KIGALI - The Senate was yesterday bustling with activity as Senators laboured with a decision on whether to drag either PS-Imberakuri political party or its deposed former president, Bernard Ntaganda to court, or both, The New Times reports.
The debate stemmed from a report released by the Senatorial Standing Committee on Political and Governance Affairs that recommended that Ntaganda be taken to court for using inflammatory language and propagating hatred amongst Rwandans.
The report, which was presented by Senator Joseph Karemera, the head of the committee, suggested that Ntaganda be handled by the relevant authorities while the political party that he helped establish should be advised.
“I think the almost twenty Senators who were present on the day Ntaganda appeared in this Senate will attest to the inflammatory words that he insisted were from his heart. His words left us wondering if he is indeed a leader of a political party…but of course our job is not to judge. We left that to courts of law,” he said.
Sen. Francois Nshunguyinka disagreed with the recommendation to send Ntaganda to court leaving behind PS-Imberakuri.
“When Ntaganda was summoned as the founder and president of the party, none of his fellow members who accompanied him objected to his language. He was here to represent the party. If that wasn’t the case, why didn’t any member come up and clear the air and let everyone know that Ntaganda’s words were personal not the official stand of the party?,” he asked.
Senator Immaculee Kayumba, sounded rather cautious on the idea of dragging both the Ntaganda and the party to the courts of law.
“I think our main responsibility in this is the political party. I do not know if Ntaganda’s inflammatory language is representative of his party; we need to be clear because there seem to be a cobweb of issues here,” she said.
Seth Kamanzi also agreed that Ntaganda and PS Imberakuri should both be dragged to court.
“I do not want to believe that there is a difference between Ntaganda and the political party. They are one and the same. We should not let our history repeat itself through people like Ntaganda. We need to take action,” he said.
Senate president Vincent Biruta closed the debate and suggesting that the political affairs committee should revise the recommendations and chart a clear and precise course of action.
“There are very many laws in this country. I suggest that the committee takes the report back and revise it accordingly and come up with recommendations of what specifically the law says on each of the issues raised,” he said.