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Activists Suspect Foul Play In Rwandan Singer Kizito Mihigo’s Death In Police Cells

Kizito Mihigo [Photo/Courtesy]

Online activists have dismissed the Rwandan government narrative that singer Kizito Mihigo committed suicide in police cells three days after his arrest.

Rwandan authorities on Monday stated that the critic of President Paul Kagame’s government died while in detention in a suspected suicide.

The gospel artiste had been arrested on Friday after he allegedly attempted to flee the country to Burundi through a porous border. He was held in solitary confinement at the Rwanda Investigative Bureau (RIB) Station in Remera, the capital city of Rwanda.

Ms Marie Michelle Umuhoza, the RIB Spokesperson, said the deceased used a bed sheet to take his own life.

“He was found hanging by an officer in the morning on Monday. He used the bedsheets that he was sleeping on to hang himself. Preliminary investigations show that he hanged himself on the window of his cell, but more investigations are being conducted,” said Ms Umuhoza.

Read: Kagame Releases Jailed Opposition Leader and Musician After Campaign by Kenyan Bloggers

But online activists suspect foul play in Mihigo’s death.

Taking to micro-blogging site Twitter, the individuals castigated President Kagame and his regime for allegedly being behind Mihigo’s mysterious death.

Media reports indicate that police were probing Mihigo for alleged bribery and attempt to join rebel groups.

The deceased has in the past had several run-ins with the government.

In February 2015, the Rwandan genocide survivor was condemned to 10 years in jail over conspiracy to harm President Kagame and other government officials.

Read Also: Diane Rwigara and Her Mother Released On Bail After Sustained Campaigns by Bloggers

But he was freed in 2018 alongside 2000 other inmates under the President’s prerogative of mercy.

Kenyan bloggers led by Robert Alai and Abraham Mutai are credited for their campaign that contributed to Mihigo securing his freedom.

Also released was opposition leader Victoire Ingabire who had been sentenced to 15 years in jail back in 2010.

Prior to a fallout with the government, Mihigo is said to have enjoyed quite a cordial relationship with government officials. He was often invited to perform during state functions.

Read Also: Scuffle As President Kagame’s Bodyguards Barred From Accessing Dais During Moi Memorial Service [Video]

Mihigo’s criticism led to the banning of his music in the mainstream media by the government in 2014, after his arrest.

Here are some of the reactions online:

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Written by Wycliffe

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