Rwanda: Grief-Stricken Neighbours Want Killer of Musanze Headmistress Tried in Home Area

Neighbours to Eustochie Ntakirutimana, the 43-year old woman who was killed, allegedly by her husband, have called for a public scene-of-crime trial, once the suspect is apprehended.

Ntakirutimana, the headmistress of Groupe Scolaire Kabere in Musanze town, was killed from the family home on Monday night by her husband, Jean de Dieu Ndahayo, according to police.

The couple, who had been married for 10 years, was apparently embroiled in wrangles with the husband accusing his wife of being infertile.

A portrait of the deceased with her husband, who is believed to be the prime suspect. Photos by Régis Umurengezi.

"They had been married for last ten years and, unfortunately, they never had a child which could have led to conflicts," said Chief Inspector of Police Alexis Rugigana, the police spokesperson for the northern region.

He said that the husband is believed to have moved in with a concubine in another area.

Rugigana, however, said the suspect fled after the incident, adding that police and other security organs had launched a manhunt, which by press time had not yielded results.

"Through our usual collaboration with the public, this suspect will be brought to account. Any information that may lead to his arrest should be shared without delay," Rugigana said.

While the deceased was headmistress, her husband is a businessman who deals in Irish potato trade and is also believed to be pursuing a master's degree.

Speaking to The New Times, the executive secretary of Kimonyi Sector, Adelaide Nyiramahoro, revealed that authorities did not have any record of an existing dispute between the couple.

Incessant wrangles

However, neighbours who spoke to The New Times said that the family had been marred by wrangles for the best part of their decade-long marriage.

"Their disputes were well known to us; for instance, some three years ago, the husband eloped with the family house help and moved her to another sector (Kinigi) after he had impregnated her," said Jean Paul Bimenyimana, the head of security in the village.

He said that the family continued to cover up for the husband's actions "mainly because they were an elite couple, one that many in the community looked up to."

According to Bimenyimana, the husband had suddenly become a 'rare visitor' to his own home.

Musanze residents have appealed for expeditious investigation and requested that whenever the suspect is apprehended, he should be tried in public at the scene of crime.

This, they say, will send a warning with those engaged in domestic violence against such heinous crimes.

"What happened is beyond comprehension; our wish is that he (the suspect) is tried here in the community so that people see justice being served," said Spéciose Mukeshimana, a godmother to the deceased.

The body of the deceased was taken to Ruhengeri Referral Hospital for postmortem and the funeral was expected to be held at the family home in Kimonyi Sector, Musanze District.

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