Fears that missing Leeds mum may have been abducted in Rwanda

Two distraught Leeds children are having nightmares as they await news of their mum, who is thought to have been abducted in Rwanda.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 3rd March 2017, 9:16 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 11:09 am
Violette Uwamahoro.
Violette Uwamahoro.

Missing Leeds mum Violette Uwamahoro flew out early in February to attend her father’s funeral but the 39-year-old hasn’t been seen since February 14.

Now, her ‘terrified’ husband says she may be paying the price for his role as a political activist in the opposition of Rwandan president Paul Kagame.

“I have no doubt whatsoever that they have got her,” said Faustin Rukundo. “I’m terrified, and I’m very sure she is being tortured.

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“Our children are having nightmares and wanting to know where their mother is.”

Violette was set to meet family at a bus station in the Rwandan capital of Kigali on February 14, but vanished 20 minutes after speaking to her husband.

Mr Rukundo believes she was taken by military intelligence to disrupt opposition to the country’s president Paul Kagame.

“I do politics,” he said. “For them, that is enough. That’s the only reason.”

Mr Rukundo, a lab technician who gained British nationality along with his wife in 2014 and has lived in the UK since 2004, said he had urged her not to go but she wanted to pay her last respects.

“She had to bury her father - she didn’t want to be involved in any fight,” he said, adding that it was torture for her two boys aged eight and 10, David and Samuel Mushinja, both at school in Leeds.

“For our boys it is a nightmare,” he said. “Every time they come back from school they want to hear from their mother, but I have nothing to tell them.

“Every time someone calls, they ask if she has been found. Every time anybody talks to me, they are asking for news.”

The Foreign Office has confirmed it is helping the family of a British woman missing in Rwanda.

“We live a normal life, like anybody else,” said Mr Rukundo, saying he just wants Violette home. “We just want a normal life. She doesn’t want to be involved in any fight.”