Taarifa has exclusively obtained information indicating that Diane Rwigara and her family, with the support of external enemies of the state and convicted fugitives, had a plan to overthrow the government.
Under a non-disclosure agreement with Taarifa, a reliable source has shared audio files containing conversations between Adeline Rwigara (Diane’s mother) and Tabitha Gwiza (Diane’s maternal aunt) and members of Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terrorist group commanded by Kayumba Nyamwasa.
Fears over an intercepted luggage
In one of the audio files, Tabitha Rwiza and Adeline Rwigara are terrified that Rwandan authorities could be in possession of Diane Rwigara’s lost luggage that contains material they fear could compromise them. The luggage in question was on a flight that was supposed to carry Diane from Kigali to Los Angels.
In the conversation, Diane’s mother Adeline narrates to Tabitha. “All her dossiers were there. Everything…all her plans,” Adeline Rwigara says. “She has been recruiting many people, countless people…I don’t know very much.” “The documents contained all the details…I don’t know where she was taking them.”
She continued to narrate. “When she arrived in Ethiopia, her luggage was missing…she returned.”
“I told her, now that they [authorities] have proof [of her activities], why don’t you escape through a porous boarder, we will find people to help you…because clearly you can’t easily fly out of the country at the moment.”
Diane refused. Instead, she told her mom, “Look, if I leave, I will not come back, and besides, ‘I will be seen as a traitor’ [by her comrades abroad].”
Adeline continues to narrate the plan to the aunt in Canada, “she has to stay in the country and terrorise these ‘demons’ in government.”
“It is scary,” Adeline says. “I have not told anyone else, except her siblings because she had only shared the details with me alone.”
Tabitha is disturbed. She sighs. “I am dry, completely,” Tabitha says in the WhatsApp voice note. “Diane cannot leave the country?” she is perplexed.
“What else is she left to protect now that they [authorities] are in possession of the dossiers?” she asks rhetorically and then goes to express further concern.
“The other day they [authorities] warned that anyone found in a terror group will be hammered, does she think about what she is involved in?” Tabitha continues, and now regrets the decision by Diane to return to Kigali after missing her luggage in Addis.
“Mama Diane, you are all dead now, it’s over. Let me tell you, if Diane does not want to leave the country, you [the rest of the family] organize yourselves and leave…I swear to God,” she pleads with Adeline.
“Please advise her to leave…tell her once she is out, she will be able to conduct her activities very sérieusement [seriously].”
“She has a Belgian passport, she can travel to any country if she is not able to go to USA,” Tabitha counsels. “Fine, leave alone Diane, what about her siblings, do they understand this [gravity of the matter]?” “Does Anne and Shabadu understand this?”
“You all are in boiling water…[sighs].”
“Oh my God, they have her dossiers…they [intelligence] have been trailing her…there is nothing they wont find out. They have spies left and right…we can’t help anything now…and secondly, if you decide to leave, please leave together, if she leaves alone, they will arrest all of you. Plan well.”
At some point, Tabitha advises Diane’s mother to abandon her daughter, Diane. Tabitha suggests that the rest of the family pack their belongings [the mother and the siblings except Diane] and flee. “Leave her, leave her alone. You are all finished. Those dossiers will implicate you,” she advises. “I am serious, just leave.” “She said she is staying to fight? To fight whom?…[sighs] this is too much.”
Overthrowing the government
From another audio file, Adeline Rwigara reveals the grand plan to overthrow the government. She mentions two more characters and uses coded names. She talks about a ‘comrade’ who visited her at home to discuss the details of the grand plan.
At first, she says, they thought of forming an opposition political party. Then she says that the idea of a political party was dropped after agreeing that the avenue of a political party would take too long to get them to their desired outcome. The meeting at her house led them to other options, she says in the recording,
“Why don’t we arrange an uprising through demonstrations on the streets,” she says. “He [a coded name of a comrade at the meeting] told me they would shoot us if we did that, they would shoot the people in the front. I said I would be in the front,” she added.
“I also suggested we write tracts [flyers] and circulate them allover…we basically talked a lot,” she’s heard saying in the audio.
All this,” she says, “I consult Muganga [another coded name].”
Taarifa has not managed to confirm who “Muganaga” and “Nzobe” are.
“I told him [the visitor at her home she continues referring to as Nzobe] that look, all my people [relatives] are in opposition. They killed my husband, all my children left me. I live in this country alone. I hate this government. It also hates me,” she tells Tabitha.
She continues: “Whatever can overthrow this government, I will support it.” “I repeated this to him [Muganga],” she insists, before adding, “and he told me not to worry…because they [authorities] already know you are against it [the government].” “I also told him if they came to me I would tell them to do whatever they want.”
Mother reveals Diane has recruits
The meeting with Nzobe ended with some assignments. He would organize a meeting with a group of Diane’s recruits. “We agreed that he will write to me and inform me where to meet, but we have not agreed where to meet yet,” Adeline tells Tabitha.
At this moment, Adeline decides to reveal yet another secret to Tabitha, “Diane has recruited a large group of people,” she says. “And Nzobe is one of them. But no one knows the other.”
Meanwhile, there’s a twist: moles.
Adeline tells Tabatha that Muganga suspects that Nzobe and another comrade [code named Mukobanyi] are government moles. “I was careful. I feared that I would have fallen in the trap,” she tells Tabitha how she did not divulge details in her discussion with Nzobe. “It’s disgusting,” she says. “In brief, that is it.”
In one of the audio files, a gentleman living outside Rwanda is introduced to the Rwigaras by a close relative who also lives abroad. He earns their trust and builds up Kayumba Nyamwasa as someone capable of intervening on their behalf should things go sour.
We are working on this story.
Taarifa has independently confirmed the authenticity of the audio files. We have established that her flight was in September 2016. These audios were thus recorded in 2016.
Police Spokesperson ACP Theos Badege has declined to comment on the material.
Diane Rwigara, her mother and the sister, Anne Rwigara, are currently detained for questioning. The trio were arrested on Saturday evening. “The suspects were informed of their rights including the right to access their legal representatives,” Badege said.
Below are the audio files obtained by Taarifa.