KIGALI- Mystery is building up in Rwanda capital City Kigali following the sudden death of Maj Joseph Mutagoma one of the remaining closest friends of late Gen Fred Gisa Rwigyema died under unclear circumstances.
Close friends say Major Joseph Mutagoma could have died from a poison induced multi organ failure in Kigali, 29th July 2020, after the medical team spent an an entire day trying to revive him in vain.
Major Joseph Mutagoma had worked very close to Major General Fred Rwigyema since his graduation from Cadet School in 1989, as part of his security detail which was led by Captain Vadeste Kayitare.
Captain Kayitare had replaced Boniface Bitamazire who had headed Fred Rwigyema’s security detail during the war of Luwero. By 1990 when Rwanda Patriotic Army invaded Rwanda, Captain Bitamazire was a Battalion commander in National Resistance army (NRA), however remained part of the cream of officers who had been groomed by Major General Rwigyema.
It is reported that Maj Mutagoma travelled for scientific function at his home in Mutara over the weekend of 25/26th July 2020.
He travelled back to Kigali on a Monday of 27th July 2020, when he was already feeling unwell. When he arrived in Kigali, Monday evening 27th, he asked for a malaria check which he didn’t have, worsened overnight and was admitted the next day on the 28th of July 2020 at King Faisal Hospital where he was diagnosed with multiple organ failure. Major Joseph Mutagoma died early on Wednesday 29th July 2020.
Maj Joseph Mutagoma was reportedly very close to late Joy Agaba, Rwigyema’s sister who also died mysteriously last year.
Maj Micheal Mupende another former Rwandan bush war Hero said he joined NRA bush war in Uganda with Maj Mutagoma and together they trained as Cadet Officers in Jinja and he described him as a brave, courageous and a bold fighter.
“I remember how he struggled with his shattered arm after he was injured at the battle field, when everybody encouraged him to let it go, because it looked so bad and we had no treatment at the time, the courageous Mutagoma insisted, he wanted to keep his arm that was supposed to be amputated until he later found treatment. Mutagoma was a survivor; when he got badly injured, our forces were overpowered and got scattered into the Akagera National Park, and they first split and moved into small groups and later the pursued them further” He said.
“Until everybody had to deal with it individually, these were the hardest situations to imagine of in any military operations. Mutagoma was caught up alone in the National park where he took cover all days and moved in the darkness of nights, until the enemy had regained control of Kagitumba and controlling all exits and entrances. The courageous Mutagoma with his badly shattered arm that was rotten, almost to fall off from his shoulder, was able to sneak from the nearby enemy Inzirabwoba (FAR) guarding at Kagitumba boarder”.
“Carrying his shattered arm, finding a possible crossing point into the Muvumba River which was not easy. On one of the early mornings of Nov, 1990, He was able to cross into Uganda and the enemy noticed him getting out of the river on the side across the border. He found me at Sofia/Kagezi sickbay from where an attempt to amputate his arm was made but he categorically resisted, he insisted his arm should not go”.
Before he was put to sleep, he asked me to ensure his arm was not amputated. He was later transported to Kampala for treatment, and after treatment, Mutagoma came back and resumed command until when the war was over. I can’t forget his funny jokes and all the good moments we had with him”. Mupende explained while moving a tribute over the deceased death.
Mutagoma was one of the few closest officers to the late Gen.Fred Gisa Rwigyema in the company of S.O Vedaste Kayitare, Maj. Alex Shumba, Col. William Bagabe and a few others. It should be remembered that each of these brother comrades died of the same problem of multiple organ failure and this shows there is something fishy to describe.
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