A 28-year-old man was on Friday arrested by Police for allegedly strangling his father and stepmother in what residents claimed was a climax of a long-simmering property wrangle.
The body of Athanase Ndayambaje and that of his wife Dorothée Mukarusanga, residents of Bwiza in Rwamagana District, were recovered in swamp in Muhazi Sector.
According to Muhazi Sector executive secretary Olivier Sebatwari, the suspect appears to have lured the couple to their death trap claiming he wanted to show them a cow he had offered as compensation for the one the suspect reportedly killed.
“It is on record that prior to the death of the couple, one of their cows was burnt alive. Unknown person powered petrol on its body and lit it to ashes. This cruel act is said to have been done by the suspect,” he said.
Sebatwari said that the suspect was assisted by some other two or three people, who are still at large, to strangle his father and step-mother.
“He tricked his father telling him that he was going to give him a cow to compensate the burnt one. They went up to the swamp where the deceased was tired with ropes. He later invited the mother-in law to witness the handover of the cow, a big sign of love in Rwandan culture. The innocent couple was strangled to death there and then”.
The police was called by one of the sons of the couple, who were also threatened with death by the same suspect.
Callixte Matabaro, one of the residents still struggling to come to terms with the tragedy, said the killing was motivated by property wrangles.
“This young man never felt secure with the presence of a step-mother …he never wanted to share property with children with whom they don’t share a mother.”
“In fact, when they asked him several times to reveal where their parents were, he tried to kill them in the same way. He told them they had boarded a bus to Uganda… He said: ‘Come and I show you where they boarded from,’ but the children refused and called Police,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police are still searching for other suspects.
“There were some other people involved…so we are still looking for them. Planned murder for that matter is a serious offense; if the suspect is convicted he may face life imprisonment in isolation. This according to article 141 of the penal code,” a Police spokesman in the eastern region said.