By: Jennifer Fierberg, MSW
On 13th July 2012 Mr. Frank Habineza, President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda published a press release asking the Rwandan authorities to re-open the investigation into who murdered Andrew Rwisereka, ex-Vice President of the same party who disappeared on the 13th of July 2010 just one month before the national election in Rwanda. He was found decapitated the next day.
In his press statement Frank Habineza stated, “Today, marks two years, after that gruesome murder and the perpetrators of that crime have not yet been brought to justice.
The National Public Prosecution Authority announced in October 2011, that, they did not have enough evidence to pursue the case and thus decided to file it.
The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki moon, the European Union, the Government of France, the Government of Canada, among others, requested the Rwandan authorities to expedite investigations. We are still waiting.”
The Presidential election of 2010 in Rwanda faced many challenges due to the powerful control of the current ruling party. Many of the opposing political groups found themselves unable to register for a fair and democratic process. Mr. Habineza held many meetings throughout Rwanda to promote the positive changes his party would take on when elected. The Vice President of the Rwanda Green Party, Mr. Andrew Rwisereka, attempted to register the party when he encountered a horrific and tragic death.
An investigation conducted by HRW revealed that Rwisereka’s body was found only one kilometer away from his car, not “three” kilometers as stated by the police spokesman. The Rwandan Police told Human Rights Watch that there was a great deal of blood at the scene. However, when Human Rights Watch visited the scene the day after the body was found, there was little blood to be seen. The blood was located in a single spot which roughly matched the size of Rwisereka’s head, and the body was on a steep slope, suggesting that Rwisereka may have been killed elsewhere.
The police initially stated to the media that Rwisereka had been the victim of a robbery, and that people who had seen him on the night he disappeared claimed that he was carrying a large sum of money. However, further investigations by HRW and others revealed that he had left some money with a relative on the evening of July 14, but had been carrying little money and no valuables at the time of his death.
Being a politician in Rwanda is a dangerous road to take, unless you are a part or supporter of the ruling regime. The Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and the family and friends of Andrew Rwisereka deserve to have justice for this horrific murder.