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Rwanda opposition leader arrested over rape allegation

A former managing editor of 'The Chronicles' one of Rwanda's main independent newspapers, Dr Christopher Kayumba who recently launched an…

A former managing editor of ‘The Chronicles’ one of Rwanda’s main independent newspapers, Dr Christopher Kayumba who recently launched an opposition political platform after being released from prison has been arrested on Thursday on charges of raping a young girl.The Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) confirmed the arrest of Dr. Christopher Kayumba after a long-time investigation on rape and attempted rape crimes he is accused of by different people.

Accusations that Kayumba sexually assaulted one of his female students while he was lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication at the University of Rwanda became public in March this year.

This prompted the judicial police to launch an investigation into the alleged crime.

Following the allegations against Dr Kayumba in March he was summoned to answer the charges against him.

RIB spokesperson, Dr Thierry Murangira explained that investigations went ahead while he was out of custody “because, at that time, there was  no sufficient evidence.”

“It is a procedure. Investigations continued where evidence and testimonies were gathered. And the findings of investigations currently show satisfactory grounds to believe that he committed the offences. Therefore the investigator decided to provisionally detain him,” he said.

He said that the investigator is allowed by law to detain a person, taking into consideration other circumstances related to the conduct and behavior of the suspect, the category and the gravity of the offence.

Explaining why the alleged victims of sexual assault took long to file complaints against the suspect, Murangira said that this could be due to different reasons including threats by the accused, fear of social stigma, among others.

A former student at the University of Rwanda came out recently and testified that her lecturer then, Dr. Christopher Kayumba, assaulted her and attempted to force her into a sexual encounter in his house.

“He pulled and pushed me on the couch trying to force me to sleep with him” a friend to the student quoted her narrating her ordeal in a Twitter thread.

Apparently, the lady managed to escape Kayumba’s assault, but she said it was “an eternity of emotional and psychological torture.”

Meanwhile, Dr. Kayumba has denied the allegations.

“That’s not true, and that lady who tweeted the allegations is paid to spread propaganda, nothing else.”

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