BY LORRAINE MUROMO
GOVERNMENT has denied harbouring Rwandese genocide fugitive Protais Mpiranya, saying it abided by international treaties.
Mpiranya, who has been held responsible for the massacre of thousands of Rwandans in the infamous 1994 genocide that claimed an estimated 800 000 people, was reportedly given protection by Zimbabwean authorities since that massacre, which stalled investigations.
This comes amid reports that the fugitive died in Zimbabwe and was secretly buried in Harare in 2006.
In a statement, Foreign Affairs minister Frederick Shava said stories that were circulating on social media that the government harboured the fugitive were false.
“The Government of Zimbabwe wishes to clarify some recent media reports that are circulating insinuating that the government was harbouring the most wanted Rwandese fugitive, Protais Mpiranya, whose remains were allegedly found in Zimbabwe under the alias Ndume Sambao.
“The government wishes to put on record that it met all its obligations under the international law,” Shava said, adding that Zimbabwe fully co-operated with the United Nations Residual Mechanism in its investigations of the Rwandese fugitive who was indicted in 2000 by the International Criminal Tribunal for his role in the 1994 Rwandan genocide.
“Zimbabwe actually took the following concrete and positive steps to facilitate the investigation on the whereabouts of Mpiranya which include: Setting up an inter-departmental taskforce, with the mandate to investigate, chaired by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Trade; worked with a representative of the Office of the UN prosecutor and provided resources to fund the investigations of the activities of the taskforce.”
Shava further said the government comprehensively investigated leads on Mpiranya and followed up on new leads as well as facilitated a visit to Zimbabwe by the UN prosecutor and his meetings with the country’s Vice-Presidents.
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