September 19, 2023

What’s With The Kenyan University Lecturer Who Testified Against Dr Kayumba Christopher

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Njuguna Joseph, a Kenya, was director of the school of journalism at University of Rwanda. He is no longer and said to have since returned to Kenya.

As prosecution’s appeal against Dr Kayumba Christopher acquittal got underway at the High Court in Kigali, serious questions hung over one prosecution witness; a Kenyan University lecturer who was essentially Dr Kayumba’s work supervisor.

On this September 18, 2023, the Kigali High Court spent the entire day hearing arguments in the appeal against Dr. Kayumba.

It was announced when his legal troubles began that he had been suspended as lecturer at the University of Rwanda (UR) where he taught in the journalism school.

The prosecution, represented by two prosecutors, opened their submission by asking the judges for permission to bring a witness who is one of the victims of the alleged rape crimes so that she can be heard and potentially sway the emotions of the judges.

The three-judge trial panel rejected the prosecution’s request, instructing them to first explain the reasons for their appeal, and then if necessary, they may call the witness after the hearing begins.

The prosecution explained that the main reason for the appeal is that the Nyarugenge Intermediate Court ruled that the Prosecution case had shortcomings. Prosecution said lower court disregarded the statements of witnesses, and required a medical report which cannot be obtained due to the long time that has passed since the crime occurred.

The prosecution argued that the lower court should have analyzed the evidence given, including the statements of the witnesses, rather than seeking specific evidence. The state argues that the law does not mandate the court to require for particular evidence, but rather to assess if the evidence provided is sufficient.

The prosecution also made reference to precedents from France, where they demonstrated that courts concluded that the statements of witnesses can be relied upon for judgment.

Prosecution wants the High Court to quash the lower court’s acquittal of Dr Kayumba, and send him to jail for ten years and six months.

When his time came to respond to the prosecutors, Dr. Kayumba explained that the testimony of the prosecution’s witnesses is highly flawed and should be questioned. With the help of a video that shows the layout of his home and bedroom where he is alleged to have raped Yankurije Marie Gorette, Dr. Kayumba demonstrated discrepancies in the testimony of this witness.

For instance, she claimed in her allegations that her boss (as she was his housemaid) called her to come to the bedroom while she was cleaning the bathroom. However, according to Dr. Kayumba, this bathroom is already in his bedroom, which contradicts Yankurije’s testimony.

In that testimony, they also stated that on the morning in which Yankurije was first allegedly raped, no one else was at Dr. Kayumba’s home. Yet, they also claimed that Dr. Kayumba’s brother, surnamed ‘Doctor’, who had not spent the night in that house (now deceased), entered the room and found them in the act.

Dr. Kayumba wondered as to who opened the gate and other doors of the house for that said brother to enter the house. He also asked the court to inquire if the guest could possibly reach the place and immediately go to the bedroom of the owner of the house without permission.

Regarding Narindwa Fiona Muthoni, Dr. Kayumba once again revealed that this girl, who was his former student at the University of Rwanda, did not even know where he lived but was instead being used to frame him.

He pointed out that this girl’s testimony is also unclear because she does not explain well how she arrived there and how she left Dr. Kayumba. Such details are crucial in testifying about such crimes of sexual assault, said Kayumba. He emphasized that it is not clear how he may have tried to rape this young woman in 2017, but then in 2018 and 2019, she continued to invite him to her TV shows on CNBC television.

Dr Kayumba then turned on Njuguna Joseph, who was director of the school of journalism while Dr Kayumba was lecturer.

According to prosecution, Fiona did report her case to Njuguna because she was a student.

Speaking before the appeal panel of judges, Dr. Kayumba revealed that he and Njuguna had serious misunderstandings since 2015 because Dr. Kayumba was obtaining contracts from different institutions like RGB and Pax Press.

Apparently, Njuguna sought to have joint venture whereby they could cooperate on obtaining business contracts. Dr. Kayumba told the appeals hearing that he refused Njuguna’s proposal.

Armed with performance reports prepared by Njuguna for the university on him, Dr Kayumba presented the letters to court. The file also includes Njuguna’s letters summoning Kayumba to university at different times.

In the reports, Njuguna made different accusations to the university administration including that Dr Kayumba wasn’t supervising students well and had regularly missed staff meetings.

However, according to Dr Kayumba, there is no single mention of the attempted rape allegations supposedly brought to him by a student. The alleged incident happened in 2017, but Njuguna continued to file reports up to 2018.

How could it be possible that Njuguna, who had filed all manner of poor performance reports against Dr Kayumba, could leave out such a serious case of attempted rape of a student from the same faculty.

Dr. Kayumba Christopher once again asserted that all these prosecution charges against him are related to the political party he founded, RPD. He highlighted that case of someone named KAMARABA Salva who wrote on Twitter (now X) that although Dr. Kayumba had founded a political party, a friend of hers had claimed that Dr. Kayumba had tried to rape her. This came out just one day after Dr Kayumba announcing the foundation of his political party.

Dr. Kayumba said he regards Kamaraba Salva as a propagandist, so he is not surprised that she made such statements. He pointed out that the accusations against him also surfaced after a widespread campaign among all the people who knew him and those who worked for him at home.

For his part, Dr. Kayumba’s lawyer, Ntirenganya Seif Jean Bosco, highlighted article 134 of the penal code, which requires that the doctor’s report is the only evidence that could confirm whether there was rape.

After hearing both sides, the panel of three judges ruled that the witness and alleged victim Yankurije Marie Gorette, would be heard in camera (behind closed doors without members of public and media). Everyone, except those involved directly with case, was asked to leave.

After some time, it was announced to the waiting media outside that court would make a decision on October 26, 2023.

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