Rwanda: Woman in Custody Over Killing One-Year-Old Daughter

29 September 2020

The Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) is holding Alphonsine Nyirahanyurwishaka, 37, who is suspected of intentionally pouring hot water on her husband and one-year-old daughter in Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo District.

The daughter later succumbed from the injuries at CHUK Hospital, whereas the husband sustained serious injury and is still in treatment.

According to the husband Maniraguha, 32, the couple lived with two daughters (a one-year-old and a three-year-old) who Nyirahanyurwishaka had before marrying him.

They have lived together since 2018. Maniraguha is a herdsman, whereas his wife is a farmer.

According to eyewitnesses that The New Times talked to on Monday, September 28, the event took place on the night of September 21, around 9 p.m. when Nyirahanyurwishaka came home late and argued with her husband after he sought to know why she had delayed returning home.

Afterward, Maniraguha went into the bedroom with their youngest daughter and the wife came in, got the hot water that was on the charcoal stove in the same room and poured it on the husband who was holding the little baby.

Both victims were taken to the hospital afterward, and the baby girl died in the hospital on Friday.

"The wife was very bitter, especially when she would be drunk and everyone in the neighbourhood knew that. They had some misunderstandings, but no one knew that it would end up in such a way," said Flodoard Butare, who is the couple's neighbor.

Fulgence Nzigiyimana, who is in charge of security in Urugarama village where the couple resides also said that it was the second time that such domestic violence has taken place in the family.

"Three months ago we went to their home to solve a conflict they had related to money, whereby the wife was accusing her husband of not paying rent. They sorted the issue afterward," he said.

Speaking to The New Times on Monday, Thierry Murangira, RIB Spokesperson said that the suspect is currently in custody at Kinyinga RIB Station, and after the investigation ends, her case will be sent to the prosecution.

He went on to say that domestic violence can only be avoided if citizens report conflicts to authorities before they (conflicts) reach a critical stage.

"We urge the public to beware that domestic violence has adverse effects on the whole community. Therefore, to prevent it, the public should report conflicts before they reach the point of killing or injuring each other," he explained.

According to RIB, the crime that the suspect is likely to be charged with is intentional assault or battery which is punishable by Article 121 of Law determining offences and penalties in general.

The article, among others, stipulates that if the assault or battery in question has caused death, the penalty for such crime is imprisonment for a term of not less than 15 years and not more than 20 years and a fine of not less than Rwf5 million and not more than Rwf7 million.

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