BUGESERA — An alleged serial killer and three accomplices, who allegedly murdered seven cyclists within a period of four months in Mayange, Bugesera district, last year, were on Wednesday arraigned in court.
Aloys Tubarimo pleaded guilty to charges of killing seven cyclists from Nyamata bicycle stage using an axe and other blunt instruments, within a spate of four months- from August to November 2007.
He said he buried them in his compound; because "he wanted to take their bicycles so that he could sell them and get money to buy seeds for planting."
His co-accused; Mbyogo Nkubiri, Jean de Dieu Nsengiyumva and Francis Uwimana, who are accused of selling the stolen bicycles denied the charges, saying their relationship with Tubarimo did not stretch beyond mear friendship.
According to prosecution, led by Bonaventure Ruberwa, from the Prosecutor Generals’ office, the four killed the cyclists using weapons in order to steal bicycles. Ruberwa prayed court to hand over ‘special’ life sentence to the suspects.
He described the special life sentence, as where an inmate is not supposed to benefit from any form of pardon, no time out or other ways of forgiveness before completing 20 years in prison. The inmate on special life sentence is also supposed to be locked in a special room and denied access to any visitor.
Aloys Tubarimo would kill one person at a time, and sell his bicycle through his friend [co-accused] Mbyogo Nkubiri. He sold the firt first victim’s bicycle for Frw12,000, and then at between Frw16,000 and 18,000, for the remaining six bicycles.
He claimed that the sector authorities had refused to help him obtain seeds for cultivation; yet other equally poor people in the area were getting the seeds.
"I can’t describe my state then, but I was desperate and I could not imagine where I was heading," he said.
"My aim was to kill only eight cyclists and get money to buy seeds and fertilizers for my crops. I was too poor to buy these seeds and fertilizers for my family," he told court.
Mbyogo, who is alleged to have sold the stolen bicycles, said his friend [Tubarimo] told him that he was buying bicycles from Gitarama and Gacaca in Musenyi Sector-Bugesera, at cheap prices.
Presiding judge Charles Gakwaya, of the High Court, set April 16, at 2.00 pm as the date for reading the verdict.
Tubarimo was arrested in November, 2007