Controversial figure Ingabire Umuhoza Victoire is back with her political activities – some of which could lead her to commit offences that may result in her losing her presidential clemency.
Yesterday, Ingabire, who heads a political group FDU-Inkingi, led a delegation to Nyanza district in southern Rwanda to attend trial of 10 suspects facing terror charges.
They are facing charges of belonging to criminal enterprise and planning acts that undermine the security of the state – putting them up for long prison terms if convicted.
Ingabire was with Bernard Ntaganda, another figure who spent 4 years in jail for endangering national security, inciting ethnic divisions – and attempting to organize demonstrations without official authorization.
The duo, along with the more than a dozen other people on the delegation to Nyanza, were donning pink items such as ribbons, neck scarfs, neckties and shirts.
The pink campaign goes back years. During Ingabire’s length trial back in 2010, which lasted until December 2013 from lower court to Supreme Court, Ingabire wore the pink color prison dresses. She coupled it with a pink scarf.
In protest to support Ingabire, her followers often staged sit-ins outside the court sessions also wearing different pink items. The same was done by those in Netherlands led by her husband, mother and eldest daughter.
The pink campaign was continued during the years Ingabire was in jail until she was granted presidential clemency in September last year. No such actions had taken place February 12.
It seems Ingabire has relaunched the pink color actions. Since February 12, she has been leading the same group with the pink symbols to the Nyanza court.
Among the conditions of her clemency, she is not barred from engaging in politics. But she could commit a crime from what she says like it happened before which led to her conviction on denying the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi and other serious crimes.
In addition, Ingabire is mobilizing people to hold gatherings which do not seem to have been granted permission by the Police.
In her clemency, Ingabire must report her place of residence to the prosecutor and seek authorisation before leaving the country.
She is also supposed to report to the same prosecutor once every month.
Back in the court in Nyanza, the 10 suspects filed a petition on February 18 when they last appeared, asking court to grant them bail.
Through their lawyer, Me. Gatera Gashabana – who incidentally was Ingabire and Rwigara family defense attorney, the suspects argue that denying them bail is contrary to legal precedence already on the books.
“Why should my clients be treated differently from the Rwigaras by refusing them bail yet they face similar charges and the law provides that a suspect is innocent until proven guilty,” argued lawyer Gashabana, at the time.
The court is yet to decide.