East African Journal

East African Journal features stories and publications focused on a wide range of issues on economy, technology, trade, travel and lifestyle in East Africa.

  • Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Categories
    Categories Displays a list of categories from this blog.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that has been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login

Kizito – Some questions that won’t go away

Posted by on in Rwanda
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 921
  • Print
  • PDF

I wrote this in response to a two-bit piece of slander written by Shyaka Kanuma, a call for my arrest for having freedom of speech. Like most Rwandans I was shocked at the arrest of Kizito Mihigo, as much as the Govt tried to spin it that he is a terrorist, no one believes it, not even the spinners themselves. Much of the criticism will be valid as too many questions arise to hide the fishy smell.

WHY? Why would a survivor who had his family killed work with those who killed his family? For this they say “he was jealous, he wanted money, he wanted fame, he wanted power.” That is hard to believe, it takes a huge leap of faith to believe that. My suspicions were aroused when they said “you have to approach this with an open mind.” Why? So he confessed and in their mind the why doesn’t even apply, he is mad, they say.

WHAT did he confess to? He has confessed to knowing some people, to having whatsapp conversations, even might have spoken against the govt. At no time did he confess to blowing up grenades, even if he did it is ridiculous. If a man confessed to something absurd then it raises more questions, he was held several days beyond the legal requirement, the confession was elicited without legal representation, he was paraded in front of the media like a convict and forced to confess. He is yet to be charged, so he is yet to be convicted, so he is to all intents and purposes innocent until the court concludes the case.

HOW would it be possible for a singer to overthrow the govt, or for a singer to assassinate a president with the toughest security on the continent? Can Kirk Franklin overthrow Obama? How would they overthrow an army that has conquered Congo twice and can do it again if they wished? The 4 people they named cannot be a conspiracy, it takes more than 4 to overthrow a govt. How would a singer store grenades at his house? Why not in a less conspicuous place? It is all too neat to make sense.

WHEN did this happen? Over the Genocide memorial week, when Mihigo had just released a controversial song called Igisobanuro cy’urupfu – the meaning of death. The police stress the charges have nothing to do with the song, but it is hard to explain that just days after the song he was in jail. When is also important in understanding that he had set up his own NGO promoting reconciliation that differed from govt policy, calling for all the dead of Rwanda’s conflicts to be remembered, very touchy indeed.

Who is Kizito Mihigo? He is the face of govt reconciliation programs going back 20 years since he was a choirboy. The concept of unity he represented has been thrown out, he is no longer valuable as the new concept of apologies has taken over. Why would a singer destroy his whole catalogue of unity songs? An artist protects his art at all costs above all else, so to believe that he was encoding secret messages to overthrow the govt is absurd.

I am being a sceptical person, I will give him benefit of the doubt until these questions have answers. The only way our justice system will work better is if it is held accountable and follows international standards of proof. A foreign correspondent said to me “if I file such a story I could get sacked, they will think I have lost reason and sense.” The simplest explanation is often the truth Occam’s razor would throw this out in seconds. A junior lawyer could get this dismissed in a fair system, we are not yet institutionally developed, this will be a communist-style show trial held at a stadium to set an example to all. Not even a choirboy is safe, what would we do to you? Message received loud and clear.


This article was first published at http://igiceri.wordpress.com/2014/04/21/kizito-some-questions-that-wont-go-away/

Administrator has not set their biography yet