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By Robert Mugabe
- He was preparing for new job as 1st secretary to Rwanda embassy (Senegal)
- Police is silent on his case, as mother seek answers
- Victims car discovered near Rwanda-Uganda border
Kigali, Rwanda-It all started in the evening of Sunday February 19, 2014 after Olivier Maniraho, who was working as officer in charge of finance within the National Intelligence and Security Services (NISS) disappeared mysteriously.
Maniraho, started working for NISS after graduation from the then National University of Rwanda, and was assigned in Rusizi district as the chief of station.
NISS District stations are in charge of collecting civil intelligence and consolidated in the Kacyiru based NISS Headquarters department of internal for analysis.
For the last three years, Olivier Maniraho has been working in the Immigration directorate which is an arm of NISS.
Immigration denies knowledge of the staff
Immigration staff who stages as the institution spokesperson said Immigration had no employee by the names Olivier Maniraho. “We have no employee of such names. No one in our institution has ever gone missing.” said the spokesperson who identified himself as Ange Sebutege during a telephone interview.
To confirm with Immigration Director General, Anaclet Karibata, said his institution has never employed an individual called Maniraho Olivier.
Karibata also refuted the suggestion that internal directorate staff (internal intelligence) would work for immigration.
“I know all the staff here. To my best of knowledge, I don’t think we have someone called Maniraho. May be you can check with the headquarter (NISS) they might know,” Karibata added.
The mother of the disappeared victim told Great Lakes Voice that his son was a dedicated employee of NISS ever since he graduated. “He was paying our rent, taking care of the whole family. We lived in the same house. He would wake up every morning to go to his office at Immigration after good morning greetings,” Console Uwantege said.
“I don’t understand how the Immigration Directorate can deny Olivier. Never!” Uwantege said looking surprised. She added “Unless they are involved in the whole saga.”
The day Olivier disappeared
According to Maniraho’s mother, everything seemed okay and considered their family most secure and stable in Nyamirambo, a Kigali city suburb. As she narrates to Great Lakes Voice, her side of the painful story:
“It was Sunday 19 February 2014. Early morning, he passed by my room. He knocked and entered. He told me the schedule of the day as usual. Before driving to immigration offices to put things in order, as he was on standby for Senegal embassy new appointment (First secretary) by the following week.
He told me, would go to the offices first, and then goes to church. He said he would come home after the church. That was the schedule of the day.
Maniraho promised to come home early to attend to his brother’s school fees issue.
When I saw the night was falling and it was getting late, i talked him over the phone; he said he had to drop the girlfriend. Few hours later when I called, his phone was switched off”.
It was in the evening of Sunday 19 February; Maniraho Olivier didn’t turn up at home. Maniraho told his mother that he was dropping the girlfriend and that was the beginning of the mystery disappearance that has left police tight lipped.
“I lived with my son. At that day, I remember, he woke up going to church at Zion temple. After the church, he was going to see his girlfriend then come home,” Consolee Uwantege said.
The mother was even hospitalized for some weeks as the pain of her son’s disappearance was unbearable.
Looking for answers
Uwantege approached and reported the matter to Rwanda Police. According the Uwantege, the report was in writing asking for police help to find her missing son.
Swinging to action in one week, Police discovered Maniraho’s car at a small bush at the border of Rwanda and Uganda at Buziba- Nyagatare district of Eastern Province.
A source in Police familiar with the case, said Maniraho’s case was launched but still open for any lead to his whereabouts. The recovery of Maniraho’s car at that bush prompted the belief that Maniraho fled out of the country through Uganda. The idea his mother doesn’t seem to buy.
“They did it.” She said. When I asked who, the she replied “them” when I insisted who she was referring to, She said you know them. As I rushed to tell her I don’t know them.
My son can’t flee the country. He was my friend. We discussed all. He was preparing for the new appointment to be the 1st counsellor at the Rwanda’s embassy in Senegal. He was in final preparations. He believed in his country.
“In fact, Police doesn’t come out to tell me the truth, my son was the first born. He served for the government, so the government should be giving at least answers,” Uwantege said.
Police spokesperson ACP, Damas Gatare promised to comment on the case for the last three weeks but in vain. Our calls and sms were not answered by press time.
Approaching NISS for the comment, the official in the office of NISS-Secretary General said he doesn’t know about the case and Secretary General, Gen. Karenzi Kareke will not be available for the comment.
Sources within intelligence community speculate that Olivier Maniraho, could have been a victim of factional intrigue given his new deployment in Senegal where he would be in charge of Rwanda’s intelligence in West Africa.
It’s also alleged that old guards in the intelligence services, those who fought in the RPF liberation war or were in Ex-FAR in Congo cannot stomach the fact that young guys who graduated from the universities in the recent years are landing juicy appointments like the one Maniriho was supposed to take at their expense.
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