Army officer charged with murder denied bail

Maj. Mudaheranwa at Nyamirambo Military Tribunal during a preliminary hearing on charges of murder and illegal possession of a firearm. File photo.
Maj. Mudaheranwa at Nyamirambo Military Tribunal during a preliminary hearing on charges of murder and illegal possession of a firearm. File photo.

Nyamirambo Military Tribunal Tuesday denied bail to Maj. Godfrey Mudaheranwa, also known as ‘Kirikiri’. He faces charges of murder and illegal possession of firearms.

Mudaheranwa is accused of shooting a 17-year-old young man by the names of Sam Gashaija on the night of February 2, 2020, in Gitoki Sector in Gatsibo District after allegedly confusing the deceased with his friend who is said to have impregnated the Major’s daughter, according to a statement from the deceased’s father.

The defendant was also accused of illegal possession of weapons. Prosecution, last Thursday, said that in their records, he hasn’t officially owned a firearm since 2005, yet eight bullets were found in his house.


The prosecution had on Thursday, February 20, presented evidence and reasons for detaining Mudaheranwa, among them photos of the deceased and medico-legal examinations that prove that the deceased died from a gun wound.

Witnesses included the deceased’s father, Sam Gatutsi, DASSO Gaspard Rugarintwari who said he was alerted by the people who saw the crime, Patrick Mugisha and Niyomukiza, who were with Gashaija when he was shot, Jean Pierre Harerimana who saw Mudaheranwa keep his gun after shooting the deceased, Josiane Mukandekezi and Celine Ingabire who heard people say that Mudaheranwa shot and killed Gashaija, among others.

For illegal possession of arms, the prosecution said that in records of the ordnance battalion, Mudaheranwa handed in his gun in 2005, hence had no other recorded possession of one. But one of his children said he saw him with a gun in 2018, and the investigation saw eight bullets were found in his house; two of which were of the same calibre as the shell casing on the crime scene, and the remaining six can be shot with the same gun that was used in the murder.

The prosecution claimed they couldn’t get the gun he used because he had enough time to hide it.

The defendant

Mudaheranwa pleaded not guilty, saying he didn’t know Sam Gashaija and had no grudges against him.

He said he was at his farm at the time of the crime, where he had gone to sell some goats to get school fees for his child that he had visited earlier that day.

The accused claimed to have called Ignace Ntirenganya, a motorcyclist, to pick him from Rwimbogo, his farm, to Kabarore. But Ntirenganya’s statement said Mudaheranwa instead called him in the night, to take him to the farm, but they couldn’t make it because of the rain.

The prosecution again said that MTN's records of his calls showed that he had used Kabarore’s call tower, and not Rwimbogo’s, justifying he called from the crime area, the time he said he was at his farm.

Francoise Mukantaganda’s statement also said that Mudaheranwa had sheltered from the rain in her house, at the time he said he was at his farm.

Mudaheranwa said that the motorcyclist’s statement was taken under duress and that all the other witnesses were lying.

He also pleaded not guilty of illegal possession of arms, saying he had handed in his pistol in 2005, and that he had owned the eight bullets since 1999, but had forgotten to hand them out with the gun.

Mudaheranwa will be tried at the crime scene in Gitoki Sector on March 18, 2020, at 11 pm.

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