PARLIAMENT - Member of Parliament Sam Kanyemera Kaka has said, his seat in the Chamber of Deputies was not affected by his arrest and subsequent acquittal by the Military Tribunal recently. Kaka, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) lawmaker and a retired army general, has vowed to take his place when parliament resumes later this week. In an interview, Gen. Kaka who was arrested and charged together with Brigadier General Frank Rusagara in August for alleged obstruction of justice, insisted that his arrest was wrong and still believes his immunity was not lifted.
The two generals were accused of foiling police efforts to arrest city businessman Assinapol Rwigara at a funeral in Kabusunzu, a city suburb. They were found innocent by the Military Tribunal and acquitted on September 21.
“My immunity was not affected at all, the Military Prosecution only wrote to the Parliamentary Bureau requesting to pursue me,” Gen. Kaka said.
“They were authorised to do so but I still insist my immunity was not affected at all,” he added.
Before his arrest, the military prosecution had written to the Chamber of Deputies Bureau requesting to investigate Kaka.
Normally, a legislator enjoys the privilege of immunity when he or she is still an MP.
“According the parliamentary internal regulations, my immunity still exists and the court has already informed me that the case has been dismissed unless the prosecution decides to appeal. I intend to turn up for work again on Friday when the House resumes its Plenary Sessions,” Kaka said.
“Whoever ordered my arrest was wrong,” he said defiantly. He continued: “I am a senior in many ways and all I can do is to advise on how to improve the proper administration of the police system.”
However, the legislator said that the police institution was still young and would therefore not drag them it to court.
And in a new twist, Deputy Speaker Yvonne Uwayisenga disclosed Kaka’s immunity was not lifted and denied Parliament ever ordered his arrest.
Uwayisenga said on Sunday: “The Parliamentary Bureau has no authority to lift the immunity of a legislator, its only court that can lift the immunity of an MP.”
“The prosecution wrote to the Parliamentary Bureau requesting permission to investigate Kaka’s role in obstructing justice and they were authorised,” she argued.
“No law was broken and Parliament was not involved in his arrest. It was not a parliamentary order but from somewhere beyond our powers, probably the judiciary,” she said in stack contradiction of what was said by the House leadership at the time of the MP’s apprehension.
According to Article 91 of Parliament’s Internal Rules of Procedure, no Deputy suspected of a serious felony may be arrested or prosecuted without the authorisation of the Chamber of Deputies.