Shyaka Kanuma Starts New Year in Jail

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Shyaka Kanuma

The owner of Rwanda Focus Limited, a weekly newspaper and website is currently being detained at Remera Police station on alleged tax evasion, tender scam charges, according to the Rwanda National Police (RNP).

Shyaka, a renowned Rwandan journalist and media manager was arrested last week on 31st December 2016, hours before the New Year ushered in.

Police Deputy Spokesperson Lynder Nkuranga confirmed his arrest saying that charges will be brought against him pending a further investigations into his case.

It is alleged that Kanuma owes the tax body Rwf65 million, which he allegedly evaded in the last three years through varied unscrupulous means.

He is also alleged to have fraudulently won a tender worth Rwf44 million from the Rwanda Demobilisation and Reintegration Commission (RDRC) after he used names of people he would use to execute the tender, as a prerequisite, who were not informed that they were part of the bid.

His arrest came days after he was summoned by the Criminal Investigation Department and the National Intelligence Service (NISS), which he personally tweeted saying he hopes to have a fruitful conversation there.

Shyaka has been running a one-man media company which was embattled by mismanagement of funds and several of his employees going for months without salaries- with some of them suing him for compensation (over Rwf18 million in salaries) at the Rwanda Media Commission last year.

Kanuma closed his media company – The Rwanda Focus Limited – in October and most of his employees have since moved on to other mainstream media companies without their pay.

In the wake of trying to survive in the industry, Shyaka had declared himself as an activist. “Just to let my followers know, I am now into peaceful, political activism – it’s not a political party or anything like that” he said on twitter on December 24.








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