Rwanda: Zimbabwe Police Begin Manhunt for Mpiranya
Publishing company claims he died in 2006.
A top officer in the Zimbabwe police has said Harare has launched a manhunt for Protais Mpiranya, a former Rwandan army official, who is accused of taking part in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsis.
Mpiranya, a Major in the ex-Rwandan armed forces was a commander in the Presidential Guard in 1994 and is accused of playing a key role in the massacres.
Harare has previously denied sheltering him but on Monday Zimbabwean Police Commander for CID Homicide, Chief Superintendent Peter Magwenzi, said Mpiranya was believed to be using various aliases such as Theophase Mahuku and James Kakule to evade arrest.
According to the BBC, Magwenzi yesterday told AFP news agency, "We want him dead or alive. We are looking for information to arrest him; we do not know how long he has been in the country."
The prosecutor general, Martin Ngoga yesterday welcomed the news and said this is a sign that Zimbabwe authorities could be putting in place practical mechanisms towards the arrest of Mpirinya.
"We believe that Zimbabwe is now determined to be more serious about this matter," he told The Rwanda Focus yesterday.
The US government has offered a $5m reward for Mpiranya, whose Presidential Guard unit is believed to have taken immediate charge of the country after the death of former President Juvenal Habyarimana on April 6, 1994. He is accused of killing top politicians including then Prime Minister, Agathe Uwilingiyimana and 10 Belgian peacekeepers who were part of her security detail on April 7.
However, the publishing company Editions Sources du Nil, which published Mpiranya's memoirs in October 2010 under the title 'Rwanda, le paradis perdu' (Rwanda, the lost paradise), claims in its presentation of the book that he died on Ocotber 5, 2006.
Mpiranya and nine other fugitives still at large including Felicien Kabuga and former defence minister Augustine Bizimana, is accused of genocide, conspiracy to commit genocide, complicity in genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes. He is also accused of participating in the planning, preparation and execution of a plan to exterminate the Tutsis in Rwanda.