Zimbabwe Harbouring Rwandan Genocide Leader
18 May 2020
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New Times Rwanda|For the last 26 years, a picture of a man with a machete has been doing the rounds in the media.

He is standing with a uniformed government soldier who has a chain of machinegun bullets around his neck.

The picture dates back to the height of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

According to Getty Images, a site that archives and sells photos, the picture was taken in then Gitarama Prefecture on June 12, 1994, by Alexander Joe of Agence France-Presse (AFP), although there is some debate on the exact location of the photo.

The photographer had captioned the photo as a government soldier and an Interahamwe militia who were busy killing Tutsi just as forces of the Rwanda Patriotic Front were in the midst of stopping the Genocide.

Nobody had been able to identify the subjects in the sickening photo until recently.

The man, an Interahamwe militia armed with a machete, has since been identified as Ramadhan Muhire.

Muhire is alleged to have actively participated in the Genocide against the Tutsi and now resides in Zimbabwe.

He is the son of Gasekuru and Nyirabungura Therese. He hails from Nyagasozi in Birenga which is now Amahoro Village, Nyaruvumu Sector in Rukira Cell, Ngoma District.

Just before the Genocide, Muhire used to live in the then Kibungo Prefecture where he was employed as a driver. He was a member of the notorious Interahamwe youth wing.

Muhire is remembered as a violent extremist. He once hacked a man simply because he was a Tutsi. Many people who knew him and spoke to local media, identify the man as Muhire, the same person who appears in the picture.

One of Muhire’s former neighbours who spoke to a Rwanda journalist affiliated to Igihe news website, confirmed Muhire’s identity, saying he was very notorious and in addition to killing Tutsi during the Genocide, he also looted Kibungo Diocese stores.

“There is no doubt it is him [Muhire]. I knew him long before the Genocide. He used to work in Kibungo, as a driver. He underwent military training and was among the first people to participate in the killings. They killed people at the diocese and even went to give reinforcements in neighbouring Rukira,” one of his former neighbours said.

The neighbour was stabbed during the Genocide and still carries a scar. He identified Muhire from the photo adding that he was the one who attacked him.

Muhire is also reported to have raided the headquarters of the Kibungo Diocese, grabbed a bag full of dollars and fled to Tanzania.

He is believed to have relocated to Malawi and finally settled in Zimbabwe where he set up businesses and accumulated assets.

From his base in Zimbabwe, Muhire is reported to be one of the financers of armed groups operating in the Democratic Republic of Congo with a goal of destabilising peace and security in the Great lakes region.

Jean-Damascène Bizimana, the Executive Secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), said that he had received information that the man in the picture is Muhire and is seeking more evidence that it is indeed the Genocide suspect.

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