Kigali – Case of Joseph Ntawangundi: Another Evidence of Gacaca Courts Farce in Rwanda.
After her assistant Joseph Ntawangundi was put in police custody following revelations by the New Times that he was a ‘Gacaca fugitive’ already sentenced to 19 years jail, the opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, chair of the UDF-Inkingi alias FDU-Inkingi issued a statement stressing that this is another shameful propaganda based on lies in the Gacaca system.
Here follows Ingabire’s press release:
NEW TIMES, A JUDGE AND JURY, EXPLOITING FORGED GACACA EVIDENCE, TO MAKE MORE VICTIMS.
We read with utmost concern, the New Times of Saturday, 6th February 2010. The fire spitting media has unveiled its true colors. The title on the front page “Ingabire’s assistant a Gacaca fugitive” alleging that Joseph Ntawangundi was sentenced to 19 years in absentia, is sheer lies.
Joseph Ntawangundi left Rwanda in 1986 for studies in Poland (Wroclaw), returned to Rwanda in 1992 and worked in Kigali (CESTRAR). In 1993, he left Rwanda for ICFTU – AFRO (international confederation for free trade unions, African Regional Organisation, NAIROBI, Kenya) as a Research and Training Officer until 2002. During the genocide, Mr. Joseph Ntawangundi was attending, on behalf of the ICFTU – AFRO, a 2-month training course in Sweden (GANGNEF) and returned to Kenya.
He never officiated in the education sector in Rwanda, in any capacity whatsoever. He has never been school director in Gitwe during the genocide, as claimed by the paper. Either the reporters have been mislead, or they deliberately want to mislead the readers for their own agenda.
Since Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza returned to Rwanda, this paper has been recklessly issuing fabricated stories without giving any chance of counter evidence, in total disregard of media ethics.
I challenge the paper to produce any evidence of its allegations, at least for the sake of the readers’ respect. Else, let it give a right of answer to Mr. Joseph Ntawangundi.
Even if our position about GACACA has not changed, we hope that it has not fallen this low to condemn an innocent who was not even in Rwanda during the genocide, and for crimes committed in a place he has never been to.
Meanwhile, we’ve just learnt that Mr Joseph Ntawangundi has been picked up by the police and is currently held at Remera police station. This shows the kind of relationship between New Times and security forces which rely on libels from this paper.
We would like to recall that Mr Joseph Ntawangundi is still recovering from injuries sustained on 3rd February 2010, following attacks in government premises in Kinyinya sector. He is expecting justice, not mob justice.
Mrs. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza