Rwanda has been pushing for the extradition of its national Vincent Murekezi from Malawi as early as 2009, authorities in Rwanda have confirmed.
The development comes amid controversy over how Murekezi, who was found guilty of crimes related to the 1994 genocide and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment, has been allowed to live in the country freely and openly for years.
Reports also suggest that Murekezi has been able not only to acquire business licences, but also secure a Malawian citizenship and a passport.
However, in an exclusive interview from Kigali, both Rwanda’s National Prosecution Authority spokesperson Nkusi Faustin and government communication department spokesperson Noel Kampanda confirmed that the Rwandan government has been seeking the extradition of Murekezi to date.
Faustin said Rwanda has not received any feedback from the Malawi government since its request in 2009 when Murekezi was being tried in absentia.
“We made a request for the Malawi government to transfer him and they are yet to give us any feedback. We are still in touch with them and we are hopeful Mr Murekezi will be transferred to our custody to serve his sentence,” said Faustin.
Added Kampanda: “He is a convict, there are court documents and our Migration Department has been seeking for his extradition.”
Rwanda Migration Department spokesperson Yves Butera also confirmed that the department has been probing an alleged Rwandan passport allegedly used by Murekezi, PC939663 and said his passport was fake.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Principal Secretary Dalitso Kabambe, while acknowledging that the Malawi government received several requests for extraditions, could not confirm whether Lilongwe received a request specifically for Murekezi.
“We did receive several extradition requests but what I cannot confirm is whether one of them involved this person. We need more time to verify our records,” said Kabambe.
Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs Samuel Tembenu said the justice department is not involved in such extradition processes.