By Jean Serge Mandela
SCORES of Lusaka based Rwandese refugees and people of special joined with other Roman Catholic Kanyama St Joseph parish churchgoers to hold a memorial service in honour of three slain Gakurazo Catholic bishops and Catholic gospel singer, Kizito Mihigo.
Christ the King Small Christian Community (SCC) leader Charles Munyeshaka described as shocking, the death of the renowned gospel singer and is a clear sign that the current Rwanda regime is not embracing the reconciliation.
“Rwanda government doesn’t want reconciliation and doesn’t want forgiveness,” Bishop Munyeshaka lamented in front of a parked audience.
He added that the current regime tried vainly to silence the singer, before concluding his address by calling on all Rwandese to emulate the late slain singer who was described as a true patriotic who strived for peace for all Rwandese.
Kanyama Parishioner Matilda shared that all human beings are children of God hence the need to support each other in order enjoy peace and love in the world
In a separate interview Bazumvaryali Jean a community leader has suggested that the singer death was an assault on freedom of expression and an injury to Rwandese reconciliation process. He added that the death of Kizito Mihigo, a catholic gospel artist who sang reconciliatory songs but perceived satirical was politically engineered and that reports suggesting he committed suicide were fake.
Mr Bazumvaryali explained that former Rwandan refugees based in most countries experienced high levels of fear and trauma as a result of how those that tried to freely express themselves about how an “all inclusive” reconciliation could be attained disappeared in their home country.
He called on leaders across African to take interest in the politics of Rwanda and see how most human rights laws and the likes were been suppressed.
“It’s like African leaders don’t pay attention to what is happening in our country, they need to understand that anyone can’t criticize or freely express how they feel about something in Rwanda or how an all inclusive reconciliation can be attained, and that is a serious assault on humans,” he said.
Mr Bazumvaryali said such clandestine activities were the reason most former refugees declined to be repatriated despite agreements and treaties being signed and safety guaranteed.
“How can a man who was arrested and in handcuffs commit suicide using bed shits when cells in Rwanda don’t have bed shits, they only surrounded concrete walls and a floor and journalists that attended his body viewing confirmed that he had injuries on his head,” he said.
.Speaking when he opened a conclave on 17 February, 2020 which coincided with the eve of the official announcement of the death of the singer Kizito, Rwandan president Paul Kagame said “they are lucky ones who will be seeing being brought to courts since others have been sentenced from where they were.”
In what seemed like a related incident, a video went viral where the Rwanda leader in his usual mood was quoted saying “They have gone to the prison and they have come out of the prison, for it we have forgiven them and they have started praying those games again. We will put them where they belong,” a statement that was met with huge cheering from the gathering before the President by saying that those who were making noise about the incident ‘will see what they are going to do about’ in an innuendo which he was likely referring to the International community and world recognized watchdogs.
The singer’s death sent waves worldwide as the Rwanda Police spokesperson announced the death of the once attached to the Rwanda 1st lady office on 17 February. The instant “Death description” hit-maker made the renowned singer to ran out of favor with the current regime leading to his sentencing for treason for 10 years before he was released on parole after serving 4 years for what looked like “house arrest”.
He was arrested during what his close friends described as a picnic prior to his death while detained in police cells. The family received his remains in the coffin en-route to body viewing on the day of his burial on 22 February in Kigali.