Rwandan Female Green Party Politician Languishes In Prison
Kigali – The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda pleaded Monday ahead of its first anniversary this week for the release of its politician jailed last year after allegedly trying to bribe a police officer.
In November last year, the Green Party coordinator for Kigali, Ms. Seraphine Mukamana was found guilty of bribery and jailed for five years. The mother of five children supposedly gave a policeman 20,000 francs (US $34) to release her detained husband at the time.
Officials from the yet-to-be registered Green Party claim Mukamana was “set-up” – calling the court sentence “politically motivated”.
“[The Police] had arrested her husband on assumption that he smokes marijuana, but found out that he does not even smoke tobacco. She was tricked to bring a fine of 20,000 Frw. When she took the money and handed it to a police officer, they said she was bribing a police officer, since then she is in prison,” the group said Monday.
Mukamana appealed against the 5-year sentence – but the court ruled the hearing will be possible in 2012. She also appealed against this time-frame but no new dates have been given, the group said.
“Last week, she was seriously ill and hospitalized in the prison medical center. Her family fears for her life.”
The embattled party chief Frank Habineza said Monday that the party will be making one year on August 14 (Saturday).
“The Government of Rwanda made it very difficult for the party to get registered. It was therefore blocked from submitting a presidential candidate in today’s elections,” said Habineza in a statement.