Local leader arrested for assaulting residents

On 27 April 2020 at 07:47

Police in Nyaruguru District has arrested Valens Kayigamba, the executive secretary for Nyamirama Cell in Ngoma Sector, in connection with assaulting residents whom he accused of witchcraft.

Kayigamba is one of the three ringleaders connected to the violent assault of a 95 year old woman and her two daughters, on April 23.

Chief Inspector of Police (CIP) Sylvestre Twajamahoro, the Police spokesperson for the Southern region, explained that in the morning of April 23, the three victims, while in the neighboring Gisagara District, were intercepted by residents of Nyaruteja Cell in Nyanza Sector alleging that they had come to their village to practice witchcraft.

"One of the local security personnel in Urugomero village where the three women were intercepted by residents, identified as Sibomana, trounced on the women together with other people and started beating them," CIP Twajamahoro said.

"They later called Kayigamba as the local leader for the cell where the women live. Unfortunately, Kayigamba together with other residents in his area, when he picked the women, also beat them over witchcraft. Some responsible residents reported the unlawful act to the Police, which prompted the arrest of Kayigamba," he added.

Kayigamba has since been handed over to Rwanda Investigation Bureau at Kibeho station.

CIP Twajamahoro further said that law enforcement organs are still searching for other two ringleaders, including Sibomana and one Evariste Minani.

The victims are also receiving medical treatment, he said.

"Self-administered justice is unlawful and punishable by law. It’s intentional assault or battery punishable under article 121 of the law determining offences and penalties in general in Rwanda."

"A crime can’t be rectified by another crime. The justice sector is there to ensure that when a crime is committed, professionals and accredited institutions handle it appropriately. When you take matters in your own hands, you will have committed a crime and you will be equally held accountable."

CIP Twajamahoro advised the public against taking matters in their own hands and called for continued partnership in exchange of information on suspected criminals to fight and prevent crimes and bring offenders to justice.