Former Minister Uwizeyimana could face assault charges

The National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) is examining a case file from Rwanda Investigation Bureau on Evode Uwizeyimana, former Minister of State in charge of Constitutional and Legal Affairs, under which he could be charged with 'unintentional bodily harm'.

RIB Spokesperson Marie-Michelle Umuhoza told The New Times that after investigating Uwizeyimana’s case, the agency submitted his dossier to the prosecution. However, she clarified that he was not under arrest as it had been speculated.

“His dossier is no longer under our jurisdiction, it’s in the hands of the prosecution,” she said Friday.

“We received his (Uwizeyimana’s) case file on February 7 and are studying it to determine whether to press charges or not,” Faustin Nkusi, NPPA spokesperson said.

On February 3, 2020, Uwizeyimana sparked off public fury and criticism when he allegedly assaulted a female security guard at Grand Pension Plaza complex in downtown Kigali.

An eyewitness reported that, during the incident, Uwizeyimana declined to walk through a metal detector as is required of members of the public before accessing public buildings. This was despite the security guards’ request.

Social media users urged him to step down and face justice.

Uwizeyimana publicly admitted wrongdoing on Twitter and apologised to the victim before tendering his resignation on February 6.

Nkusi said that, normally, the decision on a dossier should be made within six months.

The charge of 'unintentional bodily harm', which is provided for in article 118 of the law determining offences and penalties in general, which was enacted in 2018.

Unintentional bodily harm entails carelessness, inattention, negligence, lack of precaution and foresight, that causes bodily harm to another person but without any intention of endangering his/her life commits an offence.

Upon conviction, the offender is liable to imprisonment for a term of at least three months and not more than six months and a fine of at least Rwf500,000 but not more than Rwf1,000,000) or only one of these penalties.

If the offence referred to under Paragraph One of this Article results in death, the penalty is imprisonment for a term of six months and not more than two years and a fine of at least Rwf500,000 and not more than Rwf2,000,000, or only one of these penalties.

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