HUYE- The Ngoma Gacaca Court on Wednesday sentenced Dismas Mukeshabatware to 19 years in prison for Genocide crimes.
Mukeshabatware, known for his radio adverts and drama, worked for Radio Rwanda and he first appeared before the same court on October 14.
He was accused of being a member of a militia group that committed Genocide in Ngoma cell, manning roadblocks which were used as killing points. He was also accused of possessing a firearm.
But Mukeshabatware was convicted for complicity in the death of one woman, only identified as Lucia, whose house he occupied together with his family.
Court heard the testimony of Antoine Gatwa – a man who sheltered Mukeshabatware after he had fled the then advancing Rwanda Patriotic Front –Inkotanyi towards Kigali city.
Gatwa, is serving a 30-year jail term for Genocide.
Known for his comical role on radio, Mukeshabatware occasionally diffused tension in court with his comical interventions.
“No one has come out to pin me on all these charges, the information, which is the basis for these charges, must have come from heaven,” he said, attracting uncontrolled laughter in the courtroom.
On the death of Lucia, Mukeshabatware denied ever seeing her. He argued that he occupied the deceased’s house a day after she had been killed.
Mukeshabatware was shell-shocked after the verdict was passed. His daughter, Yvonne Iribagiza, told journalists that they would appeal the verdict.