KIGALI - The Prosecutor General Martin Ngoga yesterday dismissed reports by several Zimbabwean and Kenyan media that Rwandan secret agents had sneaked into Zimbabwe to arrest or kill genocide fugitives.
The reports suggested that Rwanda had deployed hit-men in the Southern African country after two most wanted fugitives Protais Mpiranya and Charles Bandora were spotted in Zimbabwe, but Ngoga said the allegations are “false and unfounded.”
“The claims are totally false and malicious and I don’t know who initiated them and their motive. The allegations should be held in contempt. This is a story that could have been initiated by the fugitives themselves,”
“For us, we pursue fugitives through indictments and arrest warrants issued through Interpol. We are a government which does not deploy bandits in another country to pursue the people we want. We do things in a conventional way and that’s how we have arrested all the other genocide fugitives.” Ngoga told The New Times.
The reports claim that Rwandan security agents sneaked into Zimbabwe early this year pursuing a genocide fugitive who had entered the southern African country from neighbouring Malawi.
They further indicate that the Rwandan security agents entered Zimbabwe after they got wind that a wanted genocide fugitive, Charles Bandora, had crossed into Zimbabwe from Malawi where he had been staying since the end of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and that Mpiranya was reported to be in the Zimbabwean town of Norton.
Ngoga said that if Rwanda was to do so it would consult the government of Zimbabwe, adding that what is reported is just a ploy initiated by the fugitives.
Last week Ngoga revealed how some African countries are not cooperating in the pursuance of wanted Genocide fugitives still roaming freely.
Time for ICTR to act Ngoga welcomed reports that Protais Mpiranya, one of the most wanted genocide fugitive with a $5 million bounty on his head was “sighted or believed to be” in Zimbabwe’s fishing town of Norton, on the fringes of Harare, according to security sources in Zimbabwe.
Mpiranya, a former top soldier in Ex-FAR forces is one of the main architects of the Genocide and is wanted by the Arusha-based International Criminal Tribunal of Rwanda (ICTR).
Ngoga said that the development is one that should trigger the ICTR into action and move to arrest and bring to justice one of the most notorious genocidaires.
“Mpiranya is one of the most notorious fugitives wanted by the ICTR. We didn’t know that he was in Zimbabwe and it is very interesting to know that he is there. The ICTR should use this opportunity to bring him to book,” Ngoga said.
“The guy is in Norton. He has been staying there since 2001 and he is very safe and sound. Just that he keeps a low profile.” A security source in Zimbabwe that preferred anonymity told Harare’s Radio VOP.
Mpiranya is the third most wanted man in connection with the Genocide.
Mpiranya was the second-in-command of military operations and intelligence (S2 and S3) in the Presidential guard Battalion, before being appointed Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion in 1993.
Beginning in 1992, Mpiranya is alleged to have supervised the training of militiamen in the prefectures of Ruhengeri, Cyangugu, Gisenyi, Butare and Mutara, particularly in the military camps in Gabiro, Gako, Mukamira and Bigogwe.
In 1993, Mpiranya is also reported to have sent his subordinates to supervise the training of the Interahamwe (an extremist Hutu militia).
He is said also to have distributed weapons to the militia and to certain carefully selected members of the civilian population with the intent to exterminate the Tutsi population.