Rwanda probing shooting of former president’s doctor by policeman

Thursday February 26 2015

New officers of Rwanda National Police at a pass-out parade. The RNP has said it is investigating circumstances under which President Paul Kagame’s former personal doctor was shot dead by a policeman. PHOTO | CYRIL NDEGEYA

The Rwanda National Police has said it is investigating circumstances under which President Paul Kagame’s former personal doctor was shot dead by a policeman on Wednesday evening.

Dr Emmanuel Gasakure, who until January was President Kagame’s personal cardiologist, was allegedly shot by a policeman on duty at Remera Police Station in an a reported act of self-defence after the medic attempted to disarm him.

“Last evening at 1835h, an unfortunate incident happened at the Remera Police Station when a suspect in detention was fatally wounded during a scuffle with a police officer on guard duty,” said police spokesperson Chief Supt Celestin Twahirwa in a statement.

He said Dr Gasakure had been in police custody as part of investigations into offences including illegal entry on other person's property, causing damage to property, illegal confinement and issuing threats under the influence of alcohol.

According to the police, the 61-year-old medic had requested to go for a short call, but after being allowed out of the cell assaulted the officer on duty and tried to disarm him.

“In the ensuing scuffle the deceased was fatally wounded while the police officer sustained serious injuries and was rushed to hospital.


"Investigations into the incident have since been launched. The police regrets this incident and will keep the family informed as the investigations proceed,” CSP Twahirwa said on Thursday.

A relative of the deceased who spoke to The EastAfrican on condition of anonymity called for a detailed investigation into the matter.

Embattled man

According to reliable sources, Dr Gasakure, a long-serving personal doctor of the president and his family until January, had been undergoing a rough patch after the Rwandan leader relieved him of his duties over alleged alcoholism and misconduct.

“He was getting in many drunken scandals which stained his image as well as that of President Kagame,” a source in the Presidency told The EastAfrican.

It is believed that President Kagame does not tolerate alcohol in his circles, a thing that could have led to Dr Gasakure’s troubles.

Available reports show that Dr Gasakure was arrested on Monday February 23 after an altercation with a neighbour over noise in the night in the plush residential area of Kimihurura.

In December 2011, the senior cardiologist, who served in different institutions before joining the presidential rank, was reported to have allegedly lost official documents and a work iPad in Uganda where President Kagame and his family had taken a Christmas break.

It is reported that earlier this year during an official work trip to the United States, Dr Gasakure’s conduct again came into question prompting President Kagame to suspend him, replacing him with a youthful medic.

The incident has ticked off an online debate with many questioning the circumstances under which the medic was shot dead.