Rwanda Information Portal

High Court to decide on Ingabire’s bail on Friday

The High Court sitting in Kigali will on December 17th decide on an appeal filed by Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza after the Court House of Gasabo last month prolonged her provisional detention for 30 more days to allow Prosecution complete investigations into her case before it is brought to court for trial.

Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of the yet-to-be registered FDU-INKINGI party filed an appeal at the High Court on November 30, four days after the Court House of Gasabo ruled in favour of Prosecution to detain her for an additional 30 days as she sought the High Court to overturn that decision to allow her to be tried while out of detention.

Prosecution accuses Ingabire, who was arrested on October 14 and Major Vital Uwumuremyi her co-accused, of plotting to form a terrorist group, CDF as an armed wing of FDU-INKINGI and depriving the country of stability.

In her opening arguments, Ingabire said Prosecution has no case against her since they�ve failed to find a single crime against her in the last ten months that they�ve been investigating her meaning that they are finding it difficult even to fabricate charges.

Ingabire denied trying to overthrow the government saying that she has no problem with any Rwandan leader but only disagrees with them on political issues. She said her party doesn�t have an army and that the Rwandan army does a good job.

Ingabire said the case against her was a political one because she is a politician. She asked Prosecution to bring the case to court for trial instead of leaving her to rot in jail. She asked court to provisionally release her as Prosecution fabricates charges against her.

Ingabire�s lawyer, Gatera Gashabana said they were disappointed that the Gasabo judge, Shumbusho Abraham was biased by siding with Prosecution. He added that Prosecution has all along contradicted itself by coming up with new charges every time.

He also accused the Gasabo judge of attempting to deny his client the right to defend herself. He said that the grounds for Ingabire�s earlier detention have since expired therefore she should be released.

The Prosecutor, Ruberwa Bonaventure told court that contrary to assertions by Ingabire and her lawyer, it wasn�t surprising for charges to change because as investigations unearth new information it was normal for charges to change accordingly.

Ruberwa reminded Gashabana that as a lawyer, he should not complain that Prosecution is taking long to complete investigations because in a criminal case like this one, Rwandan law allows them to ask for provisional detention of a suspect up to 12 times as investigations go on.

Ruberwa said that Ingabire can not dictate how many witnesses they interrogate because this will depend on how much information they want. He also accused Gashabana of undermining and disrespecting the Gasabo judge adding that if the judge does not agree with his arguments, this does not mean that he is biased.

After listening to both sides� submissions that lasted over two and a half hours, the presiding judge, Nzamuye Jean Marie Vianney set the ruling for Friday, December 17th at 2pm.

[Contact FM]

December 14, 2010   No Comments

Dutch police honour Rwanda’s request and confiscate documents and computers from Ingabire’s house in the Netherlands

AMSTERDAM, Dec 13 (Reuters) – Dutch prosecutors have confiscated material from a Rwandan opposition leader in two Dutch houses after a request from the African country where she is suspected of terrorism, the prosecutors said on Monday.

Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire was charged in October with helping to form the Coalition of Democratic Forces, a militant group based in the Democratic Republic of Congo. She was also charged with threatening national security and public order.

“This involves a legal request from Rwandan authorities for an investigation that has been running for several months. She is suspected of terrorism in that investigation,” a Dutch prosecutors’ spokesman said.

Dutch prosecutors have confiscated documents and computers and a Dutch court will judge whether legal procedures have been followed correctly before the material can be sent to Rwanda, the spokesman said.

The ruling may take a few months, he said.

Ingabire, the outspoken head of the unregistered United Democratic Forces (UDF) party, returned to Rwanda in January from exile in the Netherlands to contest presidential elections but was barred from standing.

She pleaded not guilty to the charges in a court hearing in October and said she believed the case against her was political.


December 14, 2010   4 Comments

Exiled ex-RPF leaders create new opposition political party, the “Rwanda National Congress”


Exiled Rwandan military officers Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col. Patrick Karegeya have formed a political party, the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), Daily Monitor has learnt.

Other leaders of the new party include Jerome Nayigiziki, Gervais Condo, Dr. Gerald Gahima, Jonathan Musonera, Dr Theogene Rudasingwa, Joseph Ngarambe, Dr Emmanuel Hakizimana and Jean Paul Turayishimye.

Rwanda�s Information Ministry spokesperson Ignatius Kabagambe confirmed knowledge of these new developments. He, however, could not comment further on the matter. �It is true we have formed a new political party with the aim of resolving the explosive political impasse that prevails in Rwanda,� Gen. Nyamwasa told Daily Monitor in a telephone interview.

Gen. Nyamwasa said they would undertake widespread consultations with other political parties within Rwanda for appropriate interventions. �We now have a co-coordinating committee put in place to consult with other political parties in Rwanda to see how we can effectively end the political crisis in the country,� he said. �We encourage all Rwandans of good will to overcome fear and mistrust, and to dedicate themselves to the pursuit of the ideals, values, principles and goals that this proclamation embodies,� the party leadership said in a statement yesterday.

Party ideals

They said the RNC has been built on a democratic foundation that values stopping violent conflicts, including genocide and grave human rights violations, promote individual, community and national reconciliation and healing.

The leadership said it intends to eradicate human rights violations, create a conducive and progressive environment for inclusive social and economic development, establish, nurture and institutionalise democratic governance, particularly the rule of law.

[Daily Monitor]

December 14, 2010   1 Comment

Interview: Ingabire’s daughter speaks about Europe and the Kagame regime

by Ann Garrison.
Interview offered by Victoire Ingabire's daughter, Raissa Ujeneza, to Ann Garrison

On December 6th, the government of the Netherlands froze budget support for Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s regime, citing human rights abuse and concern that imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza cannot receive a fair trial in Rwanda, where she is charged with terrorism and genocide ideology. �Kagame then met angry street protest, during the rest of last week, at a European development conference in Brussels, where several European leaders avoided meeting or being photographed with him. � KPFA’s Ann Garrison has the story.

KPFA/Ann Garrison:

Professor Ed Herman, co-author, with Noam Chomsky, of Manufacturing Consent and many other books, describes Rwandan President Paul Kagame as “the worst killer on the planet.”

On April 30th this year, a legal team including American Law Professor and international criminal defense lawyer Peter Erlinder sued Kagame, in an Oklahoma City civil court, for the assassination of the Rwandan and Burundian Presidents that triggered the Rwanda Genocide, and racketeering to plunder the resources of Rwanda’s neighbor, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, costing millions more lives.

In mid-July Spanish demonstrators took to the streets with hands and faces drenched in red paint to simulate blood, chanting “Kagame! �War Criminal! �Assassin!” and Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero refused to meet or be photographed with Kagame.

On December 6th, the Netherlands froze budget support to the Kagame regime, and during the rest of the week hundreds of exiled Rwandan and Congolese demonstrators banged drums in the streets of Brussels, chanting “Kagame! Murderer!� after he arrived there for a European development conference. They urged European donor nations to follow the Netherlands lead, but Britain’s Foreign Minister David Cash argued for ongoing support and, by the end of the week, both Britain and Sweden had pledged major cash grants.

Raissa Ujeneza, the daughter of imprisoned Rwandan opposition leader Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, spoke to KPFA the Netherlands, where Ingabire lived in exile for 16 years before returning to Rwanda Ujeneza and Ingabire’s husband and two other children continue to live in exile. �Ingabire �for 16 years before returning to Rwanda


Are you encouraged by the Netherlands’ decision?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Yes, I am. Very much so.


What about the church groups? �There were a number of church groups collecting signatures to ask the Dutch government to call for respect for your mother’s human rights? �Did you have any contact with the church groups?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Not myself. �My father, my grandmother, and my aunt are in contact with the church groups. �They have spoken and set up collecting signatures.


Do you think it’s been significant that you and your family, like most people in the Netherlands and in East/Central Africa, are Christian?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Yes, but also, every person who is religious feels a connection and is connected with others who are also religious, and that helps us in standing stronger together, helping my mother and supporting her in her action.


Do any other European nations now seem inclined to follow the Netherlands lead?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Spain, definitely is supporting actions for Rwanda to act better, but I think it will be a slow process.


Your mother spoke to KPFA a number of times, between her February arrest and her re-arrest and imprisonment on October 15th, and she always said, adamanty, that she rejected violence, and that the country’s problems had to be resolved by democracy and debate. �Can you imagine your mother being involved in a violent terrorist conspiracy?

Raissa Ujeneza:

I cannot imagine my mother being involved in a violent terrorist conspiracy at all. �Her purpose is for Rwanda to be a country where all citizens feel free and have equal rights. �And she fights for reconciliation and stability in Rwanda, and not by violence but by peaceful methods. �I really do believe that the accusations are a way for the Rwandan government to put her down and to shut her off.


What would you most like the world to understand about what she represents, in Rwanda and the wider region, including Congo?

Raissa Ujeneza:

I would like the world to understand about my mother that she stands firm in what she believes. �She’s a smart, strong, and kindhearted person, who cares very much for her country and wants to make a difference. � And every person who would observe her would see that she has all the qualities that are needed to bring the necessary changes. �Too many people are still dying and still suffering.


Do you think that the Rwandan people and those of the wider region have had a lot of hopes that Barack Obama, the first African American president would make a significant difference in the region?

Raissa Ujeneza:

Yes I do believe a lot of people have a certain faith in him and I really hope he can live up to those hopes.


Raissa, thank you for speaking to KPFA.

Raissa Ujeneza:

You’re welcome, and Merry Christmas.


For Pacifica/KPFA Radio, I’m Ann Garrison.

December 14, 2010   No Comments