KIGALI - Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, the embattled leader of the yet-to-be-registered political party, FDU-Inkingi, along with her co-accused, Maj. Vital Uwumuremyi, were yesterday arraigned before court to answer charges related to forming a terrorist organisation with an aim of causing state insecurity.
Ingabire pleaded not guilty to all the charges after the Prosecutor, Silver Gatambiye, had read them out. Her co-accused, Maj Uwumuremyi, admitted all charges and begged the court for leniency because he is ready to change.
Clad in flowery green and yellow attire, Ingabire who was arrested one and a half weeks ago, listened attentively as prosecution read out the charges. She was accompanied by her lawyer, Gatera Gashabana.
According to Prosecution, Ingabire worked with Maj. Uwumuremyi, a former Ex-FAR and a commander in the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) militia to form the Coalition of Democratic Forces (CDF) which was to become the military wing of the FDU-Inkingi.
The court heard that Ingabire, on several occasions, met with Uwumuremyi with the aim of setting up a training program for CDF rebels, who would go on to conduct terrorist activities in the country, causing instability which would then compel the government to enter into dialogue with FDU-Inkingi.
The Prosecution further alleged that Ingabire sent funds to and met Uwumuremyi and two other former FDLR commanders; Lt. Col Tharcisse Nditurende and Lt. Col Noel Habiyaremye, who have since been arrested, as well as another one identified as Jean Marie Vianney Karuta, in Kinshasa and Brazzaville to plan their activities.
“We have the evidence and Uwumuremyi has confessed that Ingabire urged them to recruit for the terrorist organisation. She told them that FDU-Inkingi had already established diplomatic connections and had defined its political agenda,” Gatambiye said.
“What was remaining was an armed wing of the party and that is how CDF was born. We have correspondences of mainly emails, some in coded language. This was confirmed by Uwumuremyi when he was arrested on October 13”.
Uwumuremyi was arrested at the Rwanda-DRC border at La Corniche as he tried to sneak into the DRC where he was suspected to be conducting CDF activities. It was revealed that he tried to bribe police officers with US$50 to let him free.
Uwumuremyi was found with forged Congolese travel documents bearing the names Muhindo Muhima Dieudonné Katumba Pepe Pipiyu.
Ingabire denied the charges and any knowledge of an individual by the names Vital Uwumuremyi or an organisation known as CDF, but admitted that she knew the same person under the names of Gaspard Kalimba.
Prosecution further revealed that despite Ingabire denying knowledge of the co-accused, Uwumuremyi, who has many aliases, has been one of the closest allies and aides of Ingabire, since her arrival in Rwanda.
It was revealed that Uwumuremyi was one of the people who welcomed Ingabire at the airport, brought in ushers who welcomed her and even arranged meetings in several parts of the country.
Uwumuremyi is also said to have signed the lease agreement for the house that Ingabire lives in. Ingabire insisted that she knew the person as Gaspard Kalimba.
She also admitted travelling to Kinshasa and Brazzaville but on different dates from those cited by her co-accused.
Prosecution had earlier urged the court to revoke the bail it had given Ingabire and detain her provisionally because she continued to engage in divisive acts after she was released on bail. Ingabire requested the judge to grant her bail since the new charges are similar to the already existing ones.
Uwumuremyi also applied for bail arguing that he is willing to continue cooperating with the prosecution and had pleaded guilty.
Ingabire is still battling charges related to associating with a terrorist group, propagating the Genocide Ideology, revisionism and ethnic division.
The bail ruling is set for today.