Sylvestre Hora, the man charged with the murder, last month, of 12-year-old Shalom ‘Bella’ Uwase in Nyamirambo, Kigali, should spend the rest of his life behind bars, prosecution has prayed.
Appearing before Nyarugenge Intermediate Court sitting at Kigali Regional Stadium, Hora, a former house-help at Bella’s Nyamirambo home was charged with murder and forgery.
He pleaded guilty to murder charges.
Hora’s forgery charges stem from illegal change of his name while acquiring a national identity card and illegal possession of a national document.
At around 10am, Hora, 31, dressed in white jacket atop blue tracksuit trousers, was escorted before the court under guard.
As the suspect approached the judge’s bench, one of Bella’s relatives broke down.
The judge read out the charges and asked the prosecution to present their arguments.
Prosecution said at 10am on March 23, Hora’s employers terminated his service to the family.
He then left the house and spent the day at Nyamirambo market.
At around 4pm, he bought a knife and hid it under his cloths, headed back to the family home where he would particularly target to kill Bella. But by the time he reached there, Bella was still at school.
“Later on, when Bella returned home, she was sent to a kiosk, along the way she met Hora and asked him to accompany her. When the two returned Bella asked him about the circumstance that led to the termination of his service. Hora reacted by stubbing her in the chest, before slitting her throat,” prosecutor Ndibwami Rugamba told the court.
The mood was sombre among the hundreds of area residents who attended the proceedings.
After the murder, Hora fled the scene, forcing Police to mount a countrywide hunt for him. He was later arrested in Gatsibo District following a tip-off by a citizen who had seen his mug shot in the news, prosecution said.
In his defence, Hora said the girl would not have died had someone stopped him.
Bella’s father, Deo Mujiji, sat still throughout the proceeding that lasted for about an hour.
Meanwhile, in the course of investigation, it was discovered that Hora had for long used false identity, amounting to another offence. Hora’s legal name, according to prosecution, is Sylvan Hagumamahoro.
“There are procedures of changing names but this man violated them. He further acquired a national ID using fake names, which is another offence,” said Rugambwa.
Hora pleaded ignorance.
“Considering the gravity of the crimes and also, considering that the suspect premeditated the murder, prosecution seeks a life sentence,” Rugamba prayed to the court.
Usually, a suspect who pleads guilty could get a lenient sentence depending on how the judge appreciates their defence. But prosecution is adamant the Bella murder case cannot pass for such leniency.
“Hora deserves no leniency considering how he hatched and executed his plan. Besides a life imprisonment, we request the court to strip him of all his civil rights,” Rugambwa said.
Court will rule on the case on Monday.