Legal Appeal for Rehabilitation by PS Imberakuri Party Founder, Bernard Ntaganda, in Rwanda’s High Court

Me Bernard Ntaganda

On February 26, 2024, in Kigali, Rwanda, Bernard Ntaganda, the President of the PS Imberakuri party, submitted a legal petition to the High Court seeking expungement of his criminal record. This action follows a previous attempt on March 4, 2019, when Ntaganda reached out to the High Court, requesting the utilization of its legal powers to clear his name, only to receive no response.

Bernard Ntaganda’s legal troubles trace back to a widely publicized trial in 2012, where he was sentenced to four years in prison on charges that included endangering national security, promoting divisionism, and organizing unauthorized protests, among other offenses. His arrest by Rwandan police on June 24, 2010, occurred amidst his presidential campaign efforts for the elections scheduled later that year, after being endorsed by his party’s congress.

Observers of Rwandan politics have often pointed out that Ntaganda’s arrest and subsequent conviction were politically motivated, aimed at eliminating him as a challenger to President Paul Kagame. This perspective suggests that his detention was part of a broader strategy by the ruling FPR INKOTANYI party to suppress opposition and maintain power, reflecting a lack of confidence in facing genuine electoral competition.

Despite facing significant obstacles and alleged harassment from the FPR INKOTANYI, Ntaganda has continued to demonstrate resilience and determination in political activism. In his latest move, he announced his intention to run against President Kagame in the upcoming presidential elections on July 15, 2024, and has requested the High Court to remove the legal barriers impeding his candidacy.