Where is Assinapol Rwigara

KIGALI - Wanted prominent businessman, Assinapol Rwigara has today morning surrendered himself over to the Prosecutor General’s (PG) office and to the police. He is currently being held for interrogation.

BY GODWIN AGABA AND GASHEEGU MURAMILA

KIGALI - The whereabouts of prominent businessman Assinapol Rwigara remains controversial as government and family members accuse one another of hiding him.

Rwigara is being sought by police to answer charges over his construction site that killed three people and injured five.

On July 27, Police cornered Rwigara at a burial place in Kabusunzu, but he subsequently made a daring escape. Since then family members have alleged that he was arrested by police.

Diane Nshimimana, Rwigara’s daughter yesterday said, “He was taken by police at the funeral of Uziah. It’s now eighteen days since we lost him. We have no contact.”

Asked whether Rwigara could be abroad, Nshimimana said, “He can’t be abroad without our knowledge.”

Pastor Munyandamutsa, Rwigara’s elder brother and a lawyer said, “We are worried; up to now we do not know what to do. We are getting conflicting reports. We need government assistance.” Mama Diane, Rwigara’s wife refused to comment on anything. Prosecution froze all bank accounts belonging to Rwigara and cordoned off his factories.

Director of Criminal Investigation Department, Chief Superintendent Costa Habyara, said last week in his office that it was done to search his construction site, and that he has no other case as people are claiming.

Meanwhile, American based human rights activist group - Human Rights Watch- has said that the Rwandan government should account promptly for the whereabouts of city tycoon Assinapol Rwigara, and also assure due process rights to arrested generals Frank Rusagara and Sam Kanyemera Kaka.

The two military officers were arrested early this month on suspicion of having sabotaged police efforts to arrest wanted city tycoon Rwigara.

Rwigara is being sought by the police to answer charges over his construction site that killed three people.

In an interview with the Voice of America yesterday, Alison Des Forges, senior adviser to Human Rights Watch’s Africa division said that Rwanda has adopted laws to protect the rights of accused persons and it was the right time to make them work to defend the rights of Rwigara and the two generals.

In the same interview, Foreign Affairs Minister Dr Charles Murigande lashed out at the request by the group that Rwanda should investigate Rwigara’s disappearance.

Rwanda is not led by Human Rights Watch; it’s a sovereign state; it’s an elected government that won trust from the people, and it doesn’t act on decisions made by Human Rights Watch. It’s their right to do what they want but Rwanda will go ahead and do what it thinks is right for its people.”
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