November 2, 2019

A Grandmother’s 10-Year Wait For Justice From Military


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Grandmother Mukabalisa Donatha displays picture of grandson for whom she has sought support from father without success

A former soldier being prosecuted for conniving with his sister to killer her husband in August, has a separate paternity case pending for over 10 years ago after he raped and impregnated a teenage girl.

On the morning of August 19, a man’s dead body was found in a locked car in Kinyinya suburb of Kigali. Within days, investigators’ trail led them to his wife Mukamazimpaka Shanitah. RIB said at the time that she had confessed to the murder, which was planned and executed with her brothers Janvier Kamayirese and Francois Habimana.

This Thursday November 1, the three were brought to Kaburahe III village, where the deceased lived, for the start of their public murder trial. The residents of the village and surrounding ones all abandoned their chores to attend the trial at a local ground.

Among the hundreds, was Mukabakisa Donatha. She had not come for the trial, instead was here to raise an alarm over her own plight.

Murder suspect Kamayirese is the father of her grandson. The paternity was decided following a DNA test ordered by a military court, which ordered Kamayirese to support the child. Years later, the granny has been to every possible office without anyone hearing her pain.

At the Thursday trial, after it was adjourned, she began shouting, which attracted attention of journalists. The cameras and recorders quickly swarmed her to hear her story.

“Am here to tell the world that it is not the first time Kamayirese Janvier and his family have committed a horrible crime,” she began narrating.

Ten years ago, a military court jailed Kamayirese, a Corporal, for five years over the paternity case. The court also ordered he pays Rwf 2.7m as child support to Makabalisa the grandmother.

The three murder suspects: Kamayirese Janvier is on the right

However, after two years, Kamayirese reappeared. Since then, the grandmother has not received the court-ordered child support, neither has she ever gotten any explanation as to how Kamayirese was freed from jail.

According to the granny, her 16year-old daughter was impregnated by Kamayirese when she was in senior one of high school. The girl left school to take care of the pregnancy. She gave birth to a baby boy.

Today, the boy child born from that pregnancy has recently started secondary school. It is the grandmother who has struggled to raise the boy. The granny also told journalists that her daughter is also back in school to continue her education.

“As you can see, the boy looks 100 percent exactly like his father,” said granny Mukabalisa as she displayed a picture of the grandson.

“I managed to meet the prosecutor here who promised to look into my case. That man (Kamayirese) has property which he hides to pretend that he has nothing. He has money but cannot help his son. I want justice before I died from old age. How did he leave prison anyway?”

Granny Mubakisa Donatha lives in Kadobogo village, Kagugu cell, Kinyinya sector, Gasabo district in Kigali.

The crowd gathered for the public trial

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