KIGALI - State Prosecution is ready to produce irrefutable evidence linking Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza to a terrorist group with plans to cause state insecurity as well as evidence pinning her on two other charges.
Addressing a press briefing, yesterday to clarify on claims by international media that Ingabire’s arrest and arraignment in court last week was politically motivated, the Government Spokesperson, Louise Mushikiwabo, said that prosecution has concrete evidence of Ingabire’s activities and plans to continue with ‘the Genocide’ of the Tutsi.
Mushikiwabo, who was flanked by the Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, said that there is concrete evidence indicating that even before declaring her intentions to contest for the presidency, Ingabire was mobilising terrorist organisations to launch an offensive in Rwanda.
“The evidence is there, showing her engagement with FDLR, the money transfers she conducted, the emails she exchanged with the rebels in Eastern DR Congo and the trips to Kinshasa to meet them to plan attacks aimed at causing state insecurity,” Mushikiwabo said.
“The Government of Rwanda works in transparency and cannot stop anyone from contesting, but you don’t disregard the law. These are serious charges and I urge you all to follow the case which is about to start,”
Mushikiwabo, who is also the Foreign affairs Minister, said that Ingabire, even upon arrival, went ahead to make careless statements which confirmed her intentions but thought that the international community would protect her.
“Rwanda does not work according to the demands of other countries. We have laws in place and the country’s leadership decides what is good for Rwandans,” Mushikiwabo said, adding that the recent events in the news do not amount to a crisis.
Mushikiwabo said that regional and international media has ‘blown out of proportion’ and continues to spin the recent events in the country to suggest that Rwanda is in a ‘political crisis and a state panic’ which is not the case.
“You know that it is very easy to spin news to create an element of panic---but what I can say is that there is nothing like panic. This is a country that has nothing to hide, it is a country that is progressing but also has some challenges,” she said.
Mushikiwabo accused the media of using the ‘election factor’ to blow things out of proportion, because there is a belief that election period comes with panic and violence, adding that the reality on the ground is different. She added that Rwandans are ready to participate in peaceful elections.
The Prosecutor General, Martin Ngoga, said that the case the prosecution has against Ingabire, is against her as a person not, ‘as a presidential candidate’ as most international media indicates, and that her utterances on the Genocide are ‘just a smaller fraction’ of the charges she’s facing.
“The utterances are a small fraction of a bigger ideology of hers and her political party. I also want to underline that the prosecution process is for an individual, but the bigger process lies within the ideology of her own party,”
“You need to trace the origins of her party FDU-Inkingi---the prosecution will not accuse her as an individual but we shall also try to criminalize the ideology of her political party because that is the root of the problem,” Ngoga said.
Ngoga said that Lt. Col Tharcisse Nditurende and Lt. Col Noel Habiyakare, senior commanders of the FDLR (Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda) militia, and Lt. Karuta Jean Marie, who will testify in Ingabire’s case, were arrested in coordination with Burundi.
The three had been criss-crossing DRC and Burundi to follow up on money transfers from Ingabire. He thanked Burundi for the cooperation.