The Nyamirambo Military Court has ruled that Major Dr. Aimable Rugomwa be stripped off his rank after by all counts he has been found guilty of beating to death a student last year.
Court concurrently sentenced the Army medic to ten years in jail for intentionally beating Theogene Mbarushimana eventually losing his life. Rugomwa will also pay a compensation worth Rwf11.5million to the family of the deceased.
On September 4, 2016 Maj. Dr. Rugomwa attacked Mbarushimana and beat him at Ubumwe Village, Rubirizi, Kanombe Sector in Kicukiro District.
Later the army medic alongside his civilian brother Mamelto Nsanzimfura were arrested and arraigned before court and embarked on a prolonged legal battle that comes to a conclusion today.
However, in May, court found that Nsanzimfura was unfit to stand trial – experts proved that he suffered from a mental condition known as ‘débilité mental severe’ (severe mental debility).
Wife among Key Witnesses
Earlier key witnesses who testified in court said that the doctor intentionally beat the deceased student to death using rudimental tools which he hit hard on the back head.
One witness told court that the student had been sent to a nearby shop when he was intercepted by Dr. Rugomwa- who dragged the teenager into his compound beat him up and afterwards called local leaders ‘bragging about harming a thug’
“I heard loud screams around Rugomwa’s compound. I climbed a tree to see what was happening. Only to see the student being dragged in by the two brothers and beaten up and,” said John Rurangwa, a night guard in the area.
Rugomwa’s wife, who also appeared among key witnesses also said that she tried to stop her husband and brother-in-law from their actions but all in vain.
Rugomwa’s defense lawyers however stated that death of the victim was his own making after he trespassed and was found in the doctor’s compound trying to steal and their clients fatal actions were only in self-defense.
However prosecution showed circumstantial and medical evidence pinning the military doctor and argued that Dr. Rugomwa should be charged with murder and sentence to life.
A medical postmortem on the body of deceased showed that he suffered from an injured skull bone and broken fingers before his death.
Defense also stated that the death of the victim should not be accounted on Dr. Rugomwa and instead it is negligence of the victim to seek medical care after he was beaten up.
But Odette Mukakamanzi-the mother to the deceased student, who attended the court case proceedings said that the doctor should have known better that the student’s life was in danger.
“As a doctor, he (suspect) should be the one to have been in better position to know that it’s dangerous to beat someone in some parts. The way he beat (Mbarushimana) was just intended for death,” said Mukakamanzi.
Earlier on Prosecution also showed court a photo of Dr. Rugomwa’s apron which was stained with blood at the crime scene during evidence gathering.
During an earlier trial the doctor however, asked Rwandans to forgive him for his actions. “I acted out of anger after being robbed several times. I was shocked.” Rugomwa said referring to his actions.
The suspect had said that what happened traumatized him and had asked court to release him so that he would continue with his medical research on impotence.
Rugomwa and defense team were not present today at the reading of the court ruling. But legally they have at least 30 days to appeal the sentence.