JOHANNESBURG — A prominent Rwandan exile accuses the president of being a dictator, imprisoning political opponents and destabilizing East Africa, adding in an interview Thursday that he believes the leader, who he once served, has hunted him and other dissidents around the world.
Kayumba Nyamwasa, once Rwandan President Paul Kagame's army chief, spoke to The Associated Press in an exclusive interview Thursday after finishing his testimony as a witness in the trial of six East Africans accused of attempted murder in his 2010 shooting. Rwanda's government has denied involvement in an attack in Johannesburg that left Nyamwasa with a bullet lodged at the base of his spine.
"There is no doubt that my life has been threatened by the president of Rwanda, using government institutions and using hired killer squads," Nyamwasa said. He spoke in the court room where he testified for several days last month and just over two days this week. When he mentioned hired assassins, he gestured to the dock where three Rwandans and three Tanzanians accused of trying to kill him had sat during a trial session earlier Thursday.
The Rwandan government has said it would not comment on matters before a court. Kagame's spokeswoman did not immediately respond to an email requesting comment on Nyamwasa's allegations.