Musicians speak out on Kizito Mihigo  

ONE OF RWANDA’S renowned musician Kizito Mihigo has confessed to being involved in terrorist activities. Kizito and three others are accused of planning attacks, with the aim to overthrow the government, to assassinate government officials and to incite violence.   The New Times’ Dean Karemera interviewed a cross-section of local musicians, who expressed their shock at the musician’s alleged offences.

ONE OF RWANDA’S renowned musicians Kizito Mihigo has confessed to being involved in terrorist activities. Kizito and three others are accused of planning attacks, with the aim to overthrow the government, to assassinate government officials and to incite violence.  

The New Times’ Dean Karemera interviewed a cross-section of local musicians, who expressed their shock at the musician’s alleged offences.

They also talked of the power of music and how it was used as a tool to promote genocide ideology and inciting violence (during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi), which the music industry is currently trying to restore and have Rwandans trust in the industry again.

Excerpts...

Eric Senderi

It is an indication that we still have people who don’t understand where the country has come from and where it is going. Actually, speaking as a former soldier, this shows that even though some people were rescued (during the Genocide) they don’t know what the people who rescued them went through to save them, the sacrifices they had to make, the blood they poured and the different disabilities they have endured.

With this kind of security, where people freely do what they can do did not come overnight. It equally shows that he (Kizito) recorded songs and founded projects to promote reconciliation yet he did not understand what he was exactly doing. I swore never to betray my country or connive with anyone who wants to betray the country. What he did is simply shocking.

Irene Gaby Kamanzi Ingabire

When I heard that Kizito Mihigo was arrested I couldn’t believe it, but I just want to give some advice not only to musicians but to all Rwandans. Rwandans should have the fear of God and seek Him first before doing anything. You can’t claim to love God and do such things at the same time. God is love and God wants you to love your country and your leaders. 

You can’t love God and engage in such evil activities. The Bible says that the “Fear of God is the beginning of wisdom”, we should put this into practice if we are to do the right things. This applies to all citizens in this country, not musicians alone. We should love our country and our leaders. The least we can do as citizens is to pray for them.

Intore Masamba

 I’m still in shock. This shows how you can live with someone but you do not know who they are. Musicians should strive to participate in the renewal and reconciliation process. Kizito is an example of someone who has failed to put his talent to good use. As musicians we should not be using our talent to destroy our country but build it. 

Let’s stick to what we know best. If you are a musician, then sing. It is wrong to use our talent and fame as platform for engaging in activities that can destroy our country. This is a setback but I urge all the musicians to use their talents to teach reconciliation and promote unity of all Rwandans.

Diane Teta

It is a shame that some people still want to use music as a platform to indulge in illegal activities. We had musicians who recorded genocide inciting songs which helped destroy this country. As musicians we are looked up to by many people and many of them believe in us. After what happened in 1994 and the years before when musicians used their songs to promote hate and violence, we know that this is the last thing that Rwanda needs. It is our duty as musicians, just like all the citizens, to take part in the country’s reconstruction process, we should use our talents to build a better country. 

Aimable Twahirwa 

It’s so shameful, I don’t even know how to describe it. Everyone should be cautious and understand what they are dealing with before engaging in it, more especially public figures. It saddens me that a person of Kizito’s calibre who was looked up to by many people and had wonderful projects going on could do such a thing.  Some people claim that Police has fabricated the case against him but I find it preposterous. Our Police can’t make up such allegations, more so against a person like Kizito Mihigo. In fact, I gather he has confessed himself. It is a pity that these things are still happening, with the people we know and trusted involved. As artistes, we need to play an important role in educating Rwandans on unity and reconciliation.

 

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