News by email Donate


Top Stories

Most Read

Popular Videos

World News

Popular Rwandan gospel musician found dead in police cell

by Press Association
kizito mohigo facebook page.jpg - Banner image
Kizito Mihigo Facebook

A popular Rwandan gospel musician who was found guilty of conspiracy to murder or harm President Paul Kagame has been found dead in a police cell.

Kizito Mihigo, 38, an ethnic Tutsi survivor of the 1994 genocide that killed more than 800,000 Tutsi and moderate Hutus who tried to protect them, killed himself in the cell in Rwanda's capital Kigali, police said.

The official account of a suicide is expected to be met with scepticism in a country where the government is frequently accused of targeting perceived critics.

Described by many as Rwanda's biggest cultural icon and a devout Catholic known for songs promoting healing and forgiveness, Mihigo had been pardoned in 2018 after he was convicted in 2015 but was re-arrested last week. Police asserted that he had been trying to flee to neighbouring Burundi to join groups fighting the Rwandan government.

"He has been in police cell for three days as police investigated why he was crossing the border illegally and cases of bribery," police spokesman Eric Kabera said in a statement.

Police said Mr Mihigo had been allowed to meet family members and his lawyer. It was not immediately known whether he had been in a solitary cell.

A family member declined to comment. The news of the death was met with disbelief.

The Rwanda Investigations Bureau tweeted that the country's security organs had handed over Mihigo, saying the charges against him included illegally crossing to Burundi, joining terrorist groups and corruption.

Mihigo was arrested in 2014 and sentenced the following year to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of conspiracy to murder or harm Mr Kagame and other top leaders. He was also convicted of complicity to overthrow the government and conspiracy to form alliances with negative groups to destabilise the country.

He pleaded guilty to all charges, leading the judge to say he was given a lenient sentence because he had made the court's work easy.

He was pardoned in 2018 by Mr Kagame alongside Rwanda's leading opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire. But last week, police said his attempt to escape constituted a breach of conditions of the presidential order, meaning the revocation of the pardon.

Continue the conversation on our Facebook page

A Monthly Gift Of £8 Makes A World Of Difference

In a world of fake news there’s never been a greater need for quality Christian journalism. Premier’s mission is to provide the Church with the most up to date and relevant news, told from a Christian perspective. But we can’t do it without you.

Unlike many websites we haven't put up a paywall — we want to keep our journalism free at the point of need and as open as we can. Premier’s news output takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. No one in the UK is sharing news like we are across radio, magazines and online so please help us to continue that today.

For a monthly gift of £8 or more we’d also be able to send you a free copy of the brand new Premier Bible, a wonderful Anglicised version of the NLT packed with exclusive bonus content, reading plan and resources to help you get the most out of scripture.

Your monthly support will make a world of difference. Thank you.

Set up a monthly gift

Related Articles

Sign up to our newsletter to stay informed with news from a Christian perspective.