Rwandan genocide fugitive Kayishema was issued Malawian passport under the watch of Uladi Mussa as Home Affairs Minister in 2007

* Mussa served as Home Affairs Minister & Internal Security from 2005 to November 2007

* Fulgence Kayishema acquired the Malawian passport in July 2007

By Duncan Mlanjira

The Malawian passport, which Fulgence Kayishema — one of the fugitives most wanted for crimes they committed in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda — used to evade capture was issued under the watch of Uladi Mussa in July 2007 when he was Minister of Home Affairs & Internal Security.


Under the leadership of Bingu wa Mutharika, Mussa was then replaced as Home Affairs Minister by late Ernest Malenga who died in 2020 — who served in the civil service as Principal Secretary Office of the President & Cabinet.

Interestingly, Mussa was convicted by the High Court in 2020 and sentenced to six years in prison after he was found guilty of authorization of issuing illegal passports to asylum seekers — alongside a former senior immigration officer.

In his judgement, Justice Chifundo Kachale said Mussa abused his public office, neglected duty and uttered false documents — thus sentenced him to five years imprisonment for being found guilty of abuse of public office and 12-month imprisonment for neglect of official duties and the sentences to run concurrently.

Mussa is now a free man having served three years after President Lazarus Chakwera pardoned him as part of this year’s Easter commemoration.


He was accused of taking bribes to issue Malawian passports between 2012 and 2014 to non-Malawians not eligible for the travel citizenship document.

From 2005 to November 2007, Mussa was Home Affairs Minister and and the passport that Fulgence Kayishema acquired indicates it was issued under Uladi’s watch — in July 2007.

Mussa was arrested in March 2017 and his trial has lasted three years. In July 2019, the US State Department banned him and his spouse from visiting the US because of his involvement in the passport scam.

In a statement, the US said it had acted “following credible information” that Mussa was involved in significant corruption while serving as a Cabinet Minister — but Chakwera went ahead to pardon him.

Kayishema was discovered and arrested in Paarl, South Africa on May 25 and has since been identified as having used Malawian passport to regularly cross into South Africa from Eswatini under a Malawian name Positani Chikuse.

A report by The New Times of Kigali, Rwanda says on May 19, 1998, Kayishema claimed asylum in Eswatini as a Burundian national, using the alias Fulgence Minani while his wife was also registered as a refugee using a false identity.

Whilst in Eswatini, Kayishema began using the Malawian identity to regularly cross into South Africa and on December 21, 1999, he  claimed asylum in Cape Town as a Burundian national, using the alias Fulgence Dende-Minani.

The report further said between 1999 and the present, he primarily resided in South Africa and that in early 2000, he was granted a temporary residence permit in South Africa.

“Throughout 2000, Kayishema continued to cross borders between South Africa and Eswatini under the Chikuse identity, to visit his family in Eswatini [and] in 2001, Kayishema was granted refugee status in Eswatini under the identity, Fulgence Minani, and issued a temporary residence permit.”

“He later gained refugee status simultaneously in both Eswatini and South Africa. In this period, however, he resided in Cape Town and worked as a car guard at the Blue Route Mall.

“Until at least 2006, Kayishema was registered as a refugee in South Africa using the name Fulgence Dende-Minani,” says the report.


Just last week, Malawi Minister of Homeland Security, Kenneth Zikhale Ng’oma revoked citizenship of 396 Burundian and Rwandan nationals who were dubiously assisted to acquire Malawian naturalization papers.

The Ministry’s public relations officer, Patrick Botha said the revocation is pursuant to public order and security within the precincts of the laws of Malawi and also in compliance with the Court’s decision in the case of the Republic vs Uladi Mussa and others being Criminal Case Number 2 of 2017.

Botha further said the law enforcement agencies, in their coordinated effort, will be effecting immediate deportation of the individuals concerned.

In accordance with the law, Botha added that the government will continue to review and deprive Malawian Citizenship for all those individuals that did not comply with stipulated legal process.

According to statistics from United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Malawi has over 53,000 refugees and asylum seekers.

Meanwhile, the report by The New Times of Kigali, says Rwanda has welcomed the arrest of the genocide suspect Kayishema — man suspected of having committed genocide at his birthplace in the former Kibuye Prefecture, who had been on the run for more than two decades.

Disguised himself as a Burundian national and then as a Malawian, he used multiple names and aliases and to evade arrest all this time, Kayishema — a former head of the Rwandan genocidal government’s judicial police in Kivumu Commune in the former Kibuye Prefecture, relied on a network of supporters, including family members, members of the former Rwandan army and FDLR, and those aligned with the Hutu Power ideology.

The report said he is expected to transferred to Rwanda for trial, as per the UN tribunal’s decision in 2012.

According to The New Times of Kigali, Kayishema’s available information indicates that he was born in Nyange Sector, Kivumu Commune, Kibuye Prefecture in Rwanda in 1959 or 1961.


“Registered under the name Fulgence Ukiliho, after birth, he later changed his last name to Kayishema. After completing primary and secondary education, Kayishema worked as a teacher in Kibuye Prefecture throughout the 1980s.

“In 1990, Kayishema was appointed as the Inspector de Police Judiciaire or Inspector of Judicial Police of Kivumu Commune, a position he still served in by April 1994 when the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda began.”

The report quotes the International Residual Mechanism for Criminal Tribunals that Kayishema directly participated in the planning and execution of genocide in various ways including by procuring and distributing petrol to burn down the Nyange church with the Tutsi inside.

“When this plot failed, Kayishema and others used a bulldozer to make the church collapse, thereby burying and killing 2,000 Tutsi who were inside. He and others then supervised the relocation of corpses from the church grounds into mass graves over the next two days.

Advertisement: Apply for a Civil Servant loan or top up and stand a chance to win MK1 million. For more info visit your nearest branch or call 0891001111

“At the end of the genocide, in July 1994, Kayishema, accompanied by his wife, their children, and his brother-in-law, and thousands other mass murderers, fled Rwanda to Zaire, now DR Congo, where they were welcomed with open arms.

“When the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) took charge in Kigali and stopped the genocide against the Tutsi, in July 1994, the ousted genocidal regime’s army (ex-FAR), politicians as well as Interahamwe militia who orchestrated the genocide, run away en masse, to eastern Zaire.

“The Kayishemas stayed in a Congolese refugee camp for a few months before going to Tanzania where they resided in Kigoma. In early 1995, Kayishema and his family went to Mtabila refugee camp located near Kasulu in Tanzania, where they registered as Burundian refugees.

“Kayishema remained in Mtabila camp until about January 1998, when he left for Mozambique. With his family, Kayishema resided in Lichinga for a few months and may have subsequently registered as a refugee at Bobole camp near the Mozambican capital, Maputo.

“Kayishema and his family then left Mozambique for Eswatini (then called Swaziland) where they claimed asylum and registered as refugees at Malindza/Mpaka refugee camp near Mbabane, in May 1998.

“Between 2007 and late 2008, using the alias Positani Chikuse and a fraudulent Malawian passport in that name, Kayishema is believed to have primarily maintained a presence in Mozambique with frequent travels to Eswatini and South Africa.

“In March 2009, Kayishema applied for and obtained a South African Life Partnership Visa using a fraudulent Malawian passport under the name Positani Chikuse. He returned to South Africa at that time and continued living there until his arrest on May 24, in Paarl just outside Cape Town.”