The Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) has received a letter from opposition politician Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza seeking the prosecution of researcher Tom Ndahiro.
In copy obtained by The Chronicles, Ingabire through her lawyer Gatera Gashabana accuses Ndahiro of insulting her, which she argues has undermined her public profile.
Ingabire says Ndahiro has published articles and social media posts which brand her as “infested with genocide ideology”.
A particular article was on May 13 published in two local sites titled “Kwemerera Ingabire Gukora Politiki Ni Uguhembera Genocide” (Permitting Ingabire to engage in politics is fomenting Genocide).
The lengthy piece is only one of the many Ndabiro has written on Ingabire ever since she surfaced on the political scene in Europe. Ndahiro continued when she returned to Rwanda in 2010, prosecuted and jailed by the Supreme Court, then pardoned by President Paul Kagame late last year.
Ingabire tells RIB that Ndahiro’s writings are public insults, defamatory and derogatory, which are criminal offenses as par Article 161 of the penal code.
It reads: “Any person who publicly insults another person, commits an offence. Upon conviction, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than fifteen (15) days and not more than two (2) months; a fine of not less than one hundred thousand Rwandan francs (FRW 100,000) and not more than two hundred thousand Rwandan francs (FRW 200,000); community service for a period of not more than fifteen (15) days or only one of these penalties.
Public insult referred to in Paragraph One of this Article is a sign, practice, statement or written document intended to deliberately and directly hurt another person.”
Its unclear why Ingabire did not directly file a case in the courts, instead reporting her concerns to RIB.
“We conclude by requesting [RIB) to investigate Tom Ndahiro over this offence for which he should also be punished to act as a deterrent against the bad vice of insulting and abusing,” reads the letter filed with RIB on July 22.
Observers have interpreted the filing as a tactic to put RIB, a government agency, on the spot, such that if no action is taken, it will show the public that RIB operates on double standards.
Ndahiro, a renowned researcher on the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi, has for years positioned himself as a virulent anti-genocide crusader. His writings and social media platforms are used in a constant battle with what he himself has dubbed as the “genocide negationist lobby”.
As a result, Ndahiro has armies of equally virulent enemies, all living outside Rwanda, who have called him all sorts of names. Just as he calls them out, they do pay in kind, with same fashion.
Below are the letters to RIB