Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) in Bugesera has arrested two men including a local leader, suspected to be behind an attempt to assault and harm the Bugesera Mayor, Richard Mutabazi.
The suspects include Valens Nsengiyumva (23yrs) who allegedly caned the Mayor an act in which Vincent Nsengiyumva (42yrs) the Ikoni village head is alleged to have conspired to.
RIB confirmed that both suspects are now held at Ruhuha station as the bureau conducts further investigations.
The alleged assault incident happened on August 29, 2022 in Ngeruka sector, Murama cell in Ikoni village where the Mayor is believed to have found a group of citizens drinking alcohol in the home of the village leader, contrary to the current COVID-19 standing restrictions.
In the process of trying to find out and possibly disband the group under COVID-19 guidelines, Mayor Mutabazi is reported to have been attacked by the 23-year-old man, who stroked the district leader with a stroke of a cane.
RIB Spokesman, Dr. Thierry B. Murangira, confirmed the incident and stated that the two suspects were arrested on different days between August and September 2021.
Incidences of citizens beating up local leaders have been reported, especially village leaders being thumped in attempts to enforce standing COVID-19 restrictions in the countryside communities.
However, RIB spokesman Dr. Murangira used the incident to remind Rwandans that it is criminal to assault or attempt to assault a government official while s/he is on duty and that the Bureau will not tolerate such kind of citizen misconduct.
“RIB reminds Rwandans that it will not tolerate anyone who will be found involved in offences of assault or violence against public authorities,” Murangira said.
“We remind Rwandans that such acts of violence against government officials are not a good culture and this is punishable by law. Citizens are under obligations to obey their leaders and abide by the laws, contrary to it, sanctions will be applied to recalcitrant”.
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.
A person convicted of any of the acts referred to under Paragraph One of this Article is liable to a term of imprisonment of not less than three (3) years and not more than five (5) years.
If the assault results in physical injuries, 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.
If that violence is committed with an intention to kill, the applicable penalty is a term of life imprisonment.