Rwanda: Kizito Mihigo Had Shown Signs of Depression, Investigators Say

18 February 2020

At approximately 5a.m., Monday morning, a police officer at Remere Police Station in Kigali discovered gospel singer, Kizito Mihigo's lifeless body hanging from a window of his cell.

According to Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), the disgraced musician used his bedsheets to take his own life.

Kizito, who was 38, committed suicide three days after he was arrested and taken into custody.

He was caught trying to leave the country through an ungazetted border and attempted to bribe those who grabbed him.

From the time he was taken to custody RIB officials say the musician displayed unusual behaviour, including refusing to talk to anyone.

Over the last three days, he refused to talk to both investigators, his lawyer and even his family, according to RIB spokesperson Marie-Michelle Umuhoza.

"He had been very quiet since his arrest. He had been displaying signs of a depressed person," Umuhoza said.

Kizito was the only one in his cell.

His body was immediately taken to Kacyiru Hospital for post-mortem.

Kizito's death was officially announced Monday, February 17, in a statement issued by Rwanda National Police Spokesperson, Commissioner of Police John Bosco Kabera.

On February 13, Kizito was arrested by security organs after they were tipped off by residents of a remote village in Nyaruguru District. They spotted him trying to cross into Burundi through a porous borders.

He was in the company of two other men.

According to eyewitnesses, after he was spotted, he attempted to bribe the residents with Rwf300,000 so that they could let him go, but they turned his offer down.

He was handed over to RIB on February 15 and has been in custody ever since.

Last year, he had his 10-year sentence commuted having served only four years.

Earlier during the hearing, he had pleaded guilty to five charges levelled against him and two others, including forming a criminal gang, aiding the formation of a criminal gang, conspiracy against the established government or the President of the Republic, complicity in a terrorist act, murder, and conspiracy to murder.

During the hearing, Kizito was open and seemingly remorseful of his association with terror groups against Rwanda, most especially RNC.

When he was first arrested in 2014, he, together with his accomplices at the time, were found in possession of military-grade explosives which they intended to use to destablise security in Rwanda.

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