Popular Rwanda gospel singer dies in custody

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 03:03 pm

A popular Rwandan singer whose music was banned by the ruling regime was found dead in Kagali, police said Monday.

Kizito Mihigo was said to have committed suicide while in custody, three days after he was caught trying to flee the country.

The singer was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment in 2015 for conspiring against the government.

He was later pardoned and recaptured trying to cross the border in Rwanda’s south.

Police said Mihigo was visited by his relatives and lawyers while in detention. Investigations have begun to ascertain why he allegedly took his own life.

Mihigo fell out with the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front party in 2013 after he composed songs that questioned the government’s tight control of the legacy of the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

He songs, once popular with the ruling elite was subsequently banned.

Two years later, Mihigo was accused of terrorism and soliciting support for an opposition movement. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison.