'Missing' Rwigara family found hiding in own kitchen

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Diane Shima Rwigara getting out of the house after the Police presents her warrant. (Photos by Nadege Imbabazi)

It was a movie-like scene yesterday afternoon at the home of Assinapol Rwigara in Kiyovu when Police discovered members of the family holed up in the kitchen of their massive home.

Three family members; Diane Rwigara, Anne Rwigara and their mother Adeline Rwigara had been issued with multiple summons which they did not respect.

They are being investigated for two charges; one of forgery, and another related to tax evasion for their family businesses.

The trio was then driven to Criminal Investigations Department for questioning, after which were escorted back home by Police. 

Police clarified that they were not under arrest, but taken in for questioning.

The family had for days locked themselves up in their plush mansion in Kiyovu, Nyarugenge District, fueling speculations that they had been kidnapped by security operatives.

The speculations, sources say, could have been orchestrated by some family members who wanted to use it to win public sympathy and divert attention from the criminal charges they are being investigated for.     

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Her sister Anne Rwigara and the mother Adeline Rwigara getting out of the house. (Nadege Imbabazi)

The mother, her two daughters and two sons were all found inside the house, after an operation that lasted for about an hour.

The two brothers were left at home by police.

Diane Rwigara claimed that they refused to respect police summons because they had no means of getting to the Police station.

However, after she, her sister Anne and mother were driven away by police, the brothers then followed, driving their car that was all along parked at the family home where they were found hiding.

Some media houses and human rights agencies were awash with reports of the Rwigara’s being arrested and held incommunicado, despite Police setting the record straight.

Certain activists and journalists even took to social media calling for their release in what now appears to be feigned kidnap.

Police arrived at the Rwigara home about 4:30 p.m., but several attempts to have someone open were ignored.

After close to 30 minutes of waiting, police said they were left with no alternative but forced entry. Police had a written order to bring by force which is issued to persons who refuse to appear after being summoned.

Police spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner of Police Theo Badege, said that the family members who are being investigated had on three occasions been served but had not turned up for questioning.

“According to the law a warrant-to-bring-by-force is not an order of detention but rather an order to apprehend the suspect once they turn down initial summons,” Badege told The New Times.

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Police arrives at the Rwigaras’ home. (Nadege Imbabazi

Diane Rwigara made a failed bid at the Presidency after she ran short of the minimum requirements by the National Electoral Commission. She is being investigated for forgery in an attempt to fulfill the requirements