• Death could have been engineered by family
KIGALI - A closely guarded secret surrounding former President Juvenal Habyarimana’s family has been revealed, and it’s explosive.
Records of a 2007 hearing in France, in which Habyarimana’s widow, Agathe Kanziga Habyarimana, was seeking asylum, revealed that the presidential couple were on the verge of a divorce, which could have been the motive for the president’s death.
Her asylum request was turned down by the Commission de Recours des Réfugiés (CRR) and the France’s refugee office (OFPRA), on the basis that there were: “serious reasons to believe that she participated in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, as an instigator or accomplice”.
“President Habyarimana was planning to separate from his wife,” said one of the French officials hearing the case, in the document which The New Times has seen, dated January 25, 2007.
“This apparently insignificant element could support the thesis which judge Bruguiere did not explore: That the April 6, 1994 attack (shooting down of a plane carrying Habyarimana) could have been ordered by the Akazu, or even Kanziga herself.”
Akazu was the inner circle of Habyarimana which revolved around Kanziga and her family. In rejecting the asylum request, the hearing committee, transgressed what was the official line of the French government at the time.
“On one hand, you are portrayed in a sinister image, on the other, you present yourself as an angel. But you are too much as an angel to be believed.
These contradictions put me in a difficult position because you do not convince me as I try to understand all the evidence against you,” one of the assessors said.
The rapporteur also revealed that the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) had drawn up an arrest warrant against Agathe Habyarimana, but it was under seal. This, he said, indirectly shows that there exists a concealed indictment against Agathe Habyarimana.
“Simply put; without the indictment, no arrest warrant.”
It emerged during several trials at the ICTR, including that of her brother, Protais Zigiranyirazo, popularly known as ‘Mr. Z’ that moments after the plane crashed into the presidential compound, Mrs. Habyarimana, her daughter and Mr. Z, sat down and drew up lists of people to be killed, beginning with political opponents.
Mr. Z was found guilty of Genocide by the ICTR and sentenced to 20 years imprisonment in December 2008.
Mrs Habyarimana appeal was last week head at the Paris’ State Council, which is the supreme authority in administrative matters. The court is yet to make a ruling.