The Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) has been constantly summoning Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza to its HQ since October last year – a feat she now says is in complete disregard of her rights.
The latest session took place this Thursday. In a video posted on her party DALFA Umurinzi’s YouTube channel, Ingabire says she was summoned to appear at RIB headquarters by Mbanzabugabo Michel who has been the one interrogating her even in previous.
“At 10am, I was at RIB where the reception informed me that Mbanzabugabo was in a meeting and that his colleague Kabare Jean de Dieu would meet me,” narrates Ingabire.
Ingabire says she returned outside in the parking lot to sit in her waiting car. After some 30 minutes, another RIB investigating officer arrived. Ingabire alleges she spent two-and-half hours in Kabare’s office seated there, and not talking to anyone.
After this long wait, Ingabire was told to move to the interrogation room. But as she moved out of the building to relocate to the new room, her driver saw her and ignited the car – probably thinking they were leaving.
She narrates: “I told the driver to switch off the car as I was now going for the interrogation. My driver was surprised, informing me that my lawyer Gatera Gashabana was here and left a while ago as the interrogation would be conducted in the afternoon.”
“How could I be kept there unaware my lawyer was around. Nobody also told me the interrogation session had been moved to the afternoon.”
At this point, when she demanded for explanation as to what was going on, Ingabire says the interrogating officer informed her the lawyer had been called back to RIB so that the session goes ahead.
Ingabire went back to Kabare’s office, who was himself not there as it was lunchtime. After another 30 minutes, Ingabire phoned her lawyer Gashabana wondering why it had taken him that long to arrive back.
“Gashabana responded that he had been informed the session begins at 2pm. I came to terms with the fact that they had lied to me. So I sat and waited,” says Ingabire.
The interrogation session began at 2:30pm and last about 30minutes. She narrates the questioning was about her party’s activities.
After the session was concluded, as the lawyer left, Ingabire was told by the RIB officer Kabare that she stays back for a scheduled meeting with RIB senior officials.
After another two hours, Ingabire was told the senior RIB officials are unavailable. The officers told Ingabire to return tomorrow morning (Friday) to meet the officials.
“Whenever I come to RIB, they tell me to wait for a meeting with RIB senior officials, which meetings never take place. For me I will as usual comply and return tomorrow morning,” narrates Ingabire.
The hard-talking politician given clemency in September 2018 by President Paul Kagame, accuses RIB of being part of deliberate government plan to curtail her activities by keeping her at RIB headquarters.
She said: “Usually before the interrogation session starts, the investigator reads you your rights including that you will not be subjected to physical or psychological torture in any form. However, what they are doing is contrary to the rights they read earlier.”
“Imagine from 10am up until 5:30pm, I was at RIB. How can you keep someone seated there not bothering whether they are thirsty or hungry.”
Ingabire’s routine appearance at RIB began in mid October last year, days after a deadly armed attack in Musanze district in which several people were killed and many others injured. The attackers, according to government, trekked from eastern DR Congo, via the dense Virunga national park, home of the prized mountain gorillas.
The video message is the first graphic detailed insight Ingabire has given about her alleged ordeal before RIB.