Police investigate death of Kicukiro businesswoman

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Iribagiza (inset) was killed at her home (pictured) in Kicukiro, yesterday. / Nadege Imbabazi

Police are investigating the circumstances under which a 58-year-old businesswoman died from her home in Kicukiro District on Thursday.

Christine Iribagiza was found dead at her home in Niboye Sector, along the Sonatubes-St. Joseph Primary School road, and according to police, it is too early to determine the circumstances surrounding her demise and the motive of her killers.

“Right now, all we can confirm is that the lady was killed from her home and we are currently carrying out preliminary investigations. It is too early to determine how she was killed or the motive of the assailants,” said Police Spokesperson Assistant Commissioner of Police Theos Badege when contacted.

According to Badege, police had secured the crime scene and everything was being done to get as much information as possible that could lead to the arrest of the suspects.

Unconfirmed reports linked the deceased’s death to her being a Genocide survivor, and this being a commemoration period, when cases of assault on survivors seem to escalate around the country.

However, Badege insisted: “Until now, we have no sufficient information.”

Meanwhile, Fulani Kabeza, the deceased’s brother who spoke to The New Times from Iribagiza’s home, said that her body was discovered by a neighbour’s child who had visited the home.

“She was strangled and the assailants had left two candles burning, one in the bedroom where the body was, and another one in another bedroom. I suspect they wanted the candles to burn until they can catch the whole house so that it looks like arson,” Kabeza said.

The deceased lived alone with a watchman, according to neighbours.

Kapran Mupango, a resident of Gikondo who was a friend to the deceased, said she previously lived in Belgium and Bolivia before coming back to settle in Kicukiro.

He described the deceased as a loving and kind person.

It is unimaginable to measure the sadness she left with us, he said.

Jean-Damascene Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the fight against Genocide (CNLG), linked the killing of a survivor during the commemoration week to genocide ideology.

“Some people think that the battle was over but it’s the role of every Rwandan to stand up and fight genocide ideology and animosity that is still alive in some of peoples’ hearts,” he said.

Additional reporting by Francis Byaruhanga

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