Army generals Muhire, Ibingira arrested over flouting Covid-19 regulations

General Fred Ibingira, the Rwandan Defence Force Chief of Staff (FILE / PHOTO)

Security has arrested and put in custody two army generals; Gen Fred Ibingira and Lt Gen (Rtd) Charles Muhire over violation of COVID-19 regulations.

General Ibingira, the Rwandan Defence Force Chief of Staff (Reserve Force) was arrested on April 7 after it emerged he had attended a traditional wedding (gusaba) ceremony in Butare Cell, Ngoma Sector, Huye District three days earlier.

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Both gusaba and wedding receptions are prohibited under the current national coronavirus protocols, with the only permitted wedding traditions being civil and religious marriage ceremonies. The latter two are permissible under strict social distancing conditions.

Our reporter has learnt that Lt Gen Muhire a former RDF Reserve Force Chief of Staff and Air Force Chief of Staff who retired from active service in 2014 was apprehended on April 24 at Pegase Resort Inn in Rebero, Kicukiro District in Kigali.

Gen Muhire and 33 others were allegedly having a drink in violation of Covid protocols.

It has since emerged that both men were arrested by the police and subsequently handed them over to Rwanda Defence Force (RDF).

“It is true both General officers are under arrest due to involvement in acts of indiscipline,” RDF spokesperson Lt Col Ronald Rwivanga confirmed on Tuesday, April 27.

He added that “The institution (RDF) has a code of conduct that requires us to be exemplary,” he said, adding that this applies to both serving and retired officers.

Lt Col Rwivanga said the two Generals were not expected to be charged since this is a breach of discipline subject to internal procedure, adding that competent authorities will determine the length of detention.

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