Rwanda: Ingabire dossier complete, due in court – Police say
Kigali: Police has finalized investigations on opposition politician Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and will be produced in court Thursday, it was announced Wednesday afternoon as the United Democratic Forces Inkingi leader was arrested. Her arrest happened concurrently as President Kagame was meeting with visiting Canadian Governor General Michaëlle Jean.
Police spokesman Superintendent Eric Kayiranga told reporters at about mid-day after Ms. Ingabire had been taken into custody and transferred to the Kicukiro police station, that the investigations and dossier are complete.
He declined to give details as to the contents, saying only that the hard-talking Ingabire will be charged in court within the next seventy-two hours as stipulated by law.
The Criminal Investigations Department (CID) has since February been interrogating Ms. Ingabire over ethnic divisionism, negating the Tutsi Genocide and links to the Rwandan FDLR rebels holed up in the jungles of eastern DRC.
Her troubles started on January 16 – the day she returned from a 16-year exile, when she wondered why the Kigali Memorial site where some 250,000 Tutsis are laid to rest only honours Tutsis when even Hutus were massacred as well. Genocide survivors are bitter, demanding that a new mechanism for people visiting memorial sites be formulated.
A contentious UN report which President Kagame dismissed last week, also names Ms. Ingabire and her yet-to-be registered United Democratic Forces Inkingi party members as among the countries, multinationals and individuals supporting the FDLR rebels.
The UN and United States have declared the group a terrorist entity.
The CID summoned Ms. Ingabire on Tuesday evening as part of her continued interrogation. She appeared at Police Headquarters Wednesday at 9am as per summon.
However, a team of her staff and party colleagues escorting her were told they had to leave the large Police compound situated in Kacyiru – just within reach of the Office of the President and the American embassy. But the Police let Ingabire to stay with her lawyer Mr. Protais Mutembe.
A source told RNA that the FDU-Inkingi group was informed by the lawyer an hour and half later that Ms. Ingabire was now in detention at Kicukiro police station, which is in another party of Kigali. This essentially means, as party members waited close-by, their boss was transferred to jail.
“We are worried about her because we don’t know what is going on,” a party source said.
Last month, Police detectives refused Ms. Ingabire from leaving the country. She was at the Kanombe International Airport preparing to go to the Netherlands where her family is still staying. Police said she could not leave the country as there were investigations about her.
A top police detective Tony Kuramba handed Ms. Ingabire a written summon to appear in his office the following day for more interrogation, also informing her that she was not allowed to moved out of the country without assent from the authorities.
If found guilty, Ms. Ingabire risks dozens of years behind bars – thanks to a controversial Genocide Ideology law that promulgated three years ago. Under fire from donors and rights groups, government announced two weeks ago that it was reviewing the law.
Critics say the law is being used to stifle free press and silence the opposition. Other quarters say the same law, which came with a constitutional amendment, is vague.