September 9, 2021

Kayumba Christopher Arrested Following President Kagame Comments


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President Paul Kagame while addressing the judiciary on Monday

Days after President Paul Kagame called for “costly” punishment for people involved in sexual abuse crimes, his team seems to have listened intently.

The Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) announced Thursday mid-afternoon that it had arrested Dr Christopher Kayumba, the founding president of political organization Rwandese Platform for Democracy (RPD).

On Monday September 6, in speech to the judiciary, President Kagame said he would like to see a concerted effort involving all agencies to deal with what he described as increasing crimes related to Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV) in the country.

“We should combine our efforts towards fighting these crimes and ensure that it reduces significantly,” he said at parliamentary buildings.

“The authors of this crime, their accomplices and those that protect them should face tough punishment. It must be made costly for anyone who attempts to do that.”

The next day on Tuesday following Kagame speech, a village head arrived at Kayumba’s house with a RIB summon. He was asked to appear on Wednesday, which he didn’t because his lawyer was not available.

Today, Kayumba arrived at RIB at 11am. He was questioned about two women, according to his lawyer.

The Chronicles has opted not to publish the names and other details of the women involved. The details will be released once made public in court.

Immediately, the RIB interrogators told Kayumba that he was under arrest. The agency issued a statement via Twitter saying the arrest followed “lengthy probe after different people” accused him of rape.

In mid March, Dr Kayumba launched RPD, through which he has been accusing government and its agencies of abusing democratic rights including arbitrary detentions and lack of basic freedoms.

Days later, rape allegations began emerging on social media. RIB interrogated him several times. At some point, they visited his home and took photographs of everything in his house including his clothes.

One young woman, CNBC Africa television journalist, Fiona Ntarindwa Muthoni claimed on Twitter that Dr Kayumba had in 2017 attempted to rape her. There was a hostile public reaction to the allegations, which she followed up with defense of her claims.  

Then the RIB interrogations stopped, for months, until the comments by President Kagame.

It is unclear at this point if the two situations are related.

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