KIGALI - A planned delegates’ conference of the yet-to-be registered United Democratic Forces (FDU-Inkingi), was put on hold yesterday by Nyarugenge District because the head of the group, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, is under police investigations.
This was revealed by the Mayor of Nyarugenge District, Theophila Nyirahonora, saying that Ingabire had to fulfil certain conditions before her party could be allowed to hold the conference.
“We asked her to first clear her case with the Criminal Investigations Department, and if she is cleared, she will be allowed to go on with her activities,” Nyirahonora told The New Times.
“Under normal circumstances we cannot allow someone who is being investigated for serious cases to convene a public gathering. One should meet certain levels of integrity to call such a gathering, but for her case, she has no authority to convene a public gathering”.
She added that Ingabire submitted the request as if she was the leader of a recognised party, ignoring normal procedures that other political parties have fulfilled before registration. This prompted the district authorities to deny her permission.
“She stated that she wanted permission to convene a delegates’ conference of her party FDU-Inkingi, but we also informed her that her party is not yet registered and she needs to follow the correct procedures”.
The Mayor also revealed that by joining forces with registered parties like PS-Imberakuri, Ingabire was acting as if her party is already registered and thereby deliberately contravening the law.
When contacted, police spokesperson, Eric Kayiranga, confirmed that Ingabire was the subject of investigations for serious crimes.
“Yes, she has a case, but it is not for the police to grant authorisations to hold meetings. It is purely an administrative matter regarding the district,” he said.
Reliable sources have revealed to The New Times that Ingabire is being investigated over her links with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a terrorist organisation operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
A UN Group of Experts report released on November 23, 2009, revealed that many top leaders of the FDU, including Ingabire, were giving financial and political support to FDLR.
“The group confirmed that the FDLR military leaders are also in telephone contact with Diaspora members of the Forces democratique unifies (FDU) (FDU-Inkingi) political party in Belgium, including Jean-Baptiste Mberabahizi, and Naomi Mukakinani, who is married to FDU-Inkingi politician Michel Niyibizi. The group shows below that Victoire Ingabire, the p[resident of FDU, who is based in the Netherlands, has attended ‘intra-Rwandan dialogue’ meetings with pro-FDLR participants.
Several top FDLR leaders in Europe, including its president, Ignace Murwanashyaka and his deputy, Straton Musoni, are in prison in Germany, while their Secretary General, Callixte Mbarushimana, is a subject of a judicial inquiry in France.
A long term observer of Rwanda politics remarked that “while FDLR leaders cited alongside Ingabire in the UN report were apprehended in Europe, sit is surprising that she is free in Rwanda, seeking to launder FDLR programs under the guise of legitimate political process”.
Ingabire has been roundly denounced by Genocide survivors’ associations, as well as various political organisations in the country for revisionism and divisive politics.