MP testifies in Gacaca case

NYARUGENGE - Labour Party Member of Parliament Honorable Udahemuka François has told a Gacaca court sitting at Muhima sector hall that he was tortured and robbed of 2500 US dollars on 6th November 1990 by the chief warden of Kigali Central prison commonly known as 1930.
Udahemuka François.
Udahemuka François.

NYARUGENGE - Labour Party Member of Parliament Honorable Udahemuka François has told a Gacaca court sitting at Muhima sector hall that he was tortured and robbed of 2500 US dollars on 6th November 1990 by the chief warden of Kigali Central prison commonly known as 1930.

“He beat me up to the extent of breaking my back and I lay on cement floor for one and a half months because I could not walk or even stand. The four bones of the vertebral column that got broken were later operated and replaced,” he said in reference to the man he accuses of having started the Genocide in 1990.

Udahemuka, 65 was captured and detained as a suspected collaborator of RPF fighters in 1990 in the struggle to liberate this country from the former cruel regime.

Udahemuka also said that on 4th November 1990, when former president Juvenile Habyarimana (RIP) announced that no Tutsi was allowed to move or even be seen in the company of another, all Hutus’ hearts became wild raising chaos around the court room in the process.

“We were locked up together but he did not tell me about the money that he lost. I also heard that Rugenera used to beat prisoners but I never saw him myself,” said Emmanuel Mugabowinde, Udahemuka’s witness.

Another witness who claims to have seen it all unveil could not remember any other person who could have been there.

On 18th November 2007, Hakizayezu Cyprian, the then court president sentenced Paul Rugenera to19 years in jail upon conviction.

The former ville chief and security boss of SULFO claims to be maliciously accused and has since appealed against the ruling.

In defence, Rugenera said he was not given the audience previously and blamed the prejudice on the former court that sentenced him unfairly.

“I did not work until 10th November because I was off duty so there is no way I could have met him as he claims,” said Rugenera.

The presiding judge of the Gacaca Court of Appeal Charles Munonozi dismissed claims that the case is taking long and could result into injustice as it is widely believed that justice delayed is justice denied.

“I do not want be influenced by the previous judgment and therefore we are gathering the evidence again and soon the case will be over,” Munonozi said.

Meanwhile most of the other people Udahemuka gave as witnesses have either written to the court indicating their ignorance about the matter or openly come out to oppose him.

“I just cannot understand why after saving us from the killers in that Government, fellow survivors can turn against him,” wondered Jean-Paul Gasore, former soldier who was captured detained with Udahemuka.

On the contrary Gasore claims that Rugenera instead helped them escape and sitting back while he faces injustice at the hands of the rich would be wrong. He has vowed to help free what he called his Hero.

Pastor Amon Rugerinyange, the former Seventh Day Adventist Rwanda Union President is among the witnesses Udahemuka gave and he wrote to the court.

“I wrote that I could not stand to testify what in did not see and up to now I stand by it that nothing happened,” said the retired pastor in a telephone interview.

Munonozi adjourned the hearing to Saturday 24th May 2008.

Ends

 

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