Rwanda: Dismissed officers will face prosecution in the courts

Maj. Gen Aloys Muganga and Brig. Gen. Francis Mutiganda are among senior officers that have been dismissed from service

In a series of significant developments, President Paul Kagame has announced major changes in the leadership of both the Rwandan Armed Forces (RDF) and the Rwanda Police. These changes, confirmed by the spokesperson of the RDF, Brig Gen Ronald Rwivanga, include dismissals, promotions, and new appointments that aim to strengthen the country’s security apparatus and ensure effective governance.

The RDF spokesperson stated that the soldiers who were expelled from the armed forces were found guilty of crimes or engaged in misconduct unrelated to their military profession. Some of them will face prosecution in the courts, while others will face administrative consequences. Additionally, President Kagame approved the cancellation of contracts for a number of soldiers, citing various reasons for their dismissal, including misconduct and personal issues.

Among the notable dismissals were Maj Gen Aloys Muganga and Brig Gen Francis Mutiganda, both high-ranking officers who held important positions within the RDF. Maj Gen Muganga, who previously served as the Chief of the Mechanized Division, was appointed as the interim Chief of Emergency Services in 2018. Brig Gen Mutiganda served as the Director General of External Intelligence in the Intelligence and National Security Division before being transferred to the RDF headquarters. The spokesperson emphasized that soldiers who are dismissed from duty will not receive an escort unless there are exceptional circumstances.

On the other hand, President Kagame presided over the swearing-in ceremony of newly appointed government officials, including the Minister of Defence, Lt Gen Mubarakh Muganga, Chief of Defence Staff of RDF, Maj Gen Vincent Nyakarundi, Army Chief of Staff of RDF, and Brig Gen Evariste Murenzi, Commissioner General of the Rwanda Correctional Service. Kagame expressed confidence in the capabilities of the new appointees, highlighting their past leadership roles within the military.

In parallel, the President announced a significant promotion exercise in the Rwanda Police, elevating over 4,000 police officers to higher ranks. This included promotions for senior, junior, and regular officers, with two officers receiving the rank of Commissioner of Police (CP) and seven officers being promoted to the rank of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP).

In another development, President Kagame appointed Lt. Col. Simon Kabera as the deputy military spokesperson, effective immediately. Kabera will assist Brig Gen Ronald Rwivanga, who has been serving as the defence and military spokesperson since December 2020.