10 January 2013

Rwanda: University Lecturer's Companion Pleads Guilty to Murder

Photo: Leadership
Rajab Mbukani's body was found hanging on a tree.

Marie-Louise Muhire, who is the mother of two girls fathered by murdered doctor Rajabu Mbukani, removed all doubts yesterday in court as to her role in the crime, by pleading guilty to having ordered and being involved in his killing.

Mbukani was a lecturer at the National University of Rwanda and a gynecologist at CHUK.

Muhire appeared before the Nyarugenge High court with co-accused Vital Hagenimana, Clarisse Tuyisenge, Jean-Paul Cyuma, and Jean Baptiste Sekanyambo . She admitted that, aided by Cyuma, on December 29 they beat Dr Mbukani to death when he came to visit his children on December 29.

"I asked him to give me some money to care for the children and he refused. I immediately signaled Cyuma who was nearby and he hit him with a heavy piece of wood," Muhire said, adding that meanwhile Hagenimana increased the TV's volume and she herself put a pillow on her husband's mouth to prevent him from screaming.

Afterwards, Muhire locked the children's room and went to a nearby bar. "After I had seen that the man was dead, I left for a bar and told the others to hurry. I ordered them to put him in a sack and called Sekanyambo to bring a driver who would transport the dead body."

When the driver showed up, Muhire, Hagenimana and Cyuma went with him to drop the body at Shyorongi (Kanyinya sector) where the corpse was found last week on Thursday.

Muhire said she was out of her mind at the time of the crime.

While Vital Hagumimana and Jean Paul Cyuma also pleaded guilty, Jean-Baptiste Sekanyambo who is accused of having brought the driver, said he did so in order to help Muhire who is his classmate at the Kigali Independent University.

None of the accused mentioned the identity of the driver who helped them transport the dead body to Kanyinya. They all referred to him as Kadogo.

Clarisse Tuyisenge, Muhire's elder sister, who allegedly hired the murderers, also denies criminal intent, telling the court that she was only asked by her sister to bring her young men to help her move. "I didn't know about their intention to kill Dr Mbukani. However, I had heard rumors that my sister wanted to kill her former husband."

The prosecution demanded all the accused remain in jail pending further investigations. Muhire however requested provisional liberation arguing she has to take care of her children.

As Nyakabanda sector authorities confirm, on the day before he died, Dr Mbukani reported that his life was threatened by his wife. The police confirmed that it had in the previous months received reports from Dr Mbukani about his wife's but investigations failed to substantiate them.

"Dr Mbukani reported threats twice and we arrested his wife; but the doctor then asked us to release her, saying that she is a mother of his children. We did so," said Supt. Theos Badege, the police spokesperson.

Badege also says that investigations have shown that Louise Muhire and her husband were cohabiting. When they separated, they had an informal agreement that Dr Mbukani would be providing Frw 200,000 per month to take care of the children. "However, they disagreed because the wife wanted more, up to Frw 600,000, which could have been the source of the problem," Badege said.

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