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Rwanda Forensic Detectives Exhume Body Over Disputed Paternity




On Monday, a specialised team composed of forensics experts, crime scene detectives and other unidentified officials drove in a convoy for two hours to Nyamiyaga village in Gicumbi district for a special mission.

Taarifa has established that this team had gone to the home of parents of cyclist champion Bertin Mukarukundo that recently featured in part of our investigative series on the Rwanda Cycling Federation (Ferwacy).

As expected, the residents of this neighbourhood were suspicious and started gathering closer to this home.  Inside the house, Mukarukundo was also present while the mother was seen holding talks with the team.

Several minutes later, the mother led the team to a portion in the banana plantation and pointed at a place where a baby was buried two years ago. A highly suspicious crowd of members of the village grew bigger and bigger.

This joint team of members of Rwanda Forensic Laboratory (RFL), Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and National Public Prosecution Authority (NPPA) sealed off this portion with crime scene tape and asked the crowding residents to leave.

Works to dig at this spot begun. It was a grave site where Mukarukundo’s baby lay to rest but two years later this would be a sorrowful, hurting moment for her as these experts exhumed her baby’s body.

Mukarukundo was a burgeoning cyclist winning competition after competition since 2016 when she emerged the best female cyclist in Gicumbi district and was later transferred to Kigali to be a founder member of Inyemera team.

While in Kigali where she received specialised training with other girls from various districts in the country, she got pounced on by her coach and was subjected to forced sex that resulted into pregnancy.

She informed Inyemera team President Ancile Munyenkaka and Ferwacy management and returned to Gicumbi district where she gave birth to a healthy baby girl but two days later mysteriously died. She left the hospital without a postmortem document and not anything at least to indicate cause of death to her baby as would be required of any health facility.

Munyenkaka who also hails from the same district and living close to Mukarukundo’s home, did not show up at hospital or at funeral as culturally and morally required. Ferwacy which was aware of this entire process Mukarundo was going through did not show any support or remorse as required.

Inyemera cycling team coach Straton Nzabazumutima allegedly responsible for forcing Mukarukundo into sex and resultant pregnancy, had admitted before the team management committee meeting that he was ready to provide all necessary support to his housemate (Mukarukundo)- But he has never respected his promise till today.

During the funeral, Nzabazumutima never turned up in capacity as team coach or as alleged father of the baby. In our investigations, Mukarukundo told Taarifa that while she was home pregnant, Nzabazumutima once called her mother and pleaded with her to ‘never take up things to police’ and sent her Rwf10000 which he termed as ‘baby’s milk’.

Mukarukundo tried pursuing this matter with authorities and somehow managed to have Nzabazumutima apprehended but was released after spending few days in police custody.

She didn’t know why he was released without any court process but was informed by a one Emmanuel Murenzi (Technical Director) that it had been found there was no substantial implicating evidence against the cycling coach.

Murenzi is among a list of persons copied in an email sent on May 16th 2017, to Aimable Bayingana the Ferwacy Pesident bringing to their attention of a sexual abuse incidence in which cycling coach Nzabazumutima was involved with.

There was no follow up despite several attempts by Mukarukundo seeking justice from within the federation. She later learnt that Nzabazumutima was denying responsibility and Instead Bayingana the Federation President hired him to coach Muhazi cycling team as Inyemera cycling team got disbanded.

With Inyemera cycling team dismantled, Mukarukundo couldn’t return to cycling and remained hopeless and had a short stint with Karongi cycling team but also dropped out after being provided a contract with complex clauses.

By the time Taarifa came into contact with this cycling champion that seemed helpless, she was engaged in a part time small income job in Karongi district.

Detective from Rwanda Forensic Laboratory (RFL) collects samples from the grave in Gicumbi district

Justice Minister Johnston Busingye had earlier over the weekend announced that Nzabazumutima was re-arrested as investigations into this matter were re-opened two years later.

Again early on Tuesday, Minister Busingye warned that Criminal Investigations have been taken to another level of sophistication and that Gender Based Violence inquiries were seriously being stepped up.

“Offenders will deal with lots of heat,” the Minister said, adding that a joint NPPA, RIB and RFL team had taken samples from a long deceased person in investigation of a GBV case involving the paternity of the person.

Campaign Against Sexual Abuse

According to the Ministry of Health’s 2017 survey (Violence against Children), it was found that 48% of those aged 18-24 and 51% of those aged 19-24 reported pregnancy as a result of unwanted sex.

In total, more than quarter of a million children are victims of child labour and sexual abuse in Rwanda.

In October, the Rwanda Patriotic Front Party convened to elect its National Youth Leadership governing committee and one of the main concerns highlighted was unwanted pregnancies among the youths.

“We must focus our efforts on protecting the lives of young people,” said Joseph Tuyisenge, RPF Youth League President.

In 2018, Rwanda launched a five-year nationwide campaign dubbed ‘It Takes every Rwandan To End Child Exploitation’ Campaign aimed at bringing different actors together to relentlessly advocate for an end to child labour and sexual abuse.

Under this campaign everyone is required to highlight this violence when it occurs and hold those responsible to account and to work with victims to make their stories and voices heard.

Government experts warned that victims of sexual abuse especially young girls and boys are forever left scarred physically, emotionally, and psychologically.

Cycling Coach Re-arrested Over 2016 Sexual Abuse Case

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Rwanda Police Chief Briefs 240 Officers Ahead Of S. Sudan Deployment



The Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dan Munyuza, on Tuesday, March 9, briefed 240 police officers set to be deployed for peacekeeping duties under the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

The pre-deployment briefing of the hybrid Formed Police Unit-One (FPU-1) contingent was held at the Rwanda National Police (RNP) General Headquarters in Kacyiru.

The contingent commanded by Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Faustin Kalimba, will replaced the same number in Malakal, Upper Nile State where they will be largely charged with protection of civilians in internally displaced camps, UN personnel, security of key installations and humanitarian assistance, among others.

IGP Munyuza urged the officers to use their experience and the high level of training acquired to execute their peacekeeping mandate effectively.

He further reminded them that they will work with other peacekeepers from different countries and they will have to exercise respect of diversity.

“Learning will be continuous throughout your tour-of-duty, use your experience to build on what your predecessors achieved, cooperative with other peacekeepers in the mission area and respect the people under your protection as well as their culture,” IGP Munyuza emphasized.

He urged them to keep up the good conduct and protect the image set by previous contingents adding that ” you are representing your country, be at the best of your performance.”

“Your country and Rwanda National Police in particular, have full trust in you, resilience and sacrifice are key. Remember, your conduct and professionalism will depict the image and values of Rwandans, ensure your performance is exceptionally good and maintain the same spirit to the end of your mission,” said IGP Munyuza.

The Police Chief reminded them that Rwandan peacekeepers are defined by their professionalism, discipline, teamwork, integrity, values and alertness, and urged them to keep the momentum to “maintain and protect the image and reputation.”

He emphasized that respecting each other and their superiors in particular, discipline, hard work, teamwork, dignity and respect for diversity are strong guiding values and principles which will help them towards mission excellence.

IGP Munyuza appealed to the officers to maintain the spirit of supporting others and to engage in human security activities with the local people they are mandated to serve.

‘’Participating in human security activities is our culture as Rwandans, you should not only conduct peacekeeping duties just to maintain peace and security. It goes beyond that as our tradition to work towards the overall wellbeing of the people,” IGP Munyuza said.

As the wolrd is still faced with the pandemic of COVID-19, the Police Chief reminded them to always observe all health guidelines including wearing face masks, avoiding shaking hands, washing hands and practicing social distancing, among others.

This will be the sixth rotation of FPU-1 hybrid since the first one was deployed in South Sudan in 2015.

It is also one of the three Rwandan FPU contingents currently deployed in South Sudan.

Currently, RNP maintains over 1000 police peacekeepers in various UN missions, including six contingents serving in UNMISS and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilization Mission in the Central African Republic (MINUSCA).

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Chinese Companies Win Tender to Construct Railway From Mwanza to Isaka 



The Standard Gauge Railway from Mwanza to Isaka in neighbouring Tanzania will be constructed by two Chinese Companies that have won a lucrative tender for this job.

Prof. Palamagamba Kabudi Tanzania’s foreign minister said on Thursday during a presser on the eve of the Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi’s two-day visit to Tanzania.

The Mwanza-Isaka railway stretch will cover a distance of 341 kilometres and construction is estimated to cost TShs3 trillion will be handled by China Civil Engineering Construction (CCEC) and China Railway Construction Company (CRCC).

The Tanzanian government through the Tanzania Railway Corporation (TRC) is constructing a 2,561Km SGR network that links Dar es Salaam, Mwanza, Kigoma, Katavi and neighboring countries of Rwanda, Burundi Uganda and DRC.

The over Sh7 trillion project is being implemented in phases with the first round covering 202km between Dar es Salaam and Morogoro, was initially scheduled to be ready by November 2020 but heavy rains disrupted construction works.

Construction of the first and the second phase is being undertaken by Turkish construction company, Yapi Markez.

The first phase will have six main stations at Dar es Salaam, Pugu, Soga, Ruvu, Ngerengere and Morogoro, with the Dar es Salaam and Morogoro stations being the largest.

The second phase which is under implementation involves 422km between Morogoro and Makutupora in Singida with the project set to be completed within 36 months at a cost of $1,924 billion.

The railway is East Africa’s fastest and will use electricity to move trains will travel at 160km per hour and transport 10,000 tonnes of freight which is equivalent to 500 cargo trucks.

Upon completion, the SGR project is expected to payback the investment value after 15 years.

In October 2020, Tanzania government signed $60 million (about Sh138 billion) contract with a South Korean firm to supply trains for the standard gauge railway (SGR).


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Trump Attacks Election Integrity As Biden Nears 270 Electoral College Votes



President Donald Trump is testing how far he can go in using the trappings of presidential power to undermine confidence in this week’s election against Joe Biden, as the Democrat contender gained ground in tight contests in some key battleground states.

With his pathway to re-election appearing to shrink, Trump has advanced unsupported accusations of voter fraud to falsely argue that his rival was trying to seize power. Thursday’s moves amounted to an extraordinary effort by a sitting American president to sow doubt about the democratic process.

“This is a case when they are trying to steal an election, they are trying to rig an election,” Trump said from the podium of the White House briefing room.

The president’s remarks deepened a sense of anxiety in the U.S. as Americans enter their third full day after the election without knowing who would serve as president for the next four years.

His statements also prompted a rebuke from some Republicans, particularly those looking to steer the party in a different direction in a post-Trump era.

Electoral college magic number

Neither candidate has reached the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. But Biden eclipsed Trump in Wisconsin and Michigan, two crucial Midwestern battleground states, and has been inching closer to overtaking the president in Pennsylvania and Georgia, where votes are still being counted. It remains unclear when a national winner will be declared after a long, bitter campaign dominated by the coronavirus and its effects on Americans and the national economy.

On Wednesday, The U.S.set another record for daily confirmed cases as several states posted all-time highs. The pandemic has killed more than 233,000 people in the United States.

Rising tensions

Biden spent Thursday trying to ease tensions and project a more traditional image of presidential leadership. After participating in a coronavirus briefing, he declared that “each ballot must be counted.”

“I ask everyone to stay calm. The process is working,” Biden said. “It is the will of the voters. No one, not anyone else who chooses the president of the United States of America.”


Biden’s victories in the upper Midwest put him in a strong position, but Trump showed no sign of giving up. It could take several more days for the vote count to conclude and a clear winner to emerge. With millions of ballots yet to be tabulated, Biden already had received more than 73 million votes, the most in history.

Trump’s erroneous claims about the integrity of the election challenged Republicans now faced with the choice of whether to break with a president who, though his grip on his office grew tenuous, commanded sky-high approval ratings from rank-and-file members of the GOP.

Lawsuits and late mail-in ballots

Trump’s campaign engaged in a flurry of legal activity to try to improve the Republican president’s chances, requesting a recount in Wisconsin and filing lawsuits in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Georgia. Judges in Georgia and Michigan quickly dismissed Trump campaign lawsuits there on Thursday.

Trump has held a small edge in Georgia, though Biden has been gaining on him as votes continue to be counted. The same is true in Pennsylvania, where Trump’s lead had slipped to about 22,000 votes — and the race is destined to get tighter.

One reason is because elections officials were not allowed to process mail-in ballots until Election Day under state law. It’s a form of voting that has skewed heavily in Biden’s favour after Trump spent months claiming without proof that voting by mail would lead to widespread voter fraud.

Mail ballots from across the state were overwhelmingly breaking in Biden’s direction. A final vote total may not be clear for days because the use of mail-in ballots, which take more time to process, has surged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The Trump campaign said it was confident the president would ultimately pull out a victory in Arizona, where votes were also still being counted, including in Maricopa County, the state’s most populous area.

The AP has declared Biden the winner in Arizona and said Thursday that it was monitoring the vote count as it proceeded.


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