Victoire Ingabire Denied Right To Hold Constitutional Conference
Kigali – A planned delegates’ conference of the yet-to-be registered United Democratic Forces (FDU-Inkingi), was put on hold yesterday by Nyarugenge District because the head of the group, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, is under police investigations.
This was revealed by the Mayor of Nyarugenge District, Theophila Nyirahonora, saying that Ingabire had to fulfil certain conditions before her party could be allowed to hold the conference.
“We asked her to first clear her case with the Criminal Investigations Department, and if she is cleared, she will be allowed to go on with her activities,” Nyirahonora told The New Times.
“Under normal circumstances we cannot allow someone who is being investigated for serious cases to convene a public gathering. One should meet certain levels of integrity to call such a gathering, but for her case, she has no authority to convene a public gathering”.
She added that Ingabire submitted the request as if she was the leader of a recognised party, ignoring normal procedures that other political parties have fulfilled before registration. This prompted the district authorities to deny her permission.
“She stated that she wanted permission to convene a delegates’ conference of her party FDU-Inkingi, but we also informed her that her party is not yet registered and she needs to follow the correct procedures”.
The Mayor also revealed that by joining forces with registered parties like PS-Imberakuri, Ingabire was acting as if her party is already registered and thereby deliberately contravening the law.
When contacted, police spokesperson, Eric Kayiranga, confirmed that Ingabire was the subject of investigations for serious crimes.
“Yes, she has a case, but it is not for the police to grant authorisations to hold meetings. It is purely an administrative matter regarding the district,” he said.
Under the current Rwandan law, holding the first constitutional congress is the first step in the daunting process of registering an opposition political party in Rwanda.