Rwandan Gospel Musician Mysteriously ‘Commits’ Suicide In Jail

Rwandan Gospel Musician Mysteriously ‘Commits’ Suicide In Jail

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By Spy Uganda

Kizito Mihigo,38, a popular gospel artiste in Rwanda, who was arrested last Friday by the Rwanda Intelligence Bureau (RIB) over allegations trying to join a militia group in Burundi, died under mysterious circumstances on Monday morning.

Cops at Remera Police station where he had been detained, revealed in a statement that Mihigo had allegedly committed suicide on Sunday night, although they didn’t divulge details about the exact form of suicide.

Kizito Mihigo with a pal a few days after arrest

Mihigo was arrested on Friday over allegations that he was attempting to illegally cross to Burundi, according to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB).

The police communique reads in part  thus: “He has been in the police cell for the last three days as RIB accused him of attempting to cross the border illegally and corruption.”

The communique further reads that “On February 15 and 16, Kizito was visited by his family members and his lawyer.

Investigation is underway to establish reasons that pushed him to kill himself.”

Statement from Rwanda Police about Mihigo’s death

However, it should be noted that Mihigo was first arrested in 2014 on several allegations including joining the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), a terrorist outfit whose leaders are based in South Africa seek to destabilise Rwanda’s security.

He was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

In April 2014, after releasing a critical song against government immediately prohibited by Rwandan authorities, Mihigo was arrested and charged with planning to oust the government.

In February 2015, he was sentenced to 10 years of imprisonment after being convicted of conspiracy against the government of President Paul Kagame.

Later September 15, 2018, with Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, Mihigo was released by presidential grace.

He was rearrested two years after he had been sentenced to 10 years on various cases.

President Paul Kagame commuted the prison sentences of Kizito Mihigo and Ingabire Victoire who had been sentenced to 15 years, during a cabinet meeting that also approved the early release of 2,140 convicts found eligible under relevant provisions of law.

Other released convicts at the time included 23 from Bugesera district, 447 in Nyarugenge, Musanze (149) Gicumbi (65); Nyanza (63), Rubavu (158), Rwamagana (455) and 24 from Nyagatare district in Eastern Province. Others are from Huye (484) Muhanga (207), Ngoma (35), Rusizi (7) and 23 from Nyamagabe district in Southern Rwanda.

Personal Profile

He was a Rwandan gospel singer, songwriter, organist, composer of sacred music, television presenter, genocide survivor, and peace and reconciliation activist. He studied at the Conservatoire de Paris in France. In 2010, he created the Kizito Mihigo Peace Foundation.

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