By Yves Muneza
Rwanda High Court, the chamber of international crimes in Nyanza District has set 9th June, next month as the date for the resumption of a trial involving 13 terror suspects and former recruits of Cassien Ntamuhanga. The latter is a convicted criminal on charges of terrorism and intent to destroy public infrastructure. The trial, which was supposed to go into substance this Wednesday was postponed after the court’s registrar requested more time for preparedness.
“Due to the time, and the court work load, the hearing of 13 Suspects linked to Cassien Ntamuhanga, has been postponed; it will resume on 09th June this year,” said the sitting registrar of the court.
Specifically, the 13 suspects who were lured openly into subversive activities by Ntamuhanga, a criminal convict who managed to escape from Mpanga Prison, were arrested back in 2018 and stand accused on four counts namely: conspiracy to cause insecurity; belonging to a criminal enterprise; conspiracy to commit terrorism, and Illegal use and handling explosives.
According to the prosecution, submissions in the pre-trial sessions, the terror suspects were conniving to destroy, through use of explosives, a number of public infrastructures in Kigali such as SP petroleum stores in Gatsata; and Inyange Industries, and Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) headquarters in Rusororo. Prior to this they had conspired to commit similar acts of terror with the support of terrorist groups like Rwanda National Congress (RNC).
The recruited as arraigned in court were: Phocas Ndayizeye, a former BBC stringer from Muhanga District in Shyogwe Sector, Eiliakim Karangwa of Kicukiro, Patrick Niyihoze of Gasabo, Garno Byiringiro of Nyarugenge, Bosco Rutaganda (Gasabo), Emmanuel Niyonkuru (Gasabo), Martin Munyensanga (Gasabo), Jean Claude Nshimyumuremyi (Gasabo), Terence Bizimana (Gasabo), Bonheur Bikorimana (Nyarugenge), Theoneste Ukurikiyimfura (Nyarugenge), Ernest Nshiragahinda (Gasabo), and Yves Mushimiyimana (Nyarugenge).
While many had been recruited from other subversive networks, the 13 terror suspects if found guilty of charges will be liable to imprisonment of 25 to 30 years each, as provided by chapter three of the country’s penal code relating to offenses against state security.
As of now, while the suspects are awaiting trial, Ntamuhanga, currently living in Maputo, Mozambique, has continued his subversive agenda with the support of his umbrella terrorism network, working with Kayumba Nyamwasa, a fugitive from Rwandan justice that is wanted for past acts of terror. With Nyamwasa’s agents in Kampala, they run a media network called Abaryankuna, a propaganda network against Rwanda and its leaders which is also used to lure young people into the terrorism networks.
Prior to his escape to Mozambique, through Uganda and South Africa, Ntamuhanga Cassien was helped to evade prison by three individuals in Ruhango District who were arrested later, tried, and sentenced. They include Ephraim Munyentwari alias Kabayiza, and his sons Pascal Niyitegeka and William Nzabandora. All these according to reports were regular visitors of Ntamuhanga while in Mpanga Prison. They were arrested and sentenced to 3 years of imprisonment.
An analyst of security affairs who closely followed this case told this website that Ntamuhanga’s objective is “farfetched” and will lead him to the path of arrest, just like his colleague and a former classmate of his, Callixte Nsabimana alias “Sankara”. Nsabimana was arrested in the Comoros and has since been on trial.
“I pity the people whom Ntamuhanga traps into subversive activities, they should not listen to him, he has miserably failed to fend for his family in Uganda, who can listen to him, nobody!” said out source.