Appeal for longer sentences may still be filed
A court in the Western Province of Rwanda yesterday sentenced the two murderers of former TI Rwanda staffer Gustave Sharangabo Makonene to 20 years in prison, in a move Transparency International said sends a message that there is no impunity for people who try to stop the fight against corruption.
While pleased with the sentencing, Transparency International and its chapter in Rwanda, also expressed dismay that a maximum sentence was not handed out to the two former police who committed the crime. An appeal is being explored.
Mr. Makonene, 33, joined Transparency International Rwanda in 2011 and was working as a coordinator of the Advocacy and Legal Advice Centre in Rubavu when he was brutally murdered on 17 July 2013. His job was to help people who suffered corruption in their lives.
“Our message to the corrupt is clear: you will not get away with it. We are pleased to see these cold-blooded killers were found, tried and imprisoned, but it does nothing to end the deep sorrow we feel for the loss of Gustave,” said Elena Panfilova, vice chair of Transparency International.
“As this terrible story draws to an end we must not forget one thing: Gustave was a hero and governments everywhere have an obligation to protect the brave people who work to uncover corruption and put themselves at risk for the good of others,” Panfilova added.
“Although justice is done, we are not satisfied with it because this is a capital offence which deserves a maximum sentence, we shall consult with the members of the deceased’s family to see whether we can appeal,” said Ms. Marie Immaculée Ingabire, the chairperson of Transparency International Rwanda in a statement posted here.
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