CIVIL - Police have arrested seven suspects in connection with the murder of a Gacaca court president in Huye District, Southern Province.
Paul Rutayisire, 47, who was killed Monday night by unknown assailants, was the president of Kabulemura Gacaca court in Karama Sector in the district.
The late Rutayisire was also the vice president of the Genocide survivors association in Karama sector and officials say his murder is yet another case of killings targeting survivors.
The Minister of Internal Security, Musa Fazil Harelimana, confirmed the arrest of his suspected assailants.
He said the cold-blood murder was motivated by Genocide ideology according to police preliminary investigations.
“The problem was that he went out to drink with people who had lost a case he handled. We have arrested seven people over the murder and investigations are going on,” Harelimana said yesterday.
The suspects are being held at Huye Town Police post, the minister added.
Jeanne Marie Twagire, the Karama sector official in charge of social affairs, said.
Rutayisire’s thoroughness in executing his duties as a Gacaca president could have won him many enemies and led to his eventual murder.
“Rutayisire was a man of integrity. He commanded the respect of many but also many hated him as a result,” she said.
Rutayisire’s body was found in a secluded bushy area with his head battered.
Twagire believes that the assailants could have used a hoe to pound his head.
The deceased’s wife Domitila Mukansange said that her husband had been receiving death threats since 2000 when the information gathering exercise about people who committed crimes during the Genocide began.
She said: “There was talk in this village that my husband was among the people who should have been killed but survived. So such elements in this village never buried the hatchet until Monday night when they executed their evil plans.”
Benoit Kaboyi, the Executive Secretary of Ibuka (an umbrella for Genocide survivors) decried the high number of murder cases against Genocide survivors in the Southern Province.
“We have had eight people killed since this year began, but what is even more worrying is that children are being taught to hate each other,” he lamented.
The Executive Secretary of National Service for Gacaca Jurisdictions, Domitila Mukantaganzwa, declined to comment on the matter saying that the incident was still a police case.
She however said: “We are planning to go and visit the bereaved family.” Rutayisire’s remains were laid to rest on Wednesday at the Karama Sector Genocide Memorial Site.
Rutayisire’s slaughter comes hot on the heels of another two murders of Genocide survivors; Costasia Mukamurara in Mbogo Cell in Kigongo Sector, and Esperance Uwantege, in Nyanza Sector, all in Gisagara District.