THE Nyarugenge Intermediate Court on Thursday, February 9, postponed, for the second time, the trial of a woman linked to the death of a five-year-old girl who was in 2022 found dead after allegedly being drowned in a water tank at the family home. The suspect, Marie-Chantal Mukanzabarushimana, was a stepmother to Elsie Akeza Rutiyombya (the deceased) and lived in the same home where the deceased died in Busanza Cell, Kanombe Sector in Kicukiro District. ALSO READ: Accident or homicide? The tragic death of Elsie Akeza Akeza died on January 14, 2022. Her stepmother was arrested shortly after, following a preliminary investigation that investigators said linked her to Akeza’s death. During the hearing which took place on February 9 the presiding judge ruled to postpone the trial after the defendant requested for the postponement so as to get a lawyer. ALSO READ: Trial of woman accused of murdering step-daughter postponed Mukanzabarushimana was not present in the court but her trial was conducted through Skype. However, her lawyer was in court. The case was mentioned and the lawyer immediately told the court that the defendant party has not yet fulfilled their contract though she did not specify the nature of what has been breached. In addition, she said that she is not ready to continue defending Mukanzabarushimana. The judge asked Mukanzabarushimana if she can continue without a lawyer and she declined, requesting for postponement saying that she is not ready to continue the hearing without a lawyer. The prosecution agreed on the postponement noting that the defendant has the right to have a lawyer during the trial. The court ruled to adjourn the trial until April 18. ALSO READ: Elsie Akeza’s stepmother appears in court, denies murder charges The last session took place on December 7, 2022, when the hearing was postponed because it was late to continue with hearings. During the pre-detention hearing that took place on January 27, 2022, the prosecution said that they have evidence to the effect that the suspect planned the murder of Akeza, including those based on her maid’s account. According to the maid’s account, the suspect sent the former to the shops several times because she wanted to get a window of opportunity where she would be alone with the victim. When the suspect got the chance to be alone with the kid, it is alleged, she drowned the child in the tank. The prosecutor had said that they have various accounts to the effect that Mukanzabarushimana was in conflict with her husband over his relationships with other women with whom he had children. Akeza was born out of wedlock by Agathe Niragire and Florian Rutiyomba. The latter went on to marry Mukanzabarushimana. Mukanzabarushimana denies having a role in Akeza’s death. She claims that at the time the child was found dead, she was in the hospital and had an alibi to the effect.