KIGALI - Damascene Nkurunziza, a National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) Director has been detained for allegedly bribing a Gacaca court president in Kigali City. Nkurunziza, the Director in-charge of Operations, was caught red- handed on Sunday giving a bribe of Frw60, 000 to Antoine Mupende, the president of Nyarugunga Sector Court of Appeal. According to Criminal Investigation Department (CID) the Frw60, 000 was part of Frw200, 000 bribe Nkurunziza had promised Mupende to help release his brother Vianny Mugiraneza.
Nkurunziza is a husband to former minister, Drocelle Mugorewera, who is also the Secretary General of Centrist Democratic Party (PDC).
Last month, Nyarugunga Gacaca Lower Court sentenced Mugiraneza to 18 years imprisonment after it found him guilty of participating in the 1994 Genocide in Rwibongo Cell.
Mugireneza is being detained at Kimironko Prison as he waits the court of appeal’s decision on his case. Nkurunziza was allegedly giving a bribe to have the appeal court reverse the earlier ruling by the Lower Court.
CID Director Chief Superintendent Costa Habyara confirmed the incident yesterday and said Nkurunziza was arrested by police at La Printer Bar in Kimironko on Sunday evening.
“Nkurunziza admits that he was giving the bribe and this is going to facilitate us in our investigations. The law says if one is caught red-handed, you produce him to court within 48 hours instead of the normal 72 (hours),” Habyara said.
When visited at Kicukiro Police Station yesterday, Nkurunziza declined to comment on the matter. “Everything is under investigations. I cannot make any comment,” he said.
Mupende claims that Nkurunziza called him on September 27 for a meeting over his brother’s matter. The meeting was held in Kanombe the following day, said the Gacaca official.
Nkurunziza reportedly asked Mupende to do him a favour and release his brother. But on September 29, Mupende tipped Police about Nkurunziza’s corruption efforts, and latter agreed with the law-enforcing organ that he would alert them on the exact timing and scene of crime. And that is exactly what this Gacaca judge did on Sunday.
Nkurunziza was effectively caught in the act of bribing me, Mupende said.
Indeed, on the fateful day at La Printer Bar, police moved in and caught Nkurunziza red-handed with the exhibit. “Nkurunziza thought he would use me forgetting that I’m a man of proven integrity and incorruptible. Let others borrow a leaf from me,” Mupende said yesterday.