Posts tagged as: habyarimana

New Twist in Rwigara Case

The recent police quizzing of former Rwandan presidential hopeful Diane Rwigara has taken a new twist with the authorities questioning why she claims to have been arrested whereas not.

Police on Sept.04 took in Rwigara for questioning in an on-going investigation over alleged tax evasion and forgery. The tax evasion case has been long-running and the forgery case stems from Rwigara’s alleged conduct when she sought to contest in the recent presidential elections.

In order to contest, a candidate required signatures from hundreds of citizens across the country.

Authorities allege that rather than collect genuine signatures, Rwigara made forgeries and that her list also had names of dead people. It is because of this that the electoral authorities barred Rwigara from contesting in August’s presidential vote. Rwigara denies the allegations.

She is, however, also accused of tax evasion together with her family members.

“They are accused of tax evasion and secondly Diane Rwigara is accused of using fake documents while she was gathering signatures for (her) presidential candidacy,” police spokesman Theos Badege told reporters on Sept.01. Police said they had a warrant issued by a prosecutor to question them.

The tax evasion charges stem from a tax dispute that her father, the late Assinapol Rwigara who died in a car accident in February 2015, had with the country’s taxman, Rwanda Revenue Authority.

Rwigara’s father made a fortune as businessmen under the country’s former President Juvénal Habyarimana. For this, some people perceived him as a Habyarimana collaborator and traitor.

Rwigara fled Rwanda when RPF launched the struggle against Habyarimana and became a supporter of the RPF. He returned to Rwanda when RPF captured power and continued his businesses. He would later fall out with the authorities over tax evasion and run into exile.

Negotiations saw him return but he had not reached a conclusive agreement with the tax body when he died in 2015 in a motor accident. The dispute had started in 2012. RRA never abandoned the matter and pursued it with the family company for which his other daughter Anne Rwigara is the executive director.

Police says it first raided Rwigara’s home as part of the investigation in the cases. The authorities say they conducted a joint operation for the two charges to prevent a situation where the suspects would tamper with evidence on either of the charges.

During the operation, police confiscated documents, phones, computers and cash totaling Rwf 150 million, which was also at the house.

Suspects, who included Rwigara, her sister, Anne Rwigara and mother Adeline Rwigara, were taken to police to where they record statements and were released.

However, after the incident, when a campaign online emerged calling on the authorities to “free Rwigara”, the authorities returned to their home. Sources familiar with the events say the motive was to show the public that the Rwigaras were at their home and not under in police detention. Sources familiar with the case say the family was found at home enjoying a meal of pizza.

Authorities blame the family of faking a kidnap to win international sympathy and attempting to tarnish the government over alleged political persecution. Rwandan authorities are known for never allowing anyone to use politics to run away from accountability in court and the Rwigara’s are unlikely to be the exception.

Rwigara is said to have used the death of her father, a personal grievance, to launch a national election campaign. The authorities say although the family was given all evidence relating to the accident that killed Rwigra, including being invited to the scene before it was cleared, the family insisted on telling journalists that the death was stage-managed and had been politically motivated.

The family back then launched an online campaign dubbed Justice for Rwigara. At the heart of the campaign were renowned critics of President Kagame who are in exile like Kayumba Nyamwasa, Theogene Rudasingwa, Gerald Gahima and David Himbara. Following the campaign, Rwigara, a 35-year-old accountant, joined politics.

Kesho Hill – Centre of Resistance Turned Into Killing Spree

By Peter Mugabo

In 1990, when killing of Tutsi began in parts of Western Province – native home to ex-President Juvenal Habyarimana, many Tutsi ascended Kesho hill.

Located between districts of Musanze in the North, Ngororero and Nyabihu in Western Rwanda, the hill has a long history even before the 1990 genocide against Tutsi.

Years back, Kesho hill was regarded a safe haven for ‘Abagogwe’ – pastoralists living in ‘Bigogwe’ – a vast area stretching partly from Musanze, Ngororero and Nyabihu Districts.

The hill is covered with tea plantations and borders with Giciye stream on the other side.

In 1994 during the Genocide against Tutsi, victims climbed the hill as a strategic position to defend themselves against marauding Interahamwe militia.

On April 6, after shooting down of a plane carrying President Juvenal Habyarimana, Tutsi as usual returned to the hill in Muhanda Sector (current Ngororero District) and started fighting militias.

Killings of Bagogwe had started as early as 1990s. According to available facts, between 1991 and 1992, countless number of Bagogwe Tutsi were rounded up from nearby villages, brought to Gisenyi, killed and dumped at the place which was later named ‘Commune Rouge’ in reference to the blood that was shed there during the Genocide.

Located in Rubavu district, ‘Commune Rouge’ was initially a cemetery but turned into a blood basket during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.

Back at Kesho hill, located in Gaseke area – native place to ex-President Habyarimana, survivors of the massacre recall how killings unfolded.

During 23rd commemoration of the Genocide against Tutsi in Ngororero district on Wednesday, survivors said that the killings escalated on April 8.

According to survivors, April 8 is the day when the body of President Habyarimana was transported to Murambi public training centre in Muhanga District – then headquarters of Genocidaire government, in transit to Rubaya Tea factory which is adjacent to Kesho hill for his burial.

The head of Rubaya Tea Factory, Anastase Ryaribu was the godfather of Habyarimana.

The arrival of President’s body in the company of presidential guards spelled trouble on Tutsi camping at Kesho hill.

Their final had come. Fierce attacks were launched on them as they hardly fought back with available traditional weapons such as stones and sticks.

“We had chosen this hill for our safety long ago,” said Gerard Makuza, a survivor of the massacre.

According to Makuza, killers came facing Tutsi hiding at the hill. “We advanced to another side of the hill which was a stream and killers could not cross. We put up resistance against all attacks until heavy guns and soldiers came,” Makuza told mourners.

Nearly 1500 Tutsi were killed by Interahamwe militia and soldiers. Only 50 people managed to escape through Giciye stream and headed to Zaire (currently Democratic Republic of Congo), added Makuza.

At the commemoration event, Western Province Governor Alphonse Munyentwari hailed resistance of Bagogwe, and reminded those in attendance that commemoration activities are meant to give value to Genocide victims and taking drastic measures to ensure Genocide never happen again.

Rwanda: Cooperative Bank to Be Operational This Year – Govt

By Eugene Kwibuka

A cooperative bank to manage all the country’s Savings and Credit Cooperatives in sectors, commonly known as Umurenge Saccos, will be in service before the end of the year, the Minister for Trade, Industry and EAC Affairs has said.

Speaking to The New Times, last week, François Kanimba said ongoing works to put operations of Umurenge Saccos online will be completed in mid-year, paving the lished “because it requires all the Saccos to be connected first.”

Once operations of SACCOs are automated, the minister said, they will be first linked at the district level and then the Saccos making up a cooperative bank at the district level will be inter-connected at the national level to form a cooperative bank that will bring together all the country’s 416 Umurenge Saccos.

“By the end of 2017, the establishment of the cooperative bank will have been achieved, that’s the agenda we are working on,” Kanimba said.

The Government moved to establish a cooperative bank as a central financial institution for the country’s sector-based Saccos to ease their management and improve services to clients.

Flexible operation

When the cooperative bank will be up and running, clients of Umurenge Saccos will be able to withdraw money from any of the coop’s branches in the country.

It will also be easy for the central bank and the Rwanda Co-operative Agency to supervise Saccos unlike the current situation where the agencies can only assess the coops one at a time.

The Cooperative Inspection Division Manager at the Rwanda Co-operative Agency, Gilbert Habyarimana, told The New Times that the automation of Saccos and grouping them under one institution will bring the kind of modernisation that is needed to improve their services.

“It was a problem for the general population who need to use the Saccos in different ways and it was also a challenge for us to inspect different things like fraud and other exchanges. Basically, Saccos need to work like any other bank,” he said.

As part of automation process, Habyarimana said, at least 16 Umurenge Saccos across the country will go online by the end of the month in a pilot phase, paving the way for the rollout of the programme across all the saving coops.

But setting up a cooperative bank for Saccos will also require changing the law governing cooperatives in the country partly to enable the Saccos get shares in the bank without necessarily depositing the same amount of money.

The current law on cooperatives grants cooperative members an equal share in terms of monetary contributions and the same voting powers on the coop’s matters.

Kanimba said because the sector-based Saccos were formed on terms that are specific to the sectors, the law governing cooperatives will be amended to enable the Saccos have the same voting powers in the cooperative bank even if their monetary shares in the bank may be different.


Head Teachers Urged to Respect School Calender

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Commission Highlights Events Leading to Genocide

By Eugene Kwibuka

The National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), yesterday, published highlights of key dates that marked the month of January 1991-1994 in the planning and testing of the Genocide against the Tutsi.

In a series that will be published monthly until April, CNLG said the move aims at countering Genocide deniers.

The highlights, which show remarkable events that happened in the month of January of every year from 1991 to 1994, will help to further indicate that the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi was never an accident, according to CNLG executive secretary Jean-Damascène Bizimana.

“We want to keep the documentation work going to show the extent of planning the Genocide and its implementation. Even if people already know that the genocide was planned, they don’t know the details very well and we want to bring them out for everyone to see,” Dr Bizimana told The New Times yesterday.

With less than four months before Rwanda and the international community commemorate the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi for the 23rd time, CNLG officials said every month in the lead-up to the commemoration day, it will be reminding Rwandans of major dates that marked the preparation of the Genocide.

The move is in line with continued efforts by CNLG to tell the truth about the Genocide and counter the distortion of history by Genocide deniers and promoters of genocide ideology.

“One of the things that Genocide deniers use as an arm is the claim that the Genocide against the Tutsi was never prepared. We want to prove them wrong by keeping up documentation work that shows the genocide was a terrible action prepared by the former government in Rwanda with the help of foreign governments, especially French officials,” Bizimana said.

In the first batch of the historical extracts, released yesterday, CNLG has indicated how the former government used the RPF’s capture of Ruhengeri town during the Liberation Struggle as an excuse to kill several Tutsi from the Bagogwe community in the northern region and how French soldiers and top officials supported Habyarimana’s government in the killings.

The dossier shows how the Habyarimana government distributed guns and grenades to Interahamwe militia and formed newspapers that sensitised the militia to kill Tutsi as well as how notorious Genocide convict Col Théoneste Bagosora prepared and executed the Genocide while Gen Romeo Dallaire, who commanded the UN force in Rwanda and his troops, stood by.

By releasing the files, CNLG officials said that the move was necessary to keep reminding those who deny the Genocide and consistently spread their lies or distort the fact that the Genocide was meticulously planned and executed and that denying that fact demeans the victims who were killed on the basis of their nature or because they opposed the killers’ plans.


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Musanze District Gets New Mayor

By Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti

Musanze District Council, yesterday, elected Jean Damascene Habyarimana as the new mayor, replacing Jean Claude Musabyimana, who was recently appointed as Northern Province Governor.

Habyarimana, 40, was until yesterday the district vice mayor in charge of economic development.

He polled 253 votes to beat his challenger Innocent Twizerimana, the district council vice president, who got 19 votes.

The electoral college was made up of 269 voters from all sectors.

In his acceptance speech, Habyarimana said he would put in more efforts to ensure that the district works as a team to fast track socio-economic development in all areas.

Habyarimana promised to move the district from the last position it ranked in last’s performance contracts to among the first this financial year.

“We are aware that the reason we emerged last in performance contracts was because we failed to put people’s interests first and serve them well, I am ready to work on this,” the new mayor said.

“Another thing I will do is to put in more efforts so that, together with others, we strive to develop our city since it is among the country’s secondary cities.”

Habyarimana holds a bachelor’s degree in rural development from University of Rwanda’s College of Animal Resources and Veterinary Medicine (CAVEM).

He served as an official in the former Busogo commune before the merger of local entities during reforms.

Governor Musabyimana urged the new mayor to work hard to help the district improve on its performance.

He also called on local leaders in the district to adopt team spirit and recommit to uplifting residents out of poverty.

“You need as a district to mobilise the people to ensure that bad ideologies, especially genocide ideology that still manifests among the people, is uprooted,” Musabyimana said.

Emile Abayisenga, the district advisory council president, challenged the new mayor and the whole district administration to work hard and make the city the second in the country after Kigali, insisting more efforts in all sectors such as health, economy and others are needed to achieve that.


Confiscation of Driver Permits to Cease

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Young Innovators to Win Millions in Tigo Contest

Six young innovators are in line to win million of francs in the 2016 Tigo Digital Changemakers competition. The six finalists were chosen from 101 applicants following a rigorous vetting process by Tigo and Reach for Change, its partner in the competition, as well as external experts, the telecom firm said in a statement.

Four winners of the competition will be announced on December 9 and will each receive a cash prize of Rwf7.5 million, as well as access Reach for Change incubator programme, which includes business training, and access to a global network of other social entrepreneurs, Tigo deputy general manager, Chantal Umutoni Kagame, said.

“We recognise the potential of technology to solve development challenges. So, we are looking for tech entrepreneurs who use digital tools and technology to improve the lives of Rwandans in a meaningful way. At Tigo we are committed to providing the opportunity for these entrepreneurs to be recognised and supported,” Kagame added.

The telecom and Reach for Change, a non-profit organisation, launched the fifth edition of the Tigo Digital Changemakers competition in October. The contest aims at identifying and supporting four social entrepreneurs who utilise digital technology to improve society and positively impact future generations.

Finalists include Erick Joseph, Alphonse Habyarimana, Origene Igiraneza, Julien Daniel Mitali, Emile Babu, and Auxilia Ndamage. The six contestants are pitching apps from, mainly, the financial sector and education.


AHF Strengthens Fight Against HIV in Rwanda

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APR’s Nshimiyimana Set to Return From Injury

By Peter Kamasa

APR FC midfielder Amran Nshimiyimana is set to return to action in the next two weeks after spending the last two months on the sidelines with a foot injury.

The Rwandan international, who signed from Police FC this summer, suffered a foot injury in his first match for APR against Ulinzi FC during the East Africa Military Games, which were held in Rwanda.

But after going through the pain and the frustration of not training with his new teammates, the former Police player has confirmed that he has a chance to start playing within a fortnight.

“I have been struggling with an injury, but now I am getting better and hopefully, I will start training soon. Currently, I am doing some light workouts without physical contact,” the 28-year-old told Times Sport.

He noted that, “Now I have reached a critical stage in my recovery, I am working hard to make sure I’m fully fit and ready to return to full training, which should be in the next two weeks.”

Nshimiyimana signed for the military side from Police FC along with goalkeeper Emery Mvuyekure and midfielder Innocent ‘Di Maria’ Habyarimana.

League defending champions APR FC will kick off their campaign against Amagaju FC on Sunday at Kigali Regional Stadium.


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France Trying to Avoid Genocide Responsibility – Official

Photo: The New Times

Remains and belongings of Genocide victims who were killed at Ntarama Catholic Church during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi (file photo).

By Nasra Bishumba

The latest antics by France are part of a strategy to avoid responsibility for its role in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the Executive Secretary for the National Commission for the fight against the Genocide (CNLG) has said.

Dr Jean-Damascene Bizimana, who was reacting to recent media reports that French authorities intended to re-open a case on the death of former President Juvenal Habyarimana in 1994, said the European nation was trying hard to avoid responsibility of its role before, during and after the Genocide.

“There are so many ways in which they have done that. For instance, they continue to refuse to extradite Genocide suspects to Rwanda under the pretext that, in 1994, genocide was not punishable by Rwandan laws. That, of course, is a way of protecting genocidaires because even ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda] was established by the UN after the Genocide. Also, Rwanda was already a signatory to international conventions that punish the genocide crime,” he said.

ICTR was a UN court instituted to try masterminds of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. The mandate of the tribunal expired last year.

CNLG, yesterday, released a document highlighting the role of different French envoys accredited to Rwanda between 1990 and 1994, in the Genocide 22 years ago.

Bizimana said his office would continue to release more evidence-based information detailing the role of France’s different levels of administration in the Genocide against the Tutsi.

“Today, we have released one showing the role of the French ambassadors from October 1990 to April 1994 but we are going to release more. We have evidence, especially in writing, indicating that, for instance, two envoys knew what was going on and even put it in writing in letters to their foreign affairs ministry and presidency,” he said.

Bizimana, a researcher who has extensively written about the Genocide, is the former vice-president of a committee that was instituted to investigate the role of France in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

The probe team, that in 2008 conducted a series of public screening of different witnesses – including French nationals, researchers, and seasoned journalists _, discovered overwhelming evidence pointing to France’s role in the Genocide.

Tom Ndahiro, a genocide researcher, said more than 20 years since the beginning of the preparations of the Genocide, those involved are still at work.

“The French are haunted by their role in the Genocide, having helped the Genocide perpetrators before, during and even after. The world knows; if it was something that was not known, they wouldn’t be behaving like this,” Ndahiro said.

“The facts are too clear to be disputed. The persecution continues. It is over 23 years now but the very government that was the ally of the genocidaires is still there and it still identifies itself with them.”

In 2006, the French authorities, without interviewing a single Rwandan officer, issued an indictment against some nine officers formerly with the Rwanda Patriotic Front on allegations of having a role in shooting down Habyarimana’s plane.

A subsequent probe by another French judge, Marc Trevidic, found no evidence to this effect.

President Kagame Warns of Showdown With France Over Genocide Probe

By Robert Mbaraga

Rwandan President Paul Kagame has warned France that attempts by Paris to reopen investigations into the death of former President Juvenal Habyarimana will have consequences on the relations between the two countries.

The Rwandan leader reacted angrily to plans by French investigators to delve afresh into the circumstances surrounding the downing of the presidential jet in which President Habyarimana and his Burundian counterpart Cyprian Ntaryamira died on April 6, 1994. The incident is believed to have been the trigger of a long planned genocide against the Tutsis by Hutu extremists.

While addressing an audience that included Western diplomats during the launch of the Judicial Year Monday, President Kagame expressed annoyance that after investigating the case for two years and “not finding anything they wanted”, investigators wanted to start all over again.

“I have no problem with that, but starting all over again means a lot of things,” President Kagame said.

“Starting all over again means I have to remind some people that this is Rwanda, the judicial system of Rwanda is not subordinate to France or to France’s interests,” he added.

France answerable

President Kagame said that Rwanda’s willingness to cooperate with investigators to end the case, had been abused, adding that the French should be answerable over what happened in the country.

“I think where we are being put by these countries, is actually where these countries should be. What I am saying is, France should be in the dock being tried. Not anybody in Rwanda and not Rwandans,” he said.

Rwanda has always accused France of having had a hand in the genocide.

The country broke off diplomatic relations with France in 2006 following the issuance of nine arrest warrants by a French judge against Rwandan officials in connection with the attack against President Habyarimana’s French-crewed plane.

The diplomatic relations were restored in 2009.

The new development was likely to upset the diplomatic relations between Rwanda and France. President Kagame warned that “starting all over again” may mean cutting ties again.

“If starting all over again is a showdown, then we will have a showdown,” he said.

The announcement last week by France angered Kigali after Paris said it would consider testimonies from former allies of President Kagame, including his former army chief of staff Lt Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa, in the fresh investigations.


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Habyarimana Arrested Over Attempted Bribery

After allegedly snatching ladies bags, handsets and other things from a number of victims in Kicukiro District, Severin Habyarimana thought he could get away with it if he successfully seduced his apprehender with a bribe of about Rwf3, 000.

His illegal attempt, however, ended adding up to other accounts of crimes Habyarimana will be answering in courts of law. He is currently detained at Kigarama Police Station as investigations continue.

Police spokesperson for the City of Kigali, Supt. Emmanuel Hitayezu said that Habyarimana’s attempt to bribe the officer came after he and other three men were arrested in Nyarurama Cell of Kigarama Sector in connection with theft.

He identified the other three suspected thieves as François Habimana, Jean Baptiste Murengerantwari and Juma Habyarimana.

“When you are arrested in connection with a certain crime, you shouldn’t other illegal means to escape justice because this accounts for another crime you will be charged,” Supt. Hitayezu said.

“First, corruption or bribery is a taboo in Rwanda and let alone in Rwanda National Police; people should understand. This and many others arrested in the past should send a message to anyone who thinks they can get away with a crime by committing another crime in the name of offering a bribe,” he warned.

Offering a gift for a service to be rendered, either explicitly or implicitly to a person in charge of a service, mission or mandate in order to render an illegal service attracts a term of imprisonment of two to five years and a fine of two to five times the value of the illegal benefit granted or promised, under article 640 of the penal code.


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Transit Trade stakeholders from Rwanda have expressed satisfaction on the business grounds between Tanzania and Rwanda… Read more »

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