Prosecution takes over Murenzi case

PROBE - It is now the duty of the prosecution to determine whether a Kigali City Pentecostal pastor will appear before the courts of law over rape and defilement charges.

PROBE - It is now the duty of the prosecution to determine whether a Kigali City Pentecostal pastor will appear before the courts of law over rape and defilement charges.

Police say it has forwarded the file for Shinning Light Church Pastor Charles Murenzi to Nyarugenge Prosecution for further investigations into the case.
Police Spokesman Inspector Marcel Willy Higiro confirmed the file had been forwarded to prosecutors.

“It is now the work of the prosecution to determine the way forward as is usually the procedure,” Higiro said by phone.

Prior to his arrest on Friday, seven girls recorded statements at the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) headquarters in Kacyiru, claiming Murenzi, their onetime pastor, harassed them sexually.

The girls are part of youths who broke away from the Gakinjiro-based church two years after the alleged sexual harassment.

Police arrested and detained pastor Murenzi on Friday following the girls’ chilling testimonies against him at CID last Thursday.

CID chief Costa Habyara and Rose Iribagiza, an assistant inspector of police in charge of gender-based violence at CID, interrogated Murenzi and the girls for over six hours on Thursday. The girls, some dressed in school uniforms, sat in the same interrogation room with Murenzi and recounted their stories to the CID investigators.

Murenzi is deputy to his wife Jolly, a senior pastor in the same church.
Jolly has defended her husband, describing the girls’ claims as baseless.

Murenzi, according to a source who attended the Thursday’s interrogation session, reportedly denied the allegations.

The girls allege the pastor abused them while they were still in the church, some of them underage at the time of the alleged crimes.

In an earlier exclusive interview, the girls talked of how the church members attempted to enforce a cover-up in order to save the church from public shame.
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