when he decided to visit a prison doctor for a medical check; it was at this point that he started vomiting blood and saliva foamy coming from his mouth. All the information indicate to have been declared dead after 15:00 hours Burundi time.
Methods of assassination: Within an hour of his death, Rwanda’s propagandist Albert Rudatsimburwa went on tweeter to announce about Bihozagara’s death and the cause of death, naming assassination. I also agree that he was assassinated; the methodology used in this wicked and heinous act, points all the fingers to Kigali. RPA now RDF has been using poison as an assassination tool from the struggle times of the 90s up to now. Since being appointed in 1991 to coordinate the RPA and later becoming the president; Paul Kagame has overwhelmingly used poison to eliminate those he perceives to be his political enemies or threats to his rule. He prefers this covert assassination method as it leaves no trace, the YouTube audio message between Kagame’s number one assassin Dan Munyuza and DMI operatives in South Africa planning to eliminate the late Patrick Karegeya by use of poison, attest at how Kigali’s intelligence service regard highly this method.
This assassination has the whole mark of Rwanda’s DMI, especially at this time when J2 is under the interim leadership of Dan Munyuza.
On the other hand, when you analyse at deaths implicated to CNDD-FDD government, especially those committed at the time when Adolphe Nshimirimana was still the head of SNR, they were all open assassination operations i.e shootings, disappearances, stabbings etc. Poison is not a methodology used by Burundi’s intelligence services; otherwise, those noise opposition leaders in Bujumbura would have all been dead, since all of them love evening beers at Novotel, Ikindi, le jardin, Botanika, Chez Andre…etc.
Why would Burundi assassinate through poison, a Rwandan man who was living a struggling life with next to no communication to Rwanda, yet it has abundant of putschists in its prisons. Why not start with those ones, people like Lt Gen Cyrille Ndayirukiye or Gen Zenon Ndabaneze. All this shows at how Burundi was not behind Ambassador Bihozagara’s death, they had no single motives especially at the time when the CNDD-FDD government is fighting with imaging Burundi, as a peaceful country and their government adhering to human rights. It’s a government under enormous external pressure; they totally wouldn’t want extra scrutiny especially from donor countries.
R.I.P Ambassador Bihozagara, you were a great and totally a kind man.