Kicukiro Primary Court on Thursday ordered that embattled former university don, Dr. Kayumba Christopher, is jailed for 30 days as investigations into allegations of rape and sexual violence against him continue.
Dr. Kayumba, who was arrested on September 9, is accused of rape and attempted rape of two women at different times in 2012 and 2017, at his residence in Nyabisindu Cell, Remera Sector, Gasabo District.
Prosecution said Kayumba, who appeared virtually with his lawyer from his Kicukiro cell, is accused of raping his house help 9 years ago but given her predicament, she did not have the capacity to report the incident immediately.
Court allayed fears of lack of evidence given that the case was not reported immediately, with the judge pointing out that under the Rwandan law, rape crimes do not expire, adding that victims can be given an opportunity to explain the circumstances under which the incident happened.
Though she did not report immediately, hence lack of medical evidence, the victim is said to have confided in her colleague and friend when the incident happened.
When the friend was questioned, she corroborated what the victim had reported, leading to the arrest of the former lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication at University of Rwanda (UR).
The Judge said that releasing Kayumba on bail would jeopardise further investigation into the case and that there are chances that he would use his publication to interfere with court procedures.
Court however dismissed the attempted rape case filed by Dr. Kayumba’s former student, pointing out there is no proof to her claims since she did not report the incident immediately.
The alleged victim said she had raised the issue with the head of the department where Kayumba taught but she did not escalate the 2017 incident with the university authorities for action. As such, her allegations could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.
However, in the case of the house help, the Judge said that there were reasons to believe that the alleged incident happened as some witnesses testified.
On his part, Dr. Kayumba, who recently went on a hunger strike protesting his arrest, denied the charges, claiming that they are politically motivated. Prior to his arrest last month, he had been summoned by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) as part of the investigations, including in March this year.
RIB said investigations had been ongoing and his arrest came after sufficient evidence and testimonies had been collected.
At the time of his arrest, the investigative body also clarified that Kayumba was being investigated way before he launched his yet-to-be-registered political party, dismissing claims that the charges are politically motivated.
Last year in July, Kayumba, who is the founder of ‘The Chronicles’, a local online publication, was sentenced to one year in prison after he was found guilty of causing disturbance at an international airport, following an incident at Kigali International Airport.