Rwamagana priest remanded

Rwamagana - The controversial priest who was recently arrested for frustrating government policies and programmes was yesterday, remanded at Nsinda Prison for 30 days pending investigations into his case.
Father Emile Nsengiyunva he. (Photo by S. Rwembeho).
Father Emile Nsengiyunva he. (Photo by S. Rwembeho).

Rwamagana - The controversial priest who was recently arrested for frustrating government policies and programmes was yesterday, remanded at Nsinda Prison for 30 days pending investigations into his case.

Emile Nsengiyumva, 45, a Catholic priest, looked nervous as Nzige Primary court judge, Justine Mukarurema, read the ruling in an overcrowded room.

The judge said the accused allegedly committed various punishable crimes, as stated by the prosecutors; Ellen Mukeshimana and Eric Gatera, and that the accused doesn’t deny the charges.

According to the judge, the acts by the clergyman jeopardised peaceful coexistence of communities and incited the public against the government.

“Prosecution and witnesses said the accused campaigned against Gacaca courts, eradication of Nyakatsi and family planning programmes. The accused has not denied the charges either,” she said.

Pierre Claver Mugabushaka the Executive Secretary of Nzige sector, where the clergyman lives, said that he would have been surprised if the priest was set free.

He said that such people are dangerous when engaged in subversive activities because they are regarded as opinion leaders, and hence, respected by the population.

“We spend sleepless nights to implement government programmes...but somebody has the guts to turn our efforts into nothing by de-campaigning what we do. He has been using his flock to upset government policies,” he said.

Fidele Uhoraningoga, Celestin Nzagizemungu, Vedaste Kamanzi, Jean Bosco Twizeyumukiza and Donat Twizeyemungu all residents of Karenge sector, testified against the priest during the pre-trial detention hearing.
The witnesses said that Christians, who have been adhering to government programmes, were constantly sidelined and humiliated by the Priest.

“In church, we are paraded and divided according to those supporting the government programmes and those against them. Those supporting the programmes are humiliated and told off the Altar...this the kind of church leader we have,” said Kamanzi.

Father Nsengiyunva immediately appealed against the ruling, saying that there are some elements that were not considered.

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