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Rwanda Government Critic Diane Rwigara Acquitted

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Diane Rwigara is a prominent critic of Rwanda's President Paul Kagame

A Rwandan court in the capital, Kigali, has acquitted government critic Diane Rwigara and her mother of charges of inciting insurrection and forgery.

Ms Rwigara was imprisoned for over a year, after being barred from running in presidential elections against the long-standing incumbent Paul Kagame and the 37-year-old opposition leader faced up to 22 years in prison for charges she said were politically motivated.

A three-judge panel told a packed room all the charges were “baseless”. Since her arrest, Ms Rwigara’s family have been subject to interrogations and their family assets forcibly auctioned. “I am very happy with the verdict,” said Ms Rwigara,who has been out on bail since October. “I am continuing with my political journey because there’s still a lot that needs to be done in our country.”

During the hearings, the businesswoman asserted that Rwanda’s economy was mainly controlled by the governing party’s elite. “Everything I talked about in the past has not been resolved. There are still many political prisoners in the country,” she told journalists after the high court ruling.

Ms Rwigara has repeatedly accused President Kagame of stifling dissent and criticised his party’s unyielding grip on power since it assumed control after the country’s civil war and it’s a big win for the young opposition leader. Diane Rwigara always maintained that the accusations against her were politically motivated.US politicians and human rights advocates urged the court to drop the charges and it did, citing lack of evidence.

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AFRICA FOCUS

We Will Kill You, Your Wife And Children – Burundi Police Chief Warns Opposition Members

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A senior Burundian police official has publicly threatened the lives of members of the main opposition party and their families, if they organise “clandestine meetings”, according to an audio recording heard by AFP Friday.

A senior Burundian police official has publicly threatened the lives of members of the main opposition party and their families, if they organise “clandestine meetings”, according to an audio recording heard by AFP Friday.

The threats were made by a provincial commissioner as the opposition National Congress for Freedom (CNL) party — the country’s second biggest political force — denounced “ferocious” repression suffered by its members since February.

“I would like to say to anyone who holds a clandestine nocturnal meeting at their home that… you will be attracting misfortune on your entire family,” Jerome Ntibibogora, commissioner of eastern Muyinga province, allegedly said at a public meeting in Gasogwe on Wednesday, according to the recording.

Several witnesses present confirmed the authenticity of the recording to AFP.

Ntibibogora said he had “explosive devices” and that it was “enough to throw two of them” into a house.

“If you want to disrupt security, I’ll finish with you there, and if you’re with your wife and children, you’ll go together,” he said in response to questions about a crackdown on CNL activists.

Contacted by AFP, the National Police and Interior Ministry declined to comment on the alleged remarks.

A government official, however, criticised “an excess of zeal” on the part of the commissioner.

“A police officer cannot make such comments because they do not correspond to government policy,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

Ntibibogora led the police in the southern districts of Bujumbura — the country’s capital until February — at the height of a 2015 crisis.

He was one of the leading figures in the crackdown on protests against the candidacy of President Pierre Nkurunziza for a controversial third term.

Burundi has been in turmoil since the president announced in April 2015 that he intended to stand again for the presidency. He was re-elected in July of that year.

The violence has claimed at least 1,200 lives and displaced more than 400,000 between April 2015 and May 2017, according to estimates by the International Criminal Court which has opened an investigation.

CNL spokesman Aime Magera condemned a “real manhunt” against party activists, claiming that 135 had been arrested since mid-February, mainly “on the pretext of holding unauthorised meetings”.

“Many of them were tortured including one who died of his wounds” in northeastern Kirundo province, while four others have been reported missing in central Gitega province, he said.

The incidents were confirmed to AFP by police sources, witnesses independent local media.

The CNL is due to hold a congress on Saturday in Bujumbura to appoint local officials.

“We want to remove the excuse he has put forward to explain these arrests, namely that our activists hold unauthorised, clandestine meetings because we do not have officially recognised local officials,” the spokesman added.

Source: AFP

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Kagame Critic Found Dead Mysteriously

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The deceased was Victoire Ingabire's (pictured) spokesperson. Courtesy photo

The spokesman for leading Rwandan opposition politician Victoire Ingabire has been found dead, a government official said on Sunday.

It was not immediately clear how 30-year-old Anselme Mutuyimana had died.

Twenty-five years after a genocide that killed an estimated 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus, Rwandan President Paul Kagame has won international praise for presiding over a peaceful and rapid economic recovery

But he has also faced mounting criticism for what human rights groups say are widespread abuses, a muzzling of independent media, and suppression of political opposition. He denies those charges.

Several dissidents have been found dead inside Rwanda and in exile in unsolved cases in recent years.

Rwandan authorities said they were investigating the death.

“The investigation has started. No suspects so far,” said the spokesman for the Rwanda Investigation Bureau, Modeste Mbabazi.

Mutuyimana’s elder brother Augustin Tubanambazi told Reuters that the body had no visible wounds, but had blood in its mouth.

In 2010, the Democratic Green Party’s vice president, Andre Kagwa Rwisereka, was found dead.

In 2014, exiled former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya was found murdered in a Johannesburg hotel room.

Ingabire, who returned from the Netherlands to contest a presidential election in 2010, had previously served six years of a 15-year sentence for inciting insurrection.

She said another official from her FDU-Inking party, Jean Damascene Habarugira, had been found dead two years ago and the crime had never been solved.

“We need justice,” Ingabire said.

She said witnesses had described men in police uniforms in a red car detaining Mutuyimana in the western Mahoko area.

Police did not return calls seeking comment on that report.

By Reuters




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Man Dies After Seventh Round In Sex Competition

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A middle-aged man, simply known as Davy, has died in a popular hotel in Ikotun area of Lagos State Nigeria during a sex competition with a lady identified as Loveth.

It was gathered that the late Davy had argued with Loveth on who can last longer in a sex bout.

Both claimed they were stronger and refused to admit defeat.

During the argument, Davy staked N50,000 on the condition that if Loveth defeats him during the romp, she will take the money.

Loveth agreed, moved into the hotel and booked for a chalet.

It was gathered that while the marathon sex lasted, Davy pulled through to the sixth round but Loveth was unshaken till the seventh round when he collapsed and died on top of her.

She then raised the alarm and contacted the hotel management, who handed her over to the Ikotun Police Division while the body of the deceased was deposited at an undisclosed hospital for autopsy.

Loveth was later transferred to the SCIID Panti, Yaba, where she told investigators what transpired between her and the late Davy. Thefate of Loveth will depend on the outcome of the autopsy.

 

Source: Guardian Nigeria




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