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Law Professor Jwani Mwaikusa: Martyr for truth at the International Criminal Tribuna

Discussion in 'Jukwaa la Siasa' started by Arsenal, Aug 27, 2010.

  1. Arsenal

    Arsenal Senior Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    To what extent i dont know....

    On the morning of July 15, I spoke to William Mitchell Law Professor and
    international criminal defense attorney Peter Erlinder about the grisly
    assassination of Democratic Green Party of Rwanda Vice President Andre Kagwa
    Kwisereka. Kwisereka was found beheaded, with a machete left nearby, near
    Butare , Rwanda , on July 13, 26 days after Professor Erlinder’s release in
    Rwanda , where Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s regime had arrested and
    incarcerated him for three weeks. Erlinder had traveled to Rwanda to defend
    Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Rwanda’s FDU-Inkingi party leader and
    presidential candidate, only to be arrested and accused of “genocide
    ideology,” which means disagreeing with Rwanda’s official history of the
    1994 Rwanda Genocide and/or with the regime of Rwandan President Paul

    Professor Jwani Mwaikusa headed the Department of Constitutional and
    Administrative Law at the University of Dar Es Salaam .

    When I told Professor Erlinder about Andre Kagwa Kwisereka’s assassination,
    he said, “Yes, and an ICTR [International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda ]
    defense attorney, Professor Jwani Mwaikusa , was just assassinated, too, in
    Dar es Salaam .”

    He also said:

    *“No one knows for sure whether he was assassinated by Rwandan Patriotic
    Front operatives, but we do know that lawyers put themselves in danger by
    defending people whom the RPF have identified as their enemies.”*

    Professor Erlinder put himself in great danger by traveling to Rwanda , and
    says that he would have been “disappeared” had he not sat down, started
    hollering, demanded to speak to the U.S. Embassy, and made the sort of scene
    that white Americans feel empowered to make, in the Kigali hotel where he
    had been arrested. Professor Mwaikusa, however, put himself in far more
    danger and paid the ultimate final price, along with a nephew and neighbor
    who attempted to come to his defense.

    Law Professors Peter Erlinder and Jwani Mwaikusa both served as defense
    attorneys for the International Criminal Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR).

    Professor Erlinder and Professor Mwaikusa were both towering, world renowned
    legal scholars, teachers and human rights defenders, but Professor Erlinder
    was an American who survived, Professor Mukwaisa an African who paid with
    his life. His assassins no doubt knew that, though their stature and
    accomplishments were similar, the international outcry and consequence would
    not compare.

    As U.S. citizens, we are complicit in Professor Mwaikusa’s death because
    President Paul Kagame’s Rwanda is the highest per capita recipient of U.S.
    aid in Africa .

    Thanks to Professor Charles Kambanda for sharing his thoughts on Professor
    Mwaikusa and his legacy. – *Ann Garrison*
    Professor Jwani Mwaikusa : Martyr for truth

    *by Charles Kambanda*

    The identity, motive and/or sponsors of Professor Jwani Mwaikusa ’s
    assassins, in Dar es Salaam , Tanzania , may remain “unknown,” meaning
    “unproven,” for some time, but Professor Mwaikusa’s friends and colleagues
    know that whoever was responsible deprived the legal fraternity and the
    entire human race of an irreplaceable, independent and incorruptible mind.

    We will remember his extensive knowledge of philosophy and law, his both
    Cartesian and naturalist legal theory, his deep humanity, his great sense of
    humor and his courageous, landmark work at the International Criminal
    Tribunal on Rwanda (ICTR). Professor Mwaikusa contributed much of his
    valuable time to defending the accused at the ICTR. His concise and precise
    objections to any inadmissible evidence or testimony was his unique
    contribution. The quality of his research in preparation for his court
    appearances will also remain an ICTR landmark.

    In order to defend his clients, Professor Jwani Mwaikusa , a Tanzanian by
    birth, inquired into Rwanda ’s social and political environment prior,
    during and after the 1994 genocide. His findings led him to a crucial
    conclusion that “both parties to the Rwandan Civil War within which the 1994
    genocide surfaced committed international crimes.” This conclusion, which he
    referred to as “the bitter truth,” deeply angered Rwandan President Paul
    Kagame and his top Rwandan Patriotic Front officers and officials, and they
    have thus, inevitably, become suspect in his death.

    Professor Jwani Mwaikusa was renowned far beyond the borders of his native
    Tanzania . Here he consults with the law faculty at the University of Cape
    Town .

    Professor Mwaikusa often argued that by not prosecuting Rwanda Patriotic
    Front/Army (RPF/A) senior officers who allegedly committed crimes, the ICTR
    was acting in contravention of its own founding treaty. He insisted that
    there is overwhelming evidence, collected by private investigator and former
    ICTR Prosecutor Carla Del Ponte for RPF/A senior officers to be prosecuted
    by the ICTR before the court closes. He did not mince words about the Kagame
    regime’s political meddling into the International Court ’s affairs and
    administration of justice in particular, and warned that the ICTR risks
    leaving a legacy of “victor over vanquished” justice. The liberty with which
    the Rwandan regime exerted pressure on the ICTR meant, in his view, that
    international justice was being replaced by international politics and

    When Kagame’s government jailed Professor Peter Erlinder, Professor Jwani
    Mwaikusa spoke out. He condemned the move and said that it was a “strategy”
    to deprive the ICTR of independent defense attorneys. Professor Mwaikusa
    worried that it would be a matter of time before he too would be in a
    Rwandan jail for the same reason. Now we can only speculate as to whether he
    had any premonition that his own fate would be even more harsh and final, or
    that a nephew and a neighbor would both die attempting to come to his

    In a landmark case at the ICTR in which the Kigali regime and the prosecutor
    at the ICTR sought to transfer some of the ICTR’s cases to Rwanda, Professor
    Jwani Mwaikusa convinced the court that the defendants had no chance of a
    fair trial in Rwanda. He also successfully argued that the regime in Rwanda
    lacked the moral authority to try its former political rivals because there
    is too much evidence that leaders in the Kigali regime are guilty of the
    same crimes.

    University of Dar es Salaam Law Professor Jwani Mwaikusa was assassinated in
    Dar es Salaam on July 14. He taught constitutional development and practice,
    human rights, including community rights, democratic governance, land rights
    and environmental law. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR)
    is headquarted in Arusha , Tanzania . - Photo: U.S. State Department

    Professor Jwani Mwaikusa accused the Kagame regime of twisting the terms of
    the U.N. resolution that instituted the ICTR. He argued that the U.N.
    Security Council used the term “Rwandan Genocide” knowing that extremists
    from both of the two rival ethnic groups committed atrocities against the
    other, but that the Kagame regime uses the term “Tutsi genocide” to water
    down the regime’s role in the atrocities.

    “Robbery gone wrong” is not an option in the professor’s assassination
    because the assassins did not part with anything of monetary value. The
    assassins parted with ICTR case-related documents. By coincidence or design,
    the manner in which Professor Jwani Mwaikusa was assassinated is not
    different from the way some other critics of the Kagame regime met their
    death. Seth Sindashonga and Major Theoneste Lizinde, both strong critics of
    the Kigali regime, were assassinated in 1998. The two had sought refuge in
    Kenya . Journalist Jean Leonard Rugambage was assassinated on June 24 after
    writing that Kagame had ordered the assassination attempt on Rwandan exile
    Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa. A week later, Professor Mwaikusa, a strong critic of
    the Kigali regime, was gunned down. On the same day, Democratic Green Party
    of Rwanda Vice President Andre Kagwa Rwisereka was beheaded near Butare in
    southern Rwanda .

    The perpetrators remain unknown, but the United Nations secretary general,
    on July 15, called for an investigation into the deaths of Jean Leonard
    Rugambage and Andre Kagwa Rwisereka. He has not yet ordered an inquiry into
    Professor Mwaikusa’s assassination, but one is certainly called for,
    discomfiting as the truth may be to some of the world’s most powerful

    *Professor Charles Kambanda is an American of Rwandan origin and a former
    professor of law, business and philosophy at Makarere University in Kigali ,
    Rwanda , where both the Umuseso newspaper editor and Democratic Green Party
    of Rwanda President Frank Habineza were his students. He was once a member
    of Rwandan’s ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front Party. He first met Professor
    Jwani Mwaikusa in 2001 when they were both teaching at the University of Dar
    es Salaam and they remained friends from that time on. Professor Kambanda is
    now involved in research on Rwanda ’s ongoing social and political conflict.
    He can be reached at
  2. The Finest

    The Finest JF-Expert Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Very sad and Interesting Article
  3. pmwasyoke

    pmwasyoke JF-Expert Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    Prof Jwani Mwaikusa amekufa akipigania haki za wanyonge. RIP
  4. Ntemi Kazwile

    Ntemi Kazwile JF-Expert Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    And nothing will be done by the Tanzanian government to investigate the motive behind this death...

    TIMING JF-Expert Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    tuwe wakweli, what was your expectations? its only when wameguswa wao, yaani tabaka fulani
  6. Safari_ni_Safari

    Safari_ni_Safari JF-Expert Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    When Ditopile killed the poor daladala driver it was said that the pistol shot on its own....ilijifyatua yenyewe
  7. m

    masasi Member

    Aug 27, 2010
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    weka mambo kama yale ya ze utamu,watkuwa tayari kutumia pesa kuwalipa fbi,cia,mosaid,kgb wakutafute hadi wakufukue kwenye pango ulilojificha