A woman who worked for Dr Christopher Kayumba as a maid, and is now accusing him of repeatedly raping her, doesn’t know how many rooms his house has – just one of the many bizarre inconsistencies in a case for which he could go to jail.
Dr Kayumba was arrested September 9 by RIB on accusations that two women had filed cases of rape.
One of them, Fiona Muthoni a journalist with CNBC Africa, claims Kayumba attempted to rape her in 2017. Apparently, she managed to run out of his house before he could accomplish his mission.
Another is Gorette Yankurije, who was a maid at Kayumba’s home.
Yankurije in narration given to investigators claims Dr Kayumba sexually abused her several times against her will in 2012.
On September 28, Kayumba appeared at the Kicukiro primary court where he was seeking bail, while prosecution wanted him detained for the customary 30 days as investigations continue. Despite his submissions, court concurred with the state and sent him to Mageragere prison.
From there, Kayumba filed an appeal which was heard this Thursday.
In the appeal, through his lawyer Ntirenganya Seif, Dr Kayumba pokes holes in the supposed testimony of the two women.
For the case of Fiona Muthoni, Dr Kayumba said all her claims are fabrications because it never happened. Kayumba says Muthoni is a project of “powerful” people who vowed to “criminally destroy” him if he didn’t renounce his political ambitions.
Back in March, two days after Kayumba had announced formation of the Rwandese Platform for Democracy (RPD), rape allegations surfaced. Muthoni came a few days later, narrating her allegations on Twitter.
As for the maid from Dr Kayumba home, her narration which prosecution has presented in court has been found to have various issues that, according to Kayumba and his defense lawyer show it was “poorly done fabrications”.
The woman doesn’t know how many rooms Dr Kayumba’s house has, despite working there for sometime.
The woman couldn’t say whether Dr Kayumba is circumcised or not.
In the prosecution narration, the woman doesn’t say which months exactly the rape episodes happened.
In his submission, defense lawyer Ntirenganya said for any rape case, the accusing side is by law expected to file medical documents and expert testimony which ascertain the rape allegations. For the Kayumba case, the prosecution dossier doesn’t have any of that.
The defense attorney also says prosecution deliberately excluded some crucial witness testimony from its file because those people were giving details that contradict its case against Kayumba.
The lawyer wants court to readmit the testimony of those witnesses who were omitted by prosecution.
In another of his interventions, Kayumba said what the prosecution has done is exactly the same tactics used by the government of ex-president Juvenal Habyarimana before 1994 against political critics. At this point, though, the presiding judged interjected telling Kayumba that he was out of order because comparing prosecutions between and during Habyarimana’s time isn’t part of his appeal.
Kayumba said he was warned by senior government officials, whom he didn’t name, that if he wanted to live in Rwanda, he must renounce the political party, and apologize to President Paul Kagame. He has said those officials told him to call a press conference to make that announcement.
Kayumba said forming a political party is a legal right and he didn’t commit any crime, and so couldn’t stop his work.
When its turn came, the prosecution said spent less than 5 minutes on the case, only saying Kayumba’s appeal doesn’t provide any legal grounds as to why he should be granted bail. And so, the prosecution reaffirmed its position that he shouldn’t allowed to return to society, only after his case has been substantively completed.
A few weeks after formation of RPD, its secretary for mobilisation, John Bosco Nkusi was arrested and has been in pretrial detention ever since. He is accused of cases including forming a criminal organisation, which the state says is unrelated to RPD party.
Another key aspect of this case is information supposedly provided to investigators by Njuguna Joseph, the former director of the school of journalism at University of Rwanda. As Kayumba’s supervisor, Njuguna confirmed that he had indeed received a complaint filed by Fiona against Kayumba alleging he had attempted to rape her.
In his defense, Kayumba has dismissed all the allegations as fabrications.
Kayumba spent a year in jail following conviction for causing disturbances at the Kigali International Airport. He denies the charges, and his appeal was dismissed. But it came when he had already completed his sentence.
He came out of jail in early December last year. A few weeks after, he penned two lengthy open letters to President Kagame in which he makes explosives allegations. The letters were published by The Chronicles.