• NGO temporarily suspended
The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) is investigating an American citizen and Executive Director of Sisters of Rwanda, Jared Miller, for alleged defamation of Rwandan society and culture in a magazine published in the United States of America, The New Times can reliably report.
The Deputy Prosecutor General, Alphonse Hitiyaremye, has confirmed NPPA is investigating to ascertain whether there are others involved in the alleged crime. He added that according to penal code article 391, if found guilty, Miller may serve a prison sentence of 8 days to one year.
The investigations of Miller began after he raised allegations against his co-workers, a Kenyan Pastor Joseph Anyienga Amollo the founder of the organisation and its General Manager, Margaret Karara, for embezzling funds from the organisation.
According to the embattled pastor and General Manager, Miller raised charges against them after being summoned to give the 2007/2008 financial report and explanations of the magazine which reported that there was sex slavery in Rwanda.
Pastor Anyienga said that Miller refused to give the necessary explanations but instead went to the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) on August 25, 2008 alleging that the Pastor and the General Manager had embezzled the organisation’s funds.
The magazine reportedly came to light from a source who took it to relevant authorities resulting in the Ministry of Gender and Family Promotion writing to NPPA to take legal action.
“We wrote to the prosecution asking them to follow up the issue,” Minister Jeanne d’Arc Mujawamaliya, told The New Times.
The case now at the prosecution involves a magazine slandering several Rwandan female citizens as sex slaves allegedly written and published by Miller.
Miller denies having written and published the magazine saying that it was an organisational brochure aimed at raising funds.
“No, that is not true; it was just a brochure to raise funds of the organisation, Pastor Anyienga is defaming me because I reported their bad image,” Miller said on his cell phone.
The magazine titled sex slavery in Rwanda, of which The New Times has seen, there are pictures of juveniles and their names.
On its front page, the amateur magazine published a picture of a child of between 5 and 8 years of age, with a header which reads “Meet Rwanda’s most vulnerable & abused society”.
As a result of the magazine’s alleged defamation, the Sisters of Rwanda organisation have been temporary suspended.
In a letter dated October 15, 2008 from the Ministry of Local Government, which The New Times has also seen, the organisation has been directed to shelve its operations temporarily until cleared by a court of law.
“…regards to articles published defaming the Rwandan society and culture; justifying that in Rwanda gender-based violence is a normal culture and an accepted behaviour… you are requested to cease temporarily your operations….,”the letter reads in parts.
Miller is reported to have started another ‘ghost’ organisation identified as ‘Keza’ but running all operations of Sisters of Rwanda starting with the website. He confirmed that he has started the new organisation and blamed his former co-workers for abusing resources.
Pastor Anyienga has alleged that Miller has harassed, abused and prevented him from running the organisation he (Anyienga) founded.
“Miller slapped me at Hotel Chez Lando one day and told me that I should get out of his organisation,” Anyienga said.
“I will use the American influence, use the connections I have in Rwanda and my money to make you fail,” Miller reportedly said according to Anyienga.
Sisters of Rwanda is a local organisation helps prostitutes leave the ‘trade’ and live a descent life with income generating activities. It has been reportedly been training former sex workers in different vocational skills like making beads and candles.