A local citizen who came into the social media limelight last month for mugging a local security official in Nyagatare district has been remanded for 30 days by primary court.
Safari George, known by his surname became a media sensation at the end of August 2021, when he was filmed beating and mugging a district security officer (DASSO) with his arms squeezing the neck of the officer.
The duo allegedly entered into an altercation and a physical exchange after the security officer tried to arrest Safari for violating animal rearing restrictions in which the resident had been grazing cows in a public space, which is prohibited in Rwanda.
The incident which happened in Musenyi cell was witnessed by the Karangazi sector leader, who was also blamed for using excessive force in trying to calm down the situation which later ended with Safari releasing the officer as he screamed and tapped out.
The sector official and the Dasso officer (names withheld) were since the incident been temporary suspended by the district authority, however Safari was arrested and court file filled against him for assaulting a government official on duty.
This followed a court appearance on provisional detention hearing held on September 7, 2021 in which Safari informed the Nyagatare primary court that he acted out of self-defense and through his attorney requested for bail.
Prosecution pleaded with court saying that Safari’s actions were criminal and he has to be detained for further investigation into the incident, urging that if bailed out he could escape to neighboring countries.
Court listened to both arguments and this September 9, 2021, ruled in favour of prosecution sending Safari to jail for the next 30 days.
Safari is considered a suspect and court has to dig into the motive and what insinuated the fight and this could be from witness testimony and the video footage that was recorded during the incident.
The originally recorded video has 1.45minutes run time and was caught as plausible evidence by an unknown person but only minimal detains to how the whole fracas could have started https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V5Tm1i1FYj8
Legally Safari has five working days to appeal today’s ruling and come out with witness evidence that can clear him of the standing charges.
He is charged with assaulting and putting physical injuries on government official on duty.
Article 234 of Law determining offences and penalties in general indicates that any person who assaults or commits any other act of violence against a member of Parliament, a Cabinet member, a security officer or other official in the performance or in connection with the performance of his/her duties, commits an offence.
Possible penalties here come in if the assault results in physical injuries, of which the applicable penalty is imprisonment for a term of more than five (5) years, and less than seven (7) years.
If that violence is committed with premeditation or by ambush, the applicable penalty is imprisonment for a term of more than seven (7) years not more than ten (10) years.
And if that violence is committed with an intention to kill, the applicable penalty is a term of life imprisonment.