Rwanda: Parish Father in Police grib for Frustrating Govt Policies
Parish Father in Police grib for Frustrating Govt Policies
Rwamagana — Father Emile Nsengiyunva, 45, of Karenge Parish was, yesterday, arrested by Police in Rwamagana, for allegedly engaging in disruptive politics.
Authorities said that the Catholic clergyman has been excommunicating Christians involved in eradicating grass thatched houses, commonly known as Nyakatsi, and family planning campaigns.
This was revealed to The New Times yesterday by Police spokesperson, Supt. Eric Kayiranga.
Kayiranaga said that the clergyman has been using his religious clout to campaign against government policies and programmes.
He said that his ideology and campaign, cannot be tolerated and he has to face the law.
"Let this be clear, nobody is above the law ... clergymen or not, have to abide by the law of the land. The priest's acts are criminal and punishable in accordance with article 160 of the penal code."
"We have been watching him closely and we are in partnership with citizens who attest to his actions. Justice is there and he will have to explain the motive of what he said or did," he added.
Nehime Uwimana, the Mayor of Rwamagana, reiterated the need to take the cleric before justice, to explain why he has been against every government programme.
The Mayor wondered how a religious leader could fight the eradication of Nyakatsi, instead of being a partner in the programme.
He said that Nsengiyumva has been shamelessly and irresponsibly saying that the injections used in family planning are not meant for humans.
"This is a man who has been telling people that they should keep away from family planning because it has side effects. He has been openly saying this to his flock," he said.
Jean Bosco and Donat Twizeyimana both residents of Karenge sector said that the priest has been intimidating and harassing them, because they participate in government programmes.
"Most of us are no longer allowed to take the sacrament, just because we abide by what the authorities tell us. He doesn't allow us to associate with non-Catholics ... it's terrible," they said.
Father Nsengiyiunva told The New Times that he doesn't accept the process of Nyakatsi eradication, and the impact family planning is having on families.
"It is true that I castigated Christians involved in the eradication of Nyakatsi because it affects people. Another issue has been on family planning, which to me is responsible for family problems," he said.
The clergyman is being held at Rwamagana police station pending further investigations.
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