10.03.08 - RWANDA/GACACA - GACACA JUDGE KILLED IN ROAD ACCIDENT UNDER MYSTERIOUS CIRCUMSTANCES

Kigali, 10 March 2008 (FH) - Theophile Gatera, a presiding judge in the semi-traditional Gacaca courts, Nyarungunga sector, was killed earlier this month in road accident under mysterious circumstances. Having received a telephone call around 8 pm on 2 March, Gatera left on his motorcycle. A few minutes later, he was run over by a car which was pursuing him. An eye witness said that the driver of the car immediately fled the scene, explained a source at IBUKA, an association of genocide survivors. The deceased, a former member of the city advisory council, was renowned for his integrity and strictness in presiding over gacaca trials. "At the time of his death, he was in charge of case against a very rich and influential businessman... He had even convicted a cousin of the Prime Minister," added the Ibuka representative. Kigali police told Hirondelle that investigations were underway to arrest the culprit and the motive behind the crime. According to Dieudonne Kayitare, a member of the Ibuka's legal department, genocide survivors and witnesses are increasingly victims of insecurity often resulting into death. Besides Gatera's death, a survivor Maniragaba, alias Biryogo of Rutobwe, in the district of Kamonyi, was killed during the night of 3 or 4 March. Four suspects have been arrested and are helping in police investigations. The official bi-weekly Imvaho Nshya (meaning new approach towards truth), dated 6 March, mentioned also murder of Jacqueline Mukamanzi,a genocide survivor and the Executive Secretary in the Nyaruguru District, South Province on February 16. According to the newspaper, this murder could have been carried out under the instructions of her husband, with whom she had not lived shortly after the 1994 genocide. SRE/PB/SL/SC © Hirondelle News Agency
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Having received a telephone call around 8 pm on 2 March, Gatera left on his motorcycle. A few minutes later, he was run over by a car which was pursuing him.

An eye witness said that the driver of the car immediately fled the scene, explained a source at IBUKA, an association of genocide survivors.

The deceased, a former member of the city advisory council, was renowned for his integrity and strictness in presiding over gacaca trials.

"At the time of his death, he was in charge of case against a very rich and influential businessman... He had even convicted a cousin of the Prime Minister," added the Ibuka representative.

Kigali police told Hirondelle that investigations were underway to arrest the culprit and the motive behind the crime.

According to Dieudonne Kayitare, a member of the Ibuka's legal department, genocide survivors and witnesses are increasingly victims of insecurity often resulting into death.

Besides Gatera's death, a survivor Maniragaba, alias Biryogo of Rutobwe, in the district of Kamonyi, was killed during the night of 3 or 4 March. Four suspects have been arrested and are helping in police investigations.

The official bi-weekly Imvaho Nshya (meaning new approach towards truth), dated 6 March, mentioned also murder of Jacqueline Mukamanzi,a genocide survivor and the Executive Secretary in the Nyaruguru District, South Province on February 16.

According to the newspaper, this murder could have been carried out under the instructions of her husband, with whom she had not lived shortly after the 1994 genocide.

SRE/PB/SL/SC
© Hirondelle News Agency