Rwandan Military Dismisses Generals for Drunkenness and Insubordination

This Wednesday, June 14, 2023, Brigadier General Ronald Rwivanga, the spokesperson for the Rwandan Defense Forces, shed light on the reasons behind the dismissals of Major General Aloys Muganga and Brigadier General Francis Mutiganda in an interview with the media.

He explained that Major General Muganga was fired due to issues of drunkenness, while Brigadier General Mutiganda was dismissed for gross insubordination. The dismissals were announced by President Paul Kagame on Wednesday, June 7, 2023.

These dismissals were part of a broader move, which also saw the termination of contracts for 112 soldiers and the dismissal of 116 others. Brigadier General Rwivanga emphasized that such actions were taken when soldiers engaged in activities that discredited the military profession, including heavy drinking and other offenses such as drug use and theft. He made it clear that such behavior would be prosecuted in military courts.

The changes in leadership within the Rwandan Army, with Lieutenant General Mubarak Muganga taking over as the new Chief of Defence Staff (CDS), and Juvenal Marizamunda becoming the new Minister of Defense replacing Maj Gen Albert Murasira, coincided with these dismissals. However, Brigadier General Rwivanga stated that the two events were unrelated, asserting that there was no problem within the Rwandan Army and that “everything is fine.”

Colonel Lambert Sendegeya, the Director General of Personnel in the Rwandan Armed Forces, elaborated on the reasons for contract terminations. He stated that such actions were primarily due to bad behavior and serious mistakes that violated military values. These include disrespecting military authorities, engaging in corruption, promoting division, creating factions, and other similar offenses.

The Military Prosecutor, Lieutenant Colonel Jean Bosco Kamilindi, revealed that among the dismissed soldiers, eight were under investigation and would potentially face legal proceedings. He highlighted that some soldiers had committed crimes such as theft, drug use, and illegal trade, and emphasized the importance of justice for both the accused and the victims.

The Rwandan Defence Force (RDF) has reinforced its commitment to professional military service with zero tolerance for inappropriate behavior among its servicemen, as announced by Brigadier General Ronald Rwivanga.

In the midst of these developments, some rumors circulating among Rwandan opposition circles have speculated on the reasons behind Major General Aloys Muganga’s dismissal. Some believe it may be linked to the activities of a family member, Didas Gasana, an exiled journalist based in Sweden, who recently announced his intention to run for the Rwandan presidency in 2024.

Furthermore, the replacement of General Jean Bosco Kazura by Lieutenant General Mubarak Muganga has drawn attention from analysts. It is speculated that the change might be connected to a potential conflict with the Democratic Republic of Congo. Some suggest that General Kazura and former Minister of Defense Major General Albert Murasira had dissuaded President Kagame from engaging in open war with DR Congo. Additionally, the decision to remove General Kazura from his position as Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Defense Force is believed to be influenced by his friendship with exiled former Rwandan Ambassador to the United Nations, Eugene Gasana, who is now part of a new movement led by New York lawyer Charles Kambanda.