PARLIAMENT - The office of Prosecutor General (PG) has dropped investigations against parliamentarian Jean Baptiste Zimulinda a month after the legislator’s immunity had been lifted.
Zimulinda, an MP for PSD party, had been under investigation over suspected forgery involving counterfeit Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA) documents.
“We have cleared him and already communicated it to Parliament,” PG Martin Ngoga said yesterday.He explained: “We didn’t find criminal responsibility on his part, but we have carried out arrests of two or three people who were trying to use his name.”
Ngoga said other people had used the legislator’s photographs and documents in the forgery case.When contacted yesterday, Zimulinda sounded relieved upon learning that he had been cleared. “I have got it from you though it doesn’t come as a surprise because all along I knew I was not guilty of anything,” he said.
He said the investigations started after a person whom he had sent to import a Rav4 from Dubai in his (Zimulinda’s) names, instead started to look for four number plates for cars he had reportedly bought from a public car auction, claiming that one of them belonged to the lawmaker.
“I gave him all the necessary items including two passport-size photos to import a car in my names, but I was shocked when I heard that he used my papers and photos to seek number plates for cars which he claimed had been bought from the auction of government cars in September, 2006. That man claimed that one of those cars was mine, two his and another for his sister,” the Chamber of Deputies legislator said.
He identified the man as Vincent Dushimimana, a businessman who imports cars. It was not possible by press time to establish whether Dushimimana was among those arrested, as Ngoga said some suspects had reportedly fled the country.
Under the Constitution, for an MP to be investigated the House must first lift their immunity. But this must follow a formal request to Parliament from the prosecution, and a written reply authorising the investigations.
Earlier in the month, MP Sam Kanyemera Kaka (RPF) was arrested after Speaker Alfred Mukezamfura responded positively to a request from the Military Prosecution.
Kaka, a retired army Brigadier General, is accused of having blocked three police officers from arresting Assinapol Rwigara on July 27 at a funeral in Kabusunzu, a Kigali suburb.
He is jointly accused with Brig. Gen. Frank Rusagara, and both men were recently granted bail by the Military Prosecution. However, Kaka challenges the circumstances under which his arrest was sanctioned as well as the competence of the military court to try him since he is no longer in active military service.
The prosecution asserts that the MP was an accomplice in the case involving Gen. Rusagara, an active military officer. The matter remains subject to the court’s pronouncement next month.
Rwigara, who had gone under ground after his building killed three people in a landslide accident in Kigali, later handed over himself to PG Ngoga, and is currently under detention.Ends