Written by Norman Miwambo Sunday, 13 June 2010 President Paul Kagame's bodyguard, Innocent Kalisa, who is used to travel First Class, if not on a presidential jet, was for the first time sealed in a vegetable container onto a plane and ferried to a safer country after escaping from Kigali, the Rwandan capital. A member of Rwanda's Presidential Republican Guard (PPG) survived death in what could easily be considered a match for a Hollywood movie. KPte Kalisa pictures soon after escaping from prison in Kigali President Kagame plays football on the lawn of his Presidential Mansion while Kalisa keeps guard in the background (in grey suit) In an exclusive interview with this correspondent, Mr Kalisa said he now considers himself the luckiest person. "I really don't know how I got here. I must have been the luckiest person because during the two days I spent in a Safe House, at least 20 people, an average of 10 per day, were executed," Kaliisa, a private in the Rwanda army, (Rwanda Army No. AP98709) who had served in the PPG since 2001 said. Like many army officers in Kigali now in fear for their lives after President Kagame's recent accusations against former senior Rwandan military officers of being involved in subversive activities against his country, Pte Kaliisa also claims to be suffering from psychological fear every time he sees President Kagame's image. With handcuffs still on his hands and fear engulfing his face, including fresh wounds allegedly inflicted on him by his tormentors in a safe house at Kabeza, a Kigali suburb, Kaliisa narrated: "There were blood stains on the carpet. I knew that at any time I was also going to be killed. The next night in the safe house, one army major came into one of the rooms and questioned me. He threatened me that the worst was yet to come the following day if I didn't tell him the truth. After he left, I started planning my escape." He said that using the knowledge he had attained from various army courses he had attended, he managed to escape. Barely months to the country's presidential elections, has Kigali remained hostile to both the opposition and members of the armed forces who have previously had any slight knowledge about the renegade generals who fled the country into exile since last year. According to Pte Kalisa, the only clue to his suffering was when he was demobilized and decided to go to Uganda where he planned to pursue further education. He explained: "My brother who was in the army and served in the same unit before me, advised me to go for further studies like him. He added: "Apart from visiting Uganda, I have no knowledge about those people [Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col. Patrick Karegyeya]. It is just because the President no longer trusts anybody. At the moment, he may not even trust his own shadow," says the former bodyguard. Kaliisa says his only problem is that he did not have any information to give about the renegade army generals who recently fled the country. Former Chief of Staff and Ambassador to India, Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa fled the country in February and joined the former Rwandan Chief Spy, Col. Patrick Karegyeya who fled the country in 2007. Others who have also fled the country include: Theoneste Mushindashaka, Senator Stanley Safari, Lt. Col. Sam Baguma, Capt. Eliphaz Ndikuyezu, Capt. Claude Bizimungu, Capt. John Wuwintari, Capt. John-Bosco Muhizi, Capt. Theobal Gakumba, Capt. John Ontabuka and Jean Pierre Kagubare. All fled the country to seek refuge in exile. Having served as a close bodyguard and his vast knowledge about the Rwanda presidential set-up, Kalisa fears the Kagame regime will now be after him. He insists he does not know why he has been linked to the army officers now in exile. "I started serving as bodyguard in 2001. I held responsibilities as a close bodyguard to the president's family, including his wife Jeannette and their children. I had never harboured any bad motives against them. But why now?" asks Kalisa, adding: "I have in the past travelled with the President to African States like Tanzania, Mwanza, Zambia-Lusaka, South Africa. Why me at this time," he wondered. We contacted the head of the Rwanda PPG to make a comment on what Kalisa had said. In an exclusive interview with this reporter and without giving reason why in the first place Kaliisa had been arrested, Colonel Tom Byabagamba, the overall commander of President Kagame's Republican Guard, described Kalisa as a wanted man. Sounding familiar with what had happened, he said: "Kaliisa? If he is the Kaliisa I know, he was working with us but he escaped from prison." Col. Byabagamba added: "That guy is on a wanted list of our police, you can contact the police spokesperson and they are conversant with his case." He did not mention or single out a single charge levelled against his former subordinate. However, Col. Byabagamba referred us to the country's police spokesman, Eric Kayiranga who said: "Right now I'm in a stadium, I'm following the defense processions and I can't give the details." With regards to Kalisa, Kayiranga confirmed: "Yes he is a wanted person." Without giving the details of charges against Kalisa, Kayiranga claimed: "Even our newspapers [have referred to him] as a criminal. He should be arrested and brought to face justice." The country's Police spokesman, who said that Kalisa was a wanted person with a file already in the criminal justice system through Interpol, seemed not to be aware of the actual charges Kalisa is facing. "By the time you get back to me, I would have gathered all the information about him and I will provide you with the detailed information," he blurted out. President Kagame, who has been praised overseas for social and economic progress, has embarked on clamping down on the opposition politicians and the media ahead of the August presidential elections. Mrs Ingabire Umuhoza Victoire is just but one of the many of his political opponents that are now incarcerated. She is under house arrest in Kigali, after the court confiscated her passport and denied her any movement outside the country. Even an American Attorney, Peter Erlinder who had come to represent Mrs Ingabire was arrested and remains in detention charged with genocide denial. It remains a mystery why Rwandan security agents arrested Kalisa when he had been demobilized on 28 January 2010, according to the demobilization certificate, a copy of which we have seen. We have independently obtained a demobilisation certificate from the Rwanda Defense Ministry which suggests that Pte Kalisa was relieved of his duties in January this year. The demobilisation certificate bears the signature of the country's Minister of Defense, General Marcel Gatsinzi. It is written in Kinyarwanda and says: "Ministeri y'ingabo irashimira No. AP98709 Pte Kalisa Innocent akazi yakoreye igihugu mugihe yari akiri umusirikare akaba asezerewe kamugaragaro le 28th January 2010. (The Ministry of Defense would like to thank, No. AP98709 Pte [Private] Kalisa Innocent for serving his country as a soldier. He has officially been relieved of his duties as from 28th January, 2010."