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By Robert Mugabe
Kigali – The mystery surrounding the death of a Rwandan prominent businessman, Assinapol Rwigara continues with his children now publically alleging their father was assassinated by his enemies in Rwanda.
The latest revelation sharply contradicts Rwanda police’s version that Rwigara died in a car accident after his Mercedes Benz sedan, registration number RAC 391E, rammed into a Mercedes Benz truck, registration number RAC 806B.
According to police, the car accident allegedly occurred in Kagugu Cell, Kinyinya Sector, Gasabo on Febuary 4, this year. His death shocked many Rwandans.
After the alleged accident, traffic and road safety department Spokesperson CIP Emmanuel Kabanda, told the media in Rwanda that businessman, who owned a tobacco manufacturing firm, died on the spot.
New accounts emerges
But the leaked document of late Rwigara’s children addressed to the office of the President asking the head of state to order independent investigation, has disputed this version, mentaining their father was hit on the head with sharp object and the family’s effort to save his life was frustrated by police.
The family also state that Rwigara was put in body bag when he was still alive and breathing. “The Police spent more than an hour removing the car from the street using a tow track while our father was still alive in side the car,” the document states.
“Once the police had removed our father from the car, they rushed to put him in the body bag and sealed it while he was still alive and breathing before even the doctor could examine him…Police also turned back the ambulance whicha had come and decided to put our father in the police van unescorted by the family members.
The late Rwaigara’s children also allege their father was rushed to the mortuary by police when he was still alive. They want the culprits of this murderous act be brought to book.
“We spent 45 minutes at the morgue while our father was bleeding profusely from the back of his head. The police had refused to let a doctor examine him and had also refused to let us take him to King Faisal Hospital,” the children said.
The family has petitioned President Paul Kagame to intervene and cause an independent investigation to establish the “real” cause of Rwigara’s death.
“Your Excellency, it has been falsely reported by the police that his death was caused by a car accident when the facts clearly speak of an assassination,” the family’s letter to the President reads in part.
The letter, dated March 1, a copy of which Great Lakes Voice has obtained is also copied to Prime Minister office, Minister of Internal Security, Embassies, National Commission for Human Rights and Human Rights Watch.
Efforts to contact to police on how far the investigations into Rwigara’s death were in vain as police Spokesperson’s cell phone went unanswered.
Earlier, police had said the driver of the alleged truck that reportedly hit Rwigara’s car had turned himself in at Gasabo District headquarters, in Kacyiru.
Police spokesperson Celestin Twahirwa, told the media in Kigali they could not release the driver’s identity “for safety reasons.”
But the family has dismissed this version, saying the story about the accident is concoction and insisting the businessman was bumped off.
According to the family, eyewitnesses revealed that Rwigara tried even to jump out of his car but his assassins ran after him and put him back in the car.“His death had been planned,” a family source said.
“Up to now, the police has not given us back most of our father’s belongings that were in his car, including personal and work related documents.”
The autopsy, the family says revealed that wounds that led to Rwigar’s death were from the back of his head and were as a result of a strike or a blow from a sharp object such as a knife.
Family not sure if their security
According to the family, it was not the first time the businessman is targeted for assassination. Since 1995, due to his status in business world, he had been the subject of many persecutions and flagrant injustices and threats.
“Your Excellence, given the circumstances in which our father died, our lives are not secure and our assets are in jeopardy,” the letter signed by Diane Rwigara, Aristide Rwigara, Anne Rwigara and Arioste Rwigara adds.
Rwigara, also owned Premier Tobacco Company and was the first Rwandan to deal in tobacco business on a large scale. He was also into real estate business.
Before his death, Rwigara had been battling court cases over a prime land in Kigali with Nyarugenge Districts authorities. Available documents indicate that he had won the court battle though the district had appealed to overturn this ruling through the office of ombudsman as an injustice case against Nyarugenge district.
Some sources also claim late Rwigara was paying Gen. Rusagara’s lawyers as Rusagara’s accounts were illegally frozen by security in Kigali.
It’s also alleged that Rwigara had connections with RNC officials and could meet them in Uganda.
His name first appeared in the media in 2007, when he was arrested following an accident that killed three workers and injured three others at a construction site owned by him.
In connection with this case, judicial authorities seized family property, including an automobile, and froze bank accounts, including those of enterprises of which Rwigara was one of several owners.
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