BY EDWIN MUSONI
KIGALI: Last week’s arrest of retired Brigadier General and Member of Parliament Sam Kanyemera Kaka was legal, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies has said.
“The Military Prosecution informed us about their intention to arrest Deputy Kaka. The arrest was legally sanctioned. It was conducted according to the law,” Alfred Mukezamfura said yesterday. He said the Chamber of Deputies gave the military a go-ahead to apprehend the war hero-turned lawmaker.
Gen. Kaka was arrested last Thursday on suspicion of having sabotaged police efforts to arrest wanted city tycoon Assinapol Rwigara.
There were speculations that Kaka may have been arrested without the awareness of the Parliamentary Bureau (composed of Speaker and the two vice speakers). MPs have Constitutional immunity.
According to article 69 of the Constitution, an MP can be arrested if he is caught committing a serious offence flagrantly.
However, several MPs say they did not receive official communication regarding the arrest of their colleague. But the Speaker says that each member received a copy of the letter authorising criminal proceedings against the former army commander.
According to the Organic Law Number 06/2006 of 15/02/2006 establishing the Internal Rules of Procedure of the Chamber of Deputies, a plenary session should pave way for the arrest of an MP. By the time of Kaka’s arrest however, the MPs had already started their recess, and the same law provides that is such circumstances the Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies should authorise the arrest.
“During the session period, no Deputy suspected of a serious felony may be arrested or prosecuted without the authorisation of the Chamber of Deputies.
“When the Parliament is not in session, no Deputy may be arrested without the authorisation of the Bureau of the Chamber of Deputies unless he or she is caught flagrante delicto committing a felony or the Bureau of Chamber of Deputies has previously authorised his or her prosecution or a court of law has passed a final verdict and sentence against him or her,” reads part of Article 91 of the Rules of Procedure.
The military prosecution charges that Kaka connived with Brig. Gen. Frank Rusagara to ward off three police officers from arresting Rwigara during a funeral function in Kimisagara, a city suburb.
Under the law, anybody suspected of committing a crime jointly with a soldier, is liable to face military courts and is subjected to the same investigations as the co-accused soldier.
The duo is due to appear before the Military Tribunal in Remera on Friday.
If convicted, Kaka (RPF) will lose his parliamentary seat upon recommendation by the Supreme Court. The mandate of the current Chamber of Deputies runs out October next year.
Rwigara is wanted for questioning in connection to the collapse of his construction site in the heart of Kigali, which claimed three lives and left five others injured.