RWANDA: Two teachers are missing!

By Erasme Rugemintwaza

From 01/03/2022 until today, two teachers at the Groupe Scolaire de Muramba, in Gakenke District, Northern Province are missing. They are DUSABIMANA Eugene (32 years old, married) and NKORERIMANA Fabrice (28 years old). Their close relatives have just spent all these nine months in a relentless search, but no trace and above all no hope of finding them. What actually happened?

It all starts the day when Mrs MUREBWAYIRE Christine, member of the lower house of the Rwandan parliament, visiting the Groupe Scolaire de Muramba , slandered or rather cursed the imprisoned journalist Hassan CYUMA, wishing him to die in prison. Mrs MUREBWAYIRE Christine is known for her overly bold and extreme positions due to the psychological trauma caused by the death of her mother, killed by the Rwandan Patriotic Army in the wake of the wars against the Infiltrators (Abacengezi), and the life sentence of her father, a former soldier of Rwandan Army Forces before 1994, found guilty of the crimes of genocide and one of the indisputable, “qualified” commanders of the Abacengezi, according to his daughter MUREBWAYIRE Christine. On the fatal day of her visit, a small footage, condemning Hassan CYUMA to die in prison, has been sneakly taken and afterwards became viral on the social media. We are on 01/03/2022.

On this date of 01/03/2022, DUSABIMANA Eugène and NKORERIMANA Fabrice were arrested, under suspicion of having taken and disseminated on social networks, the short video of MUREBWAYIRE Christine’s speech condemning Hassan CYUMA to death. Recall that Hassan CYUMA is the nickname given to NIYONSENGA Dieudonné, owner of the YouTube channel ISHEMA TV. Hassan CYUMA is known for his outspokenness and his highly critical reporting of Rwandan authorities. He was sentenced to 7 years in prison, found guilty of a few grievances, the main one being related to the saga due to the abuses committed by the country’s security forces during the expropriation of the inhabitants of the Bannyahe slum, such as ” obstructing public works”, not to mention an accusation of having “humiliated state officials”, an accusation from however an obsolete law since 2019. MUREBWAYIRE Christine attacked Hassan CYUMA, because she found that, the latter is against the Unity and Reconciliation of Rwandans.

But initially four were arrested, namely DUSABIMANA Eugene, NKORERIMANA Fabrice, NDAYISABA Ildefonse, CYIZERE SANGANO Olivier, all teachers at the Groupe Scolaire de Muramba as confirmed by RURANGIRWA Ferdinand, headteacher of the school. A week later, NDAYISABA Ildefonse and CYIZERE SANGANO Olivier were released but DUSABIMANA Eugène and HAKORIMANA Fabrice remained detained incommunicado until now.

The close relatives of the latter two, namely the wife of DUSABIMANA Eugène, Mrs KAMIKAMUNTU Henriette and the mother of NKORERIMANA Fabrice say that they have had recourse, since 03/03/2022, to several administrative entities and security bodies, from the Station of Rwandan Investigation Bureau (RIB) of Cyabingo to the Ministry of Interior, asking for help in finding theirs. But in their field visit to analyze this case, submitted to them through letters of early June 2022, the agents of the Ministry of the Interior went first to the Groupe Scolaire de Muramba where the headteacher repeated that the two teachers were indeed arrested by the RIB agents and taken to the Cyabingo post, but when it came moment to collect the testimonies of two who were released to even say where they have been held for a whole week, they say it is impossible to know where they were sequestered. This automatically assumes that they were moved gagged, which is already torture. The agents of the Ministry then told to the relatives of the disappeared to approach the Chief of Police of Gakenke District. The DPC (District Police Commander) revealed that the two teachers are detained in Kigali by the high security authorities; that they are alive and that they will be released but that it was strictly forbidden to visit them. This happened in July 2022.

After two months of waiting, in November 2022, the Ministry of Interior replied to parents, this time that the two teachers, who were held at the headquarters of National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) have been released and sent home. But the disappointment was total when the NISS agents in the District of Gakenke told the parents (the wife of one and the mother of the other) that they had never received these people, especially since they did not investigate the case. But the Gakenke police say they know where these people are and that it is possible to visit them, even gave the appointment of the visit to the parents. But the absurd thing is that on the day of the appointment of the visit, the police said that it is impossible to make any visit to these people.

The Mayor of Gakenke District, Mr. NIZEYIMANA Jean Marie Vianney, meanwhile, claims to be aware of the problem, and promises that these teachers are alive and that one day or another they will return home.

Conclusion

Nine months of anguish, nine months of back and forth in the security authorities, nine months of family poverty, especially since the parents of these teachers are not entitled to salaries! Parents wonder, and everyone wonders the end of this thriller. Where are DUSABIMANA Eugene and NKORERIMANA Fabrice really: in the Police, in the RIB, in the NISS or simply ad patres? Is it really for this simple video story of the speech of this parliamentarian, MUREBWAYIRE Christine alias “KIRIHAHIRA”, that these two young people have been arrested and sequestered? The parents and all people are asking for justice.

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