RDF probes killing of businessman’s son

Monday September 24 2018

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Lt-Col Innocent Munyengango, Defence and Military spokesperson Lt. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA 

By EDMUND KAGIRE
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The Rwandan army has started investigations to determine if excessive force was used in the fatal shooting of a son of a prominent businessman on September 6 by Rwanda Defence Force (RDF) servicemen on patrol.

The family of Mathias Myasiro, a prominent businessman who died in 1995 has petitioned RDF and the government to investigate the manner in which Jean Claude Niyitanga was killed, and punish the officers involved.

Mr Niyitanga, 40, a resident of Rwezamenyo Sector, Nyarugenge district in Kigali was killed by RDF soldiers on patrol on September 6 under unclear circumstances.

The Defence and Military spokesperson Lt Col Innocent Munyengango told Rwanda Today that the army has commenced investigations into the shooting to ascertain if the force used by the soldiers on patrol was justifiable or not.

“We have started the investigations. The family petitioned us and other government organs. We can assure you that the outcome of this investigation will be made public,” The Defence and Military spokesperson Lt Col Innocent Munyengango told Rwanda Today that the army has commenced investigations into the shooting to ascertain if the force used by the soldiers on patrol was justifiable or not.

“We have started the investigations. The family petitioned us and other government organs. We can assure you that the outcome of this investigation will be made public,”

“We want to confirm if indeed the force used was justifiable or not. If it is found that the soldier used excessive force, appropriate action will be taken, including prosecution. This is a matter we take serious as RDF,” Lt Col Munyengango told Rwanda Today.

Earlier reports indicated that Mr Niyitanga was caught stealing by community guards who arrested and handed him over to the soldiers on patrol, a narrative that his family has denied.

Mr Niyitanga’s family has also denied reports by the army that the deceased was a “renowned thug.”

The RDF spokesperson had previously told media that Mr Niyitanga was a thief. The army however, seems to have backtracked on this claim.

It was earlier reported that soldiers who were on patrol were alerted by Saadah Musanabera, Niyitanga’s estranged lover, who claimed that Mr Niyitanga had robbed her of Rwf60,000 and an amplifier.

Lt Col Munyengango had told media that Mr Niyitanga tried to fight the soldiers and in the process, one of them shot him in an act of self-defence.

However, this information has turned out not to be true, prompting RDF to carry out fresh investigations to ascertain the circumstances under which he was killed.

Bernard Myasiro Niyoyita, the elder brother of the deceased told Rwanda Today that they have petitioned RDF and authorities to investigate the matter.

“We don’t accept allegations of Niyitanga being caught in the act of stealing money and property. He was a man of integrity and he had a steady monthly income of at least Rwf1 million.