High Court rejects bail appeal by suspect in city pastor murder trial

The High Court in Kigali has rejected an appeal for bail made by Drake Mugisha, the estranged husband of Pastor Maggie Mutesi who was found dead in her home on September 10.

The High Court in Kigali has rejected an appeal for bail made by Drake Mugisha, the estranged husband of Pastor Maggie Mutesi who was found dead in her home on September 10. 

Mugisha, the key suspect in the murder of his wife was arrested a few days after an autopsy report revealed that she had died of strangulation and not of natural cause as the suspect, who was with her in at home when she died, claimed.

The Nyarugenge Intermediate Court in Nyamirambo had last month sent Mugisha to a 30-day remand, a decision he challenged at the high court. 

On appeal, Mugisha requested to be released on bail saying there was no prima facie case against him saying that the autopsy was not satisfactorily done and that there were no fingerprints taken from the alleged crime scene to link him to the murder.

Mugisha, a retired military officer, had also hinted that the report was biased and could have been done in a way to set him up for the murder. 

Among other reasons, he stated that he needed to go out of jail so that he could take care of his children whom he said were not in school.  

During the ruling, the presiding judge told Mugisha that he will have to attend the rest of his trial while coming from jail since there was strong evidence linking him to the murder. 

Among these, the judge cited the autopsy report that is accompanied by an affidavit by the pathologist who conducted it.

He also went on to say that the poor relationship between the couple is also not subject to doubt since it is backed by information from their neighbours as well as relations of the deceased wife. 

“All these give us strong reason to believe the suspect is linked to the murder of his deceased wife just like the previous court ruling had held, which we hereby uphold,” he said. 

Maggie Mutesi was known for leading monthly prayer meetings at Kigali Serena Hotel. She was the founder and leader of Heavens Gates Ministries, a Kigali-based Christian ministry. She died at 37 years. 

Mugisha, 45 is a retired early this year from Rwanda Defence Forces at the rank of Captain.