Dushimirimana Antoinette under arrest, her husband disappeared or fled?

By Ben Barugahare

Recently, there was reported that the youtuber Shyaka Gilbert and his wife Dushimirimana Antoinette attempted to flee the country but were intercepted by the police allegedly intending to cross the Gatuna border while per their version they were going to be part of a burial in the area.The husband succeeded to escape from them but the wife was arrested and released a week later. The Rwanda Investigation Bureau recently declared having rearrested her because she was tempting to illegally leave the country allegedly to join her husband who would be in Uganda. Is Shyaka really in Uganda? What are charges against his wife? The present article strives to analyze such questions.

Dushimirimana Antoinette, who made serious charges in a popular YouTube video last month, is presently detained and facing prosecution for attempting to unlawfully cross the border.According to the Immigration and Emigration Directorate, the woman was apprehended on September 29 after attempting to enter Uganda via an ungazetted border route with her husband. This account differs from what has been extensively circulated on social media.Late in August, reports surfaced on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube that YouTuber Gilbert Shyaka, who managed the “Ijwi ry’Imfubyi” channel, had vanished.A lady known as Dushimirimana Antoinette surfaced in a popular YouTube video weeks later, around September 23rd, claiming to be Shyaka’s wife. The lady said she had sent President Paul Kagame a letter appealing with him to assist her in finding her husband, who had gone missing and had been kidnapped by security forces.The lady said she, too, had been “kidnapped” and tortured by her captors, detailing gruesome aspects of her ordeal. She said the people holding her were Rwandan security forces. The viral video and accompanying facts concerning Shyaka elicited no government response. Around September 29, further stories of Dushimirimana’s disappearance appeared, primarily disseminated by Rwandan refugees. They said she had been kidnapped once more, just like her husband. Their situation has also become the subject of a social media campaign.

Government officials announced in local media today that Dushimirimana was detained and will be taken before a court for prosecution soon. The Prosecutor General’s office is planning to prosecute Dushimirimana with immigration violations under Article 44 of the immigration legislation, according to the Immigration Directorate. She might be sentenced to six months in jail and fined Rwf 1 million. Dushimirimana was apprehended on September 29 along with two men who were assisting her transit from Rwanda into Uganda at a porous spot on the now-closed border, according to government reports.

Dushimirimana was apparently attempting to track down her spouse, who, according to police, had successfully escaped to Uganda on August 23. On August 22, the two (husband and wife) allegedly arrived in a car at the major Gatuna border crossing into Uganda, but were sent back. The spouse crossed the border the next day at an ungazetted spot on the heavily guarded border.According to official sources, Dushimirimana the wife was apprehended on the same day her husband entered Uganda. Those appear to be the days she was detained, during which she says the abuse she was subjected to in the famous YouTube video. She had also attempted to enter the border illegally, according to officials.

The interference of igihe.com a pro-governmental media in the case of Shyaka Gilbert prompts any analyst to to believe that there is eel under the rock and think the worst has happened.

A contradiction about the post he crossed

Per Igihe which is media pro Kigali regime, Shyaka Gilbert succeeded to flee to Uganda thanks to fraudsters operating at Cyanika level and identified their names while it is said that he escaped from the police at the same time he noted that he was trying to cross the Gatuna border post. Anyone who knows Rwanda would see a contradiction in this because the two border posts are not at all close, one being in the district of Musanze the other located in the district of Gicumbi so that at least 200 kilometers separate the two localities.

It would then be wondered how under police track involving GPS and other sophisticated tools Shyaka Gilbert managed to reach the Cyanika border post after having traversed this space without being spotted.

Grounds to prosecute Dushimirimana Antoinette

Per Article 44 of the law n°57/2018 of 13/08/2018 on immigration and emigration in Rwanda establishing  general provisions on offences of non-compliance with immigration and emigration laws, any person who assists a foreigner when he/she knows or ought to know that such a foreigner is an irregular immigrant in Rwanda; invites a foreigner or covers him/he when he/she knows that such a foreigner is violating this Law;  prevents an immigration officer from fulfilling his/her duties; causes to cross or attempts to cross the border post or any other authorized place without clearance of an immigration officer;  causes to cross or attempts to cross through unauthorized place; assists another person to obtain what he/she is not entitled to under this Law;  covers any offence provided for under this Article, commits an offence. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than thirty (30) days and not more than six (6) months or a fine of not less than five hundred thousand Rwandan francs (FRW 500,000) and not more than one million Rwandan francs (FRW 1,000,000) or both. A foreigner convicted of the offence provided for under Paragraph One of this Article may be ordered by the Directorate General of Immigration and Emigration in Rwanda to leave Rwanda after serving his/her penalty or paying the fine imposed on him/her by the court.

With this provision, Rwandan citizens unknowingly become prisoners of their country. Indeed, the RIB declared that this lady was escaping from the country as if we are obliged to stay inside without freedom of movement. People erroneously compared the case of late Kizito Mihigo fleeing the country with the case of Dushimirimana Antoinette allegedly caught intending to pass the border of Cyanika. The two cases are practically different because the late was under judicial control according to the presidential mercy he had benefitted from while that lady was not under arrest and as other citizens was entitled to leave the country and come back as she sees fit. 

Shyaka Gilbert dared to hold his father’s executioners to account and it probably cost him his life. Indeed, the persecution against anyone who raises the case of crimes committed by the RPA is an appropriate response especially as it can arouse the accusations of double genocide feared by the regime which would then become the sprinkler, then watered. The regime always avoid this charge since the former prosecutor of ICTR Mrs. Carla del Ponte tempted opened this dossier; and the regime narrowly escaped thanks to the United States which demanded the exclusion of the brave woman from the ICTR. The effective settlement of this issue lies with the UNSC and other superpowers of this world and not to simple citizens who are automatically repressed by the dictatorial regime of Kigali.