Zim Offers Reward For Rwanda Genocide Fugitive

Mpiranya, a former Commander of the Rwanda Presidential Guard, is wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda in connection with the 1994 genocide.

The Zimbabwe Republic Police Officer Commanding CID Homicide, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi, on Monday said Mpiranya was believed to be using various names that include Theophase Mahuku and James Kakule to evade arrest.

Mpiranya is alleged to have participated in the mass killings of 600 000 civilians in Rwanda in 1994 during the time of former President, Juvenal Habyarimana.

Last year the tribunal trying suspects of the 1994 Rwandan genocide complained to the United Nations (UN) Security Council that it was encountering difficulties in tracking a top fugitive believed to be holed up in Zimbabwe.

Justice Hassan Jallow, prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR), wrote to the UN Security Council last week saying there were difficulties in apprehending Protais Mpiranya, a former commander of the presidential guard during the genocide.

Jallow said Zimbabwe should prevent the genocide fugitive from evading justice.

The prosecutor said they had requested for cooperation and assistance from the Zimbabwean government in bringing Mpiranya to justice.

Zimbabwe has distanced itself from claims of harbouring Mpiranya.

Zimbabwe’s Immigration Principal Director Clemence Masango earlier this year told the Parliamentary portfolio committee for Defence and Home Affairs:  “Yes this has been topical in the local and international media. All efforts have been made to check on this allegation. We have no record within our systems of this person whether on a permit or refugee. The only refugee camp we have is Tongogara and everyone there is documented.”

“Interpol has written to us and enquired officially through local police structures. Investigations have been carried out and this person has not been found and police are on record saying they have not been able to find that person in Zimbabwe but their investigations are still underway. That is what I can say on that.”

Mpiranya is being accused of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. Mpiranya remains at large and is one of the most wanted men by the Tribunal.

During the genocide in 1994, he was Commander of the Presidential Guard Battalion within the Rwandan Army and exercised authority over various units of this Battalion.

Forces under his command are alleged to have been responsible for the sexual assault and murder of Agathe Uwilingiyimana, former Rwandan Prime Minister, as well as the brutal murder of 10 Belgian UNAMIR soldiers.

Alongside powerful figures such as convicted génocidaire, Theoneste Bagosora, Mpiranya is accused of participating in the planning, preparation and execution of a plan to exterminate the Tutsi population of Rwanda. He is charged by way of his personal and superior responsibility for the crimes alleged.