Bishop Augustin Misago passes away
NYAMAGABE – The lifeless body of the Bishop of Gikongoro Catholic Diocese, Mgr Augustin Misago, was found yesterday in his office around midday, according to Bishop Smaragde Mbonyintege, the President of the Catholic Episcopal Conference of Rwanda.
It is suspected that he might have succumbed to cardiac arrest.
“The Church is devastated by the death of the Bishop. We are all saddened,” Mbonyintege told The New Times.
“We worked together for a long time. He was intelligent, social and hardworking,” he said.
The Catholic Church leaders met yesterday in Nyamagabe to discuss the burial date.
Born in 1943, Misago served as the bishop of Gikongoro Catholic Diocese from March 30, 1992 when it was established. Gikongoro Catholic Diocese is home to the ‘Holy City’ of Kibeho, where apparitions of the Virgin Mary were reported throughout the 1980’s.
It is believed that Augustin Misago, who was until his death the first and only serving bishop of Gikongoro, was appointed in part because he had studied and written on the Kibeho apparitions when he served as the Rector of the Nyakibanda Grand Seminary.
On 14 April 1999, he was arrested on charges of Genocide and accused of participating in the murder of 150,000 Tutsi in his diocese.
He was deemed particularly responsible for the murder of 30 female students who allegedly asked him for protection. After 14 months in prison, a court in Kigali cleared him of the charges and he was, thereafter, released.