A self-styled Rwandan opposition activist was last week handed a jail sentence in the United Kingdom after he was convicted for stealing an equivalent of Rwf280 million from a Catholic Church cathedral in the United Kingdom where he worked.
Rene Mugenzi, who is also an avowed genocide denier, had almost gotten away with it, after he secured a gag order on reporting about his fraud case, citing a threat he had to his life from the government of Rwanda.
Mugenzi, who stole the money from the church between 2016 and 2018, had blocked the media saying that providing details of the case would expose him to the government of Rwanda which was apparently hunting for him.
It took the determination of a UK-based newspaper, Eastern Daily Press, to expose the fraudster in Mugenzi, who has for years used the cover of political activism to fleece people, including members of the Rwandan community, of their money with impunity.
According to former colleagues, Mugenzi had silenced those that he stole from, mainly Rwandans, with threats that he would report them to the UK Home Office as having used fraudulent means to acquire asylum.
For others, he would threaten to frame them as assassins sent by Kigali to take his life. All these people could have remained in perpetual silence, had the gag order remained in place and details of the theft at the Cathedral not known to the public.
Now that his cover has been blown, let those he had used his unscrupulous means to swindle money from, seek redress from relevant authorities to have what belongs to them paid up.
Before he was exposed, Mugenzi was a darling of the media in the western world. He enjoyed prime time spot. He was branded a human rights champion and they took for gospel truth, the lies he fed them about the government of Rwanda.
His fraudulent behavior was in the open only that those promoting him did not want to see.
For instance, he calls himself a survivor of the Genocide against the Tutsi, yet his own father, Joseph Mugenzi, is a wanted Genocide fugitive, who was tried and convicted by a Gacaca court.
Never mind that he openly denies the same genocide he purports to have survive.
He is not the first of such detractors to be exposed for the fraud they are. They always do and the only unfortunate thing is that the same western media and some of the so-called human rights promoters do not learn from this; they will simply recoil and jump to the next fraudster when
In the meantime, Rwanda has learnt to leave everything to time, and the strategy seems to be working perfectly; we move on.