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MPs demand statement on Kabuga

NAIROBI, October 23 – Internal Security Assistant Minister Orwa Ojode has one month to respond to questions raised in Parliament over the whereabouts of Rwandan Fugitive, Felicien Kabuga.

Speaker of the National Assembly Kenneth Marende gave the orders on Thursday following a ministerial statement on the fugitive, in which the House was told that the government had been unable to establish the whereabouts of Mr Kabuga, who is implicated in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

This statement was in response to a question by Igembe South Member of Parliament (MP) Mithika Linturi.

“This is a matter that is very sensitive, in which the international community is interested and it is a matter that therefore we must deal with carefully, cautiously and at all stages bear in mind the interest of the country and the interest of the international community,” said the Speaker.

Mr Ojode had told Parliament that there had been lots of unsubstantiated reports about the fugitive’s whereabouts and businesses in Kenya, allegedly operating under his name.

He admitted before the House that Mr Kabuga visited the country in 1994 while on holiday before his indictment, but mysteriously disappeared thereafter.

The assistant minister assured that investigations into Mr Kabuga’s disappearance and his whereabouts were still ongoing despite the fugitive having different names. He mentioned names including: Fericita Idris Sudi, Athanas Munyaruga, Oliver Rugundani, Joseph Malumba Lwalwa and Felix Kabuga.

He said it was impossible to link any government official with Mr Kabuga’s whereabouts as alleged that he was being protected by high ranking officials in government.

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“The government is inviting any evidence linking any official to Kabuga,” said Mr Ojode. “The government is not aware of any issues of the international criminal tribunal for Rwanda that have not been addressed.”

Mr Kabuga, who has been on the run for over a decade is wanted by the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda – based in Arusha Tanzania – for mass murders in the country, which claimed over 800,000 lives. He is also cited to have committed other crimes against humanity.

Ikolomani MP Dr Bonny Khalwale claimed that Kabuga’s case was “typical frustration of police by high ranking officers because he (Kabuga) was arrested in 1997 and detained at Kilimani police station but a senior officer allegedly put pressure on the then principal immigration officer to release him”.

In May this year, the government froze a multi-million shillings property in Nairobi allegedly owned by Mr Kabuga and a woman who claims to be his wife.

The woman, Josephine Mukazitoni challenged the jurisdiction of the Kenyan courts to freeze Spanish Villa along Lenana Road in Nairobi.

Ms Mukazitoni claimed that the villa was her property and the Kenyan High Court had usurped powers conferred to the ICT for Rwanda.

Meanwhile, Mr Ojode also refuted claims that another terrorist Fazul Abdullah was a creation of Kenyan and American intelligence agencies.

He said it was true that Mr Fazul, who has been linked to the 1998 bombings of American embassy in Kenya and Tanzania and an assault on Israeli interests in Kikambala in 1998 and 2002 respectively, because he was named as planner and mastermind by two convicts currently held in the US.

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