A Rwandan court has sentenced two police officers –Isaac Ndabarinze and Nelson Iyakaremye (pictured) – to 20 years imprisonment for killing Gustave Makonene, a revered anti-corruption activist.
Makonene, who was investigating mineral smuggling from Democratic Republic of Congo, was found dead in his home at Rubavu, near the border with eastern Congo, in July 2013, according to Reuters,
Esron Gashyende, the judge, said they had been sentenced to 20 years rather than life a life term, the usual term for the crime, because they had confessed and cooperated with investigation.
Mupiganyi Appolinaire, the executive director for Transparency International in Rwanda, said the sentence was too light.
“We followed the trial carefully and the convicts had been saying that the murder was a planned one,” Mupiganyi Appolinaire told Reuters.
“We expected that they would get the heaviest punishment in the Rwanda penal code.”
He added that he would consider an appeal after examining the entire details of the ruling.
Eastern Congo is rich in minerals such as tin, tungsten and tantalum but the Kinshasa government has little control over the huge region that has been fought over by militias and rebels for decades.
Makonene was known to be committed to unravelling the ills around smuggling in the region.