23 January 2013

Rwanda: How Ugandan Money Changer Was Murdered

The Ugandan foreign exchange dealer who was killed in Rutare sector, Gicumbi district, last Friday, was trailed by his assailants for several days, confessions suspects gave to Police indicate.

Dickson Tinyinondi, 28, a money changer, had come to Kigali to buy Rwandan francs, Police said. He was found burnt in his car at Gasekye village, about one-and-a-half kilometres off the Gatuna border point.

Tinyinondi was a regular traveller to Rwanda, often moving with large amounts of money, the reason he became a target of thugs, according to the suspects. Police have arrested six people in connection with the murder.

Speaking from Kicukiro Police Station yesterday, Jean Pierre Nzamurambaho, 20, a taxi driver, confessed to knowing plans to kill Tinyinondi since he regularly transported him.

"I had worked for a long period with Musiramu (Dickson). I knew the plan," the youngest-looking of the suspects, said.

Nzamurambaho, a taxi driver at Gatuna border, recalled that on the day Tinyinondi was killed, he drove him to Kigali where the deceased changed his money before returning to the border.

Calculated manouvre

Unknown to Tinyirondi that evening, a car trailed them from Kigali. The occupants of the trailing car were in touch with Nzamurambaho.

On reaching in Kasekye village, Nzamumbaho signalled to the assailants to over take them. The plan was for the would-be assailants to overtake and block the road. This was executed effortlessly as Nzamumbaho played his part.

The Ugandan trader, who was oblivious of the heinous plans, refused to get out of the car.

Shaba Harelimana, another suspect, admitted that he was asked to forcibly get money from the stupefied trader.

After stashing the money away, the car was driven off the road to a place where Tinyinondi was butchered with machetes before his mutilated remains was set ablaze in the car.

Harelimana said before the killing, the businessman desperately offered to give them the money to spare his life in vain. He shouted, "Please don't kill me, let me at least give you the money."

Erasing evidence

Explaining the gruesome manner in which they executed their deed, the suspected killers said the car was burnt in an attempt to erase evidence of the murder.

The bloody act is said to have been spearheaded by two other suspects, who are still at large.

After the murder, the assailants drove away to share the loot. The driver of the deceased was given Euro 6,000 (Rwf5m). Others were given varying amounts depending on the roles they executed.

Police recovered Rwf10m, more than Ushs3m, as well as Euro 3,043 (Rwf2.5m) from the suspects. The money will be given to the family of the deceased, Police said.

Police Spokesperson Theos Badege said the hunt for the other suspects is still on.

"We have strong cooperation with Uganda. Criminals should know that if they commit a crime either in Rwanda or Uganda, they will not evade the arms of the law," Badege said.

At the police station, some of the suspects appeared too shy to pass for the traumatising confession they were giving. They hid their face from the cameras. Others, though, were unabashed in their appearance as they hardly butted an eyelid here and there while talking to journalists.

Police said they are investigating further the murder before the suspects will be arraigned in court for charges. They face life imprisonment on conviction.

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