Pastor arrested for murder, while on church pulpit

MULINDI - The Pastor of the Gatsata based Evangelical Restoration Church (ERC), Steven Gatema, is being detained at Mulindi military detention facility in connection with the recent assassination of a local businessman, The New Times has established.

MULINDI - The Pastor of the Gatsata based Evangelical Restoration Church (ERC), Steven Gatema, is being detained at Mulindi military detention facility in connection with the recent assassination of a local businessman, The New Times has established.

Gatama was arrested on Sunday at the church pulpit  in the middle of his sermon.

According to the military prosecution, Pastor Gatema used his brother Captain Geoffrey Karuhanga to assassinate Michael Shyaka, 30 who was his business competitor.

Gatema’s detention at a military facility derives from the principle that anyone jointly accused with a military officer is automatically court-martialled.

According to the head of investigations in the military prosecution, Lieutenant Denis Ruyonza, Karuhanga is believed to have carried out the assassination on the influence of his younger brother Gatema.

“Capt Karuhanga was not on his normal assignment when the assassination took place. He was in Kigali illegally and people saw him take a motorcycle after shooting Shyaka, that’s why we have detained them in the military facility and they will have to face a military court,” Ruyonza said.

According to police, Gatema pleaded guilty for the assassination that took place on Jali Hill earlier this month.

“He (Gatema) accepted and confessed to have carried out the assassination…he cooperated with justice,” said John Uwamungu, the police spokesperson.

Meanwhile, Ruyonza said that two men are detained and would be charged under article 312 of the Penal Code and could face life imprisonment on conviction.

According to military prosecution, the rivalry between the two stemmed from a lucrative proposal by a Kenyan paints company which wanted a local business operator to represent it in Rwanda, a tender that was later won by Shyaka who contested for the deal with Gatema.

Gatema, like Shyaka deals in paint.

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