The Executive Secretary of the City of Kigali, Peter Clever Uwimana, has been arrested after he knocked a man and allegedly abandoned him in the middle of the road.
Théophile Gatare, who was a founding official of Liberal Party (PL) and an employee with Rwandatel, a local communication network, died four hours after the accident which occurred at about 8p.m on Sunday, according to eyewitnesses.
Eyewitnesses said Uwimana, instead of disembarking from his car and rush the victim to a hospital, sped off only to pose as just a concerned person when he returned to the scene moments after.
The accident took place at Mulindi town, which lies some eighteen kilometers away from Kigali City centre along Kayonza road.
Residents said that Gatare, 51, who was laid to rest at Remera Cemetery yesterday, was knocked just in front of his home in Mulindi Cell, Kabuga Sector in Kicukiro District.
Eyewitnesses told The New Times at the burial ceremony yesterday that Uwimana drove off immediately after the incident.
Gatare’s brother Eric Mutabazi said: "I am deeply bothered by the way Uwimana decided to run away instead of assisting; if he only had stopped and took him to the hospital, may be he would have survived."
Some said that revelers gathered around the body helplessly for at least an hour before Mutabazi arrived and rushed him to Kigali University Central Hospital (CHUK).
"My neighbours who witnessed the accident told me that Uwimana drove off after knocking my brother. He went and parked his vehicle at a nearby filling station, and came back to the scene trying to disguise himself… asking those that were around if they had seen the number plate of the vehicle," Mutabazi said emotionally.
He went on: "They (eyewitnesses) kept quiet and instead tracked his movements thereafter only to find out that he was actually the one driving the car that killed Gatare."
He said after the accident, Gatare remained lying in the road crying out for help until he (Mutabazi) arrived with a hired taxi after neighbours telephoned him.
Mutabazi said that when Gatare’s head kept swelling while at CHUK, he was transferred to King Faisal Hospital. "But he latter died while in a scanner at around midnight (on Sunday)."
"What annoys me is that someone who is a leader and who should set good example is the one knocking people and running away; he would have at least reported it to police immediately, and remember, being a leader, he even had the authority of just making a call and an ambulance would be there immediately. He didn’t do either; he instead attempted to destroy the evidence."
Mutabazi also said that while at the hospital, a policeman identified as Jean Marie Vianney Kayibanda, arrived at the scene of the accident and "tried to sweep away the evidence."
"He came and started confusing eyewitnesses suggesting different number plates, but he was so unfortunate because we had got the exact number plate," he charged.
And a source from Kigali City Council said yesterday that police had first came up with wrong number plate with numbers RAB 259C but later investigations showed that the true number plate was RAB 119D of a black Suzuki Vitara belonging to Uwimana.
Meanwhile some furious family members have alleged that there might have been intentions of killing Gatare in a purported road accident because he testified as a witness in a Gacaca court against a close relative to Uwimana.
Uwimana was not available for comment as his phone was switched off by press time.
In the meantime, it emerged last evening that Uwimana had been put in police custody.
The Head of Traffic Police Chief Superintendent, Robert Niyonshuti, confirmed that the city official had been arrested and police would forward his dossier to the prosecution today.
"He was first given time to first sort out his insurance case but we have now arrested him and will handle him over to the prosecution tomorrow (today)," Niyoshuti said.
Gatare, who lost his first wife and four children in 1994 Genocide, re-married after the Genocide and he is survived with his wife and three children.