Genocide suspect Mugimba pinned on killings in Kigali

Prosecution on Monday pinned Jean Baptiste Mugimba on killings in different suburbs of the City of Kigali during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Workers of Primature during a past “Walk to Remember” in honour of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. File.
Workers of Primature during a past “Walk to Remember” in honour of victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. File.

Prosecution on Monday pinned Jean Baptiste Mugimba on killings in different suburbs of the City of Kigali during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Mugimba, who was the Secretary General of the extremist political outfit, CDR, was extradited to Rwanda from The Netherlands in 2016 and he is being tried at the specialized chamber for international crimes at High Court.

CDR was a club of Hutu extremists that was at the centre of planning and execution of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Prosecution has lined up witnesses in the trial against Mugimba who is accused of four crimes; genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, inciting people to commit genocide and complicity to commit genocide.

Represented by Faustin Nkusi, prosecution outlined a number of witnesses that pin the accused on crimes mainly committed in Nyarugenge District during the Genocide.

Nkusi noted that they have witness accounts pinning Mugimba on being in the company of Interahamwe militia at the different CDR rallies during which plans to kill Tutsis were openly discussed.

He is specifically linked to a group of Interahamwe militiamen whose members called themselves ‘The Zulus.’

The prosecutor went on explaining that another witness said that the accused presided over a CDR rally at Nyamirambo Stadium where it was declared that Tutsi were the enemy and could not belong to their party.

This shows the hatred the accused harbored towards the Tutsi people, Nkusi said.

The defendant’s lawyer, Gatera Gashabana interjected that prosecutor should point out the personal role by his client, but the presiding judge Antoine Muhima overruled him saying that they will have enough time to present defence submissions.

Thereafter, the prosecution who took much of the time in court at the Monday proceeding, explaining witness accounts said that a day after the massacres had begun on April 7 1994, Mugimba called for a meeting at his home in Nyakabanda on April 8, gathered military, local government and party officials.

During this meeting, a list comprising people to be killed around the suburbs of Nyamirambo, Biryogo and Nyakabanda were drawn.

They also immediately set up roadblocks including one in front of Mugimba’s residence.

During that meeting, a witness says, Mugimba himself asked a certain Col. Edouard Hakizimana to provide guns for the militia that were delivered to him three days after.

Some of the prosecution witnesses said that they also took part in the meeting and some are convicted genocidiares serving their sentences.

The hearing was adjourned to next week.

Born on October 24, 1959 in the then Gaturo sector, Mutura Commune, which is part of the present-day Rubavu District, Mugimba during the Genocide lived in Nyakabanda in the current Nyarugenge District.

He was employed by the National Bank of Rwanda (BNR) and at the same time the Secretary General of the Coalition for the Defence of the Republic (CDR.

editorial@newtimes.co.rw

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