EXCLUSIVE: Rwanda’s Kigali Heights MD Dennis Karera Arrested

Rwanda’s Security Services have arrested wealthy businessman Mr Dennis Karera.

Karera’s detention in an unknown place has caused considerable discomfort to his families, friends and business associates.

Close associates say he is being investigated over a “business deal”.

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Karera owns the luxury Park View Courts in the plush suburb of Nyarutarama, Kigali, and the adjacent residence which is currently occupied by Uganda’s Ambassador to Rwanda, Olivier Wonekha.

Born in Rutooma, Kashari District, Western Uganda, Karera also co-owns the 30,000 square-metre Kigali Heights located at the Kimihurura roundabout in Kigali – which has since attracted a multitude of top brands in the economy such as Java House, CBA, Bank of Kigali, Mr Price, Eco Bank and Vine Pharmacy among others.

Karera was picked on July 25 and their whereabouts remain unknown.

“He was taken about a week ago and efforts to trace him were yet to bear fruit. We have checked all police stations in Kigali but we can’t find him. He is unreachable,” said a close friend of the real estate mogul.

“All we were told is that security operatives picked him. He must be detained in a safe house.”

Rwanda National Police Spokesperson CP Theos Badege said, “Police no longer have investigative powers.”

Badege told ChimpReports on Thursday morning the mandate lies in the hands of the “Rwanda Investigative Bureau (RIB).”

Formed recently, RIB was granted powers to “arrest and detain suspects” among other duties such as searching buildings, taking statements from suspects, conducing telecommunication surveillance; and protecting evidence.

RIB staff can as well conduct extraterritorial investigations; storm buildings to detain suspects and use firearms and other security devices necessary to perform its functions.

RIB was yet to respond to our request for comment on Karera’s disappearance.


Karera’s alleged crime is unknown to us.

Just like most of the leaders in the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Party, Karera grew up from Western Uganda.

He also served in the National Resistance Army (NRA) led by Yoweri Museveni.

In 1994, Karera joined RPA under Paul Kagame to liberate Rwanda from the dictatorship of Juvenal Habyarimana.

Upon RPF taking power, Karera served in many capacities including top positions in the Rwanda National Police where he was Deputy Inspector General of Police in Charge of Administration and Personnel.

After the 1990-94 war, Karera was tasked with rebuilding the police communale with support from UNDP, UK, Germany, South Africa, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Police Communale refers to the communal police service charged with ensuring general order and enforcement of laws.

Karera not only served as Managing Director of Kigali Heights but also chairman of the East African Business Council representing Rwanda.

The businessman also took up the positions of President of Rwanda Hoteliers Association, which brings together Hotels, Restaurants, Bars, Lodges, and Guest Houses and other hospitality related facilities; and Honorary Consul of Ghana in Rwanda.

Karera is a brother of Rwanda’s Justice Minister Johnston Busingye who oversees the administration of Justice in the country.

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