Student held over ‘child-trafficking’

A first year student at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has been arrested for alleged involvement in child trafficking.

A first year student at Kigali Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) has been arrested for alleged involvement in child trafficking.

Harriet Namusoke is accused of having a hand in the disappearance of 15-year-old Annet Mutesi who is a daughter of a Kigali city pastor.

Mutesi is daughter to Pastor Charles Murenzi of the Shining Light Church. She reportedly went missing two weeks ago and Namusoke is accused of aiding her escape.

Namusoke was briefly held at Remera Police Post on Wednesday before she was transferred to Nyarugenge prosecution for interrogation.

She confirmed she had been arrested but temporarily released and would be reporting to the Nyarugenge prosecution every Friday.

She, however, dismissed the child trafficking allegations as baseless, saying Murenzi is simply framing her up to cover up his past ‘dirt’.

“I know Pastor Murenzi can’t sustain this case because it is not based on reality. He is harassing me so that I don’t expose his dark side,” Harriet said on Thursday soon after she released.

“A police woman who interrogated me said it was Pastor Charles Murenzi and his wife Pastor Jolly Murenzi who reported the case to Police. I don’t trade in people but the message is that I get intimidated and don’t reveal to the world their dirt tricks,” Namusoke said.

Pastor Murenzi deputises his wife Jolly who is the senior pastor of Shining Light Church in Gakinjiro, a Kigali Suburb.

Namusoke is one of tens of youths that broke away from the church following misunderstandings.On Thursday, an 18-year-old girl and former member of Shining Light Church walked to Criminal Investigation Directorate and made shocking allegations of how Pastor Murenzi harassed her sexually when his wife was away.

She alleged that Murenzi sexually harassed her and others. She claimed Namusoke is one of Murenzi’s victims before the girls decided to quit his church.

Namusoke said she is ready to tell the police her side of the story.

A source from the church claimed Mutesi ran away because Murenzi was mistreating her. She is reported to have escaped to Uganda and re-joined her grandmother who lives in Masaka District.

The New Times could not independently verify this claim by press time.

Namusoke was first held with Sylivia Gabura, a sister to Pastor Jolly Murenzi. But Gabura was released immediately.

Police spokesperson Willy Marcel Higiro said he was unaware about Namusoke’s alleged arrest. Pastor Murenzi was unavailable for a comment but his wife, Jolly, advised our reporters to keep away from their ‘family matters’.“I don’t have time for you and it seems you know where our daughter is since you seem to be having keen interest (in the case). Stop playing around and you had better be careful,” she said.

Namusoke was a member of the church’s dance group known as ‘World Changers’, of which Murenzi was patron.

But majority of the group’s members have since joined another church citing sexual harassment by Murenzi. Pastor Jolly has said that sexual harassment accusations against her husband are baseless.Ends

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