Suspect pins governor on FDLR plots

Governor Aime Bosenibamwe aided and abetted terror acts in his Northern Province jurisdiction, a suspect appearing before the High Court sitting in Musanze District said yesterday.
The suspects in court yesterday.(Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)
The suspects in court yesterday.(Jean d'Amour Mbonyinshuti)

Governor Aime Bosenibamwe aided and abetted terror acts in his Northern Province jurisdiction, a suspect appearing before the High Court sitting in Musanze District said yesterday.

Jotham Nsengiyumva, who pleaded guilty to working with DR Congo-based militia group, Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), and conducting terror acts in Musanze, told the court that Bosenibamwe particularly wanted him to kill Musanze mayor Winifrida Mpembyemungu for fear she could replace him as governor.

Nsengiyumva, who was arraigned before the court together with 13 others, including three women, said he held several meetings with the governor, who paid him about Rwf3 million in installments after the three grenade attacks that claimed lives and left others injured.

However, the court said Nsengiyumva was concocting the story as he never disclosed this particular line of story during interrogations by both Police and the Prosecution.

Prosecution says the accused group were responsible for the deaths of two people in a series of grenade attacks in Muzanze and Rubavu districts in January.

At the public hearing at Musanze stadium, prosecution detailed how the suspects committed the crimes, linking them to FDLR, and saying each had played an individual role causing insecurity.

The prosecution particularly accused Nsengiyumva of coordinating a series of terror operations after undergoing military training in FDLR camps in DR Congo in 2011.

The court heard that Nsengiyumva was tasked with recruiting new file and rank for FDLR and coordinating terror attacks.

Pastor in the gang

Prosecution also accused Pastor Emmanuel Rukera, a father of another suspect, Maurice Rukera, of having helped Nsengiyumva join the militia group.

The court heard that upon completing his training, Nsengiyumva was assigned to carry out operations, of which the planning meetings were held at Rukera’s home.

Some of the criminal activities the gang is accused of comiting include the killing of a Police officer, Clement Mucyurabuhoro, who was shot dead in December, last year. Nsengiyumva also linked this murder to the provincial governor.

They are also accused of two separate grenade attacks that killed one person and injured eight others.

The attacks targeted the home of Musanze mayor Winifrida Mpembyemungu, where a one-and-a-half-year-old girl was killed and two others injured. The other attack took place in Musanze town, injuring six.

Another incident said to have been organised by the gang took place near Police College in Musanze that also injured six people.

The suspects were arrested after Nsengiyumva and a motorcyclist who was carrying him got injured by the last grenade he had hurled at the Police College.

“It was a well coordinated criminal gang, some would negotiate the transport of weapons as others mapped their routes, while others acted as informers. It was also difficult to suspect that a pastor could house members of terrorist groups, but all investigations were leading to his house,” prosecution said.

The hearing continues today.

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