The New Times (Kigali)

10 January 2013

Rwanda: Fight Over Chicken, Tomatoes Ends Up in Supreme Court

WHEN your chicken strays into the neighbour's compound and eats tomatoes, it is probably a minor thing. But for Paul Bucyana and Saidat Yankurije, the chicken-tomato tale is big enough to warrant an attempted murder charge and 20 years in jail.

It all started when Bucyana, who owns a poultry farm, shifted to Rusororo sector in Gasabo district with his poultry and acquired a house next to Yankurije, a tomato farmer. One day, his chicken strayed into Yankurije's farm, eating her tomatoes.

The latter took the matter hard and dragged her new neighbour to local authorities. A fine of Rwf5,000 was issued, but it only severed further the rift between the duo.

While appearing before the Supreme Court on Monday, Bucyana told the three-member panel presided over by the Deputy Chief Justice Zainabu Kayitesi, that he had no intention to kill.

"After the fine, I was beaten up by goons, whom I suspected had been hired by Yankurije," Bucyana told the court. "I ran to my house and as a way of scaring them off, I asked for a machete. But honestly, I had no machete in my house."

However, Prosecutor Beatrice Ntawangundi said Bucyana intentionally got drunk with a plan of murdering Yankurije. The court will rule on the matter on February 8.

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