Popular traditional folk-string instrument player and singer Francois Nsengiyumva, commonly known as ‘Igisupusupu’, has appealed a mandatory 30-day detention in a case where he is charged with sexually abusing an under age girl.
Nsengiyumva, the 44-year-old, who broke out on the music scene in December 2018, with his hit song ‘Mariya Jeanne’, was arrested by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) on June 30, 2021 in Rubaya Village, Rubona Cell, Kiziguro Sector, in his home district of Gatsibo, Eastern Province.
It is alleged that on June 18, in his home area in Gatsibo, Nsengiyumva defiled a 13-year-old girl, who he was employing as a house help.
RIB Spokesman Dr. Thierry B. Murangira said upon Nsengiyumva’s arrest that the singer was reported by the victim who also revealed that she had been working for him.
The singer is said to have gone first into hiding but was later reported by residents resulting into his arrest.
He was later detained at Kiramuruzi RIB station on suspicion of committing defilement and child labour charges which he denied in his first court appearance at Kiramuruzi primary court, July 22, 2021.
During the court appearance, the suspect denied the charges but the court handed him 30 days detention on the basis of a continued investigation into his case.
According to local media Igihe, Nsengiyumva’s lawyer Boniface Nizeyimana said that they were not satisfied with the ruling and have appealed.
“We are waiting for the date set by the court to decide on my client’s appeal,” lawyer Nizeyimana said.
Today, KTPress spoke to Kiramuruzi primary court officials who said that the date for Nsengiyumva’s appeal hearing has not yet been set.
If found guilty Nsengiyumva’s charges could earn him a life sentence.
Law Nº68/2018 of 30/08/2018 determining offences and penalties in general, in its article 123, provides that if someone is convicted of child defilement, he/she is liable to imprisonment for a term of not less than twenty (20) years and not more than twenty-five (25) years.
The article also adds that if child defilement is committed on a child under fourteen (14) years, the penalty is life imprisonment that cannot be mitigated by any circumstances. If child defilement committed on a child of fourteen (14) years of age or older has resulted into an incurable illness or disability, the penalty is life imprisonment.