Human rights activist Undule Mwakasungula has urged the Government of Malawi to engage Rwanda and the international community in investigating and verifying reports that the country has been hosting a Rwandan genocide suspect.
This follows a decision by a concerned Malawian to hire private practice lawyer Oswald Mtupila to move government to send back Rwandan national Vincent Murekezi to face trial back in his country for participating in the 1994 genocide.
Mwakasungula emphasised on Sunday that being an international issue, Malawi needs to handle it carefully.
He said: “Such reports and revelations that Malawi has been hosting a genocide suspect have the potential to damage the image of this country on the international scene. For sure, it is not our government policy to shield genocide suspects.”
Mwakasungula said government needs to quickly investigate and verify the suspect before tarnishing its image.
The Nation understands that Murekezi is now using the surname Banda and has used it to obtain two Malawian passports in a space of less than five years.
Murekezi acquired a Malawian passport number MA078171 in 2011.
On the other hand, his Rwandan passport number PC939663 indicates that his birthplace is Ngoma-Huye in Rwanda.
The same information appears in a Rwandan government record, which names him a suspect of the 1994 genocide.
Murekezi allegedly stayed in Malawi briefly before fleeing a police hunt during the Joyce Banda administration.
He allegedly fled to South Africa where he stayed for close to three years, according to our source.
Murekezi came back to Malawi late last year and landed in the hands of the police at Falls Estate where he went to attend a child naming ceremony.
He spent three days in custody and proceeded to obtain another passport number MA606888 in February 2016.
A senior government official well informed of activities of the genocide suspect said Murekezi has strong links with local politicians and business tycoons who are financing his upkeep and stay in the country.
The source alleged that the suspect is using corrupt officials at the Immigration Department to obtain government documents.
In the MA07817 passport, Murekezi identified himself as a Malawian citizen from Mbeya in Tanzania.
He also identifies himself in the other passport as Vincent Murekezi whose birth place is Kigali, Rwanda.
Murekezi confirmed in a telephone interview on Sunday that he is indeed the owner of the said passports.
He was, however, quick to emphasise that he followed all the laid down procedures to obtain the documents.
Mtupila confirmed in a telephone interview on Wednesday to have been hired to move the court to send back the suspected genocide criminal.
He said his client believes Murekezi poses a serious threat to the national security and peace, particularly following other reports that he has penetrated the Malawi Government service delivery system where he is getting passports, citizenship and court orders in his favour by using dishonest lawyers to appear as a bona fide Malawian citizen.
“I have prepared everything for the case to start. I am just waiting for the court to allocate us a date to begin the case,” he said. n