BY STEVENSON MUGISHA
RUSIZI: A Gacaca court has sentenced the district executive secretary to 30 years in prison for his involvement in the 1994 Genocide.
The Gacaca court of Gahurubuka Community Settlement of Giheke Sector in Rusizi District sentenced former Nyamasheke District executive secretary, Elizaphan Habyarimana after it heard that the accused participated in, among others, the murder of several people during the Genocide.
Witnesses implicated Habyarimana in the slaughter of Robert Rwamwaga, 31, Gilbert Musonera, 26, Emerania Mukakarisa ,32, and several others, who were working in Shagasha Tea Factory, where the defendant was a chief accountant at the time.
While handing down the verdict after a nine-hour session recently, Isha Gacaca court President, Jean Pierre Habimana, said that Habyarimana was found guilty of committing Genocide crimes.
“According to the information we have from witnesses regarding your role during the 1994 Genocide, we have found you guilty and you have to serve 30 years in prison according to the rules and regulations that govern Gacaca trials and proceedings,” Habimana pronounced to the accused.
Habyarimana, who is in his late 40s, was the Chief Accountant of Shagasha Tea Factory in Giheke Sector during the Genocide.
He was also found guilty of having supplied jerry cans of petrol that was used to set ablaze bodies of killed Tutsis, as well as their houses that were around the factory.
One of the witnesses, Everest Habimana, a lead Genocidaire who was pardoned and released under the 2003 presidential order, said that Habyarimana would give Frw10, 000 to each Interahamwe militia (extremists that committed most of the Genocide crimes) as a token of appreciation after killing their targets on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, it also emerged that Habyarimana attempted to bribe the Gacaca court before the trial in vain.
“That man and his driver Ngirinshuti had wanted to bribe us with Frw200, 000 before his trial but failed because we work in the righteousness of true justice of our country,” the court’s Vice President Chaste Nkurunziza told the gathering.