Patrick Karegeya

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Patrick Karegeya (Mbarara, 1960 – Johannesburg, 31 December 2013) was a head of intelligence in Rwanda. After being twice thrown in jail over alleged indiscipline, desertion and insubordination, he was stripped of his rank of Colonel in 2006 and went into exile in 2007.[1] He was killed in Johannesburg, South Africa on 1 January 2014.


Karegeya was born in Mbarara in southwestern Uganda. He attended Makerere University where he earned a Bachelor of Law degree. He joined the National Resistance Army in Uganda but was arrested in June 1982 and charged with treason, spending three years in jail. Later he joined President Yoweri Museveni in the struggle that led to the overthrow of Milton Obote. He was a lieutenant in Ugandan military intelligence when the decision to invade Rwanda was made, at a time when his friend Paul Kagame was studying in the United States.[1]

From 1994 to 2004 Karegeya was Director General, External Intelligence in the Rwandan Defence Forces.[1] As chief of intelligence in Rwanda he had great power. Karegeya was arrested and served an 18-month sentence for desertion and insubordination.[2] He was stripped of his rank of Colonel on 13 July 2006 by a military tribunal and fled the country in 2007.[1] Later, Kagame claimed that Karegeya was in the pay of South African military intelligence.[3]

In August 2010 Karegeya told the Ugandan paper, The Observer, that Kagame was a dictator who would not leave power unless he was forced out by war.[4] The same month he told the BBC that Kagame had ordered a series of political killings.[5]


On 1 January 2014, Karegeya was found dead at the Michelangelo Towers, an upmarket hotel in the Johannesburg suburb of Sandton in South Africa. Reports indicated that he had gone to attend a meeting at the hotel when he was murdered.[6] The circumstances leading to his death remain unknown. The South African police are conducting investigations although the Rwandan opposition party, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC) said in a statement to AFP that “He was strangled by agents of (Rwandan President Paul) Kagame,” having previously survived several assassination attempts. Karegeya left behind his wife Leah and three children.

It was reported in the South African press that Karegeya had agreed to dispense with his South African security detail in 2012. The government of South Africa had provided the protection since Karegeya’s arrival in South Africa in 2007. The decision to provide protection was reportedly influenced by assassination attempts against former army chief of staff Kayumba Nyamwasa, another Rwandan exile in South Africa.[7]


  1. ^ a b c d ROBERT MUKOMBOZI (2 August 2010). "Patrick Karegeya, exiled Rwanda colonel calls for war on Kagame". France Rwanda Tribune. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  2. ^ JAMES MUNYANEZA. "Karegeya walks out of prison". New Times (Rwanda). Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  3. ^ "President Paul Kagame under scrutiny". The Economist. Aug 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  4. ^ "Kagame unleashes his warrior's instincts". Rwanda Information Portal. August 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  5. ^ Rob Walker (5 August 2010). "Rwanda government denies link to assassinations". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-08-12. 
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Slain ex-spy scrapped SA security detail 2014". Cape Argus. January 4, 2014.