03.09.08 - RWANDA/JUSTICE - GACACA; ‘NZIRORERA TOOK PART IN LAUNCHING OF HUTU POWER'

Kigali, 3 September 2008 (FH) - Joseph Nzirorera, currently on trial before the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), directed, in November 1993, a meeting to launch "Hutu Power", a radical faction allegedly to gather all the Hutus in each political party, explained publicly during his trial before a gacaca jurisdiction Grégoire Nyirimanzi, an advisor in the Nyakabanda sector, in Kigali, during the genocide.

"Around November 1993, explained Nyirimanzi before the gacaca court of Nyakabanda, Nzirorera, the general secretary of the MRND, the party of President Juvénal Habyarimana, directed a meeting at the Baobab Hotel to explain to us Hutu Power and its implantation in all the political parties. The message was that the Hutus were to rise as one against the Inkotanyi enemy and all his acolytes".

At this meeting, whose participants were selected, according to the witness, Nzirorera was accompanied in particular by the minister of commerce and member of the Liberal party (LP), Justin Mugenzi, and Froduald Karamira, who came from the Democratic Republican Movement (MDR).

Mugenzi is on trial at the ICTR, whereas, Karamira, convicted by a Rwandan court, was executed in April 1998.

Then collector of communal finances at the Nyamirambo market (Kigali), Nyirimanzi was promoted from one day to another adviser of the Nyakabanda sector. The allegations against him are as serious as numerous: planning meetings of the genocide, murder of all the people killed in Nyakabanda, including Spéciose Mukakimenyi and her children, creating a list of Tutsis to be killed, sensitizing and follow up on the progress of the genocide, detention and distribution of weapons.

In addition to his participation in the birth of the radical Hutu Power movement, he lived by the genocide ideology; the defendant admits to his mobility between April and July 1994. He also confesses to not having been able to do anything for all the victims, but rejects any responsibility in the murders. "I was not present at the moments and places of these crimes", he reacted, for the 2 months that has lasted his trial in revision.

Spéciose Mukakimenyi, that Nyirimanzi is accused of having had killed and who survived after 6 years of hospitalization, does not miss one hearing of the trial, in spite of her injuries. Supported by her crutches, she confided to the Hirondelle Agency: "My children were sequestered at the office of the sector and were killed by Grégoire. He must answer for it! ".

Before these proceedings in revision before the court of Nyakabanda, Nyirimanzi was acquitted in first instance, then in appeal by another gacaca court.

Amidst his co-defendants, appears, inter alia, Hermann Rushigajiki, a former collaborator of the former prefect of the city, Tharcisse Renzaho, who awaits his verdict at the ICTR.

All his co-defendants, prisoners like him, came to testify against him. In addition to the crimes which he is formally accused, all accused him of having created "a network of corruption and of intimidation, a structure of false charges to accuse scapegoats that we acquitted for the most part", confided a gacaca judge to the Hirondelle Agency, in lack of debate.

"For lack of evidence, the accused Demokarasi Sudi and Hassan Kabesha are acquitted and free as of now. The Rushigajiki, Nyirimanzi and Kaboneye trial will resume on Sunday 29 September 2008", announced the bench after deliberation.

The session of this Sunday 31 August is closed and the prisoners can return to prison.

Imperturbable during all the course of the hearing, the former adviser is now worried. "Let us leave quickly from here, I see some who can stone us", he asks the prison guard who came with them. Questioned by the Hirondelle Agency on the reasons for his fears, he answers laconically: "one never knows! ".

SRE/ER/PB/MM

© Hirondelle News Agency
4 min 35Approximate reading time

"Around November 1993, explained Nyirimanzi before the gacaca court of Nyakabanda, Nzirorera, the general secretary of the MRND, the party of President Juvénal Habyarimana, directed a meeting at the Baobab Hotel to explain to us Hutu Power and its implantation in all the political parties. The message was that the Hutus were to rise as one against the Inkotanyi enemy and all his acolytes".

At this meeting, whose participants were selected, according to the witness, Nzirorera was accompanied in particular by the minister of commerce and member of the Liberal party (LP), Justin Mugenzi, and Froduald Karamira, who came from the Democratic Republican Movement (MDR).

Mugenzi is on trial at the ICTR, whereas, Karamira, convicted by a Rwandan court, was executed in April 1998.

Then collector of communal finances at the Nyamirambo market (Kigali), Nyirimanzi was promoted from one day to another adviser of the Nyakabanda sector. The allegations against him are as serious as numerous: planning meetings of the genocide, murder of all the people killed in Nyakabanda, including Spéciose Mukakimenyi and her children, creating a list of Tutsis to be killed, sensitizing and follow up on the progress of the genocide, detention and distribution of weapons.

In addition to his participation in the birth of the radical Hutu Power movement, he lived by the genocide ideology; the defendant admits to his mobility between April and July 1994. He also confesses to not having been able to do anything for all the victims, but rejects any responsibility in the murders. "I was not present at the moments and places of these crimes", he reacted, for the 2 months that has lasted his trial in revision.

Spéciose Mukakimenyi, that Nyirimanzi is accused of having had killed and who survived after 6 years of hospitalization, does not miss one hearing of the trial, in spite of her injuries. Supported by her crutches, she confided to the Hirondelle Agency: "My children were sequestered at the office of the sector and were killed by Grégoire. He must answer for it! ".

Before these proceedings in revision before the court of Nyakabanda, Nyirimanzi was acquitted in first instance, then in appeal by another gacaca court.

Amidst his co-defendants, appears, inter alia, Hermann Rushigajiki, a former collaborator of the former prefect of the city, Tharcisse Renzaho, who awaits his verdict at the ICTR.

All his co-defendants, prisoners like him, came to testify against him. In addition to the crimes which he is formally accused, all accused him of having created "a network of corruption and of intimidation, a structure of false charges to accuse scapegoats that we acquitted for the most part", confided a gacaca judge to the Hirondelle Agency, in lack of debate.

"For lack of evidence, the accused Demokarasi Sudi and Hassan Kabesha are acquitted and free as of now. The Rushigajiki, Nyirimanzi and Kaboneye trial will resume on Sunday 29 September 2008", announced the bench after deliberation.

The session of this Sunday 31 August is closed and the prisoners can return to prison.

Imperturbable during all the course of the hearing, the former adviser is now worried. "Let us leave quickly from here, I see some who can stone us", he asks the prison guard who came with them. Questioned by the Hirondelle Agency on the reasons for his fears, he answers laconically: "one never knows! ".

SRE/ER/PB/MM

© Hirondelle News Agency