TONY BARIGYE meets the best friend of the man who shot 6 people last week
On September 25, waves of shock ran through Kimisagara, a Kigali suburb when Jean Baptiste Muhoza, ran berserk and shot dead six people.
Muhoza was arrested on Wednesday in Choho, a swamp in Bugeserwa where he was hiding.
After the incident, Muhoza’s childhood friend only identified as Cedric was heard wondering, “Why did he do this?”
Those who know Muhoza say he is not suffering from mental illness.
Who is Jean Baptiste Muhoza?
Cedric, Muhoza’s childhood friend who insists that Sunday Times should not identify him fearing reprisal, says Muhoza’s act hit him like a thunderbolt out of a clear sky.
He pulls out a photo taken this year of Muhoza holding Cedric’s three year old baby, describing the man as his “best friend”.
Cedric has known Muhoza for over 30 years. He describes him as a "cool and quiet young man." The soft-spoken Muhoza would not even harm a fly when they were growing up, reports his friend.
“But he is also a secretive and reserved person. He rarely talked about his private life or family matters,” Cedric recalls.
Cedric recalls only once, many years back, Muhoza mentioning his mother. Muhoza told Cedric he loved his mother so much.
“He told me the mother was still alive and he was born alone,” Cedric recalls.
According to his friend, Muhoza is also tactful. Cedric says it was hard to tell whether he is annoyed. He was the kind who wanted to achieve things quickly.
Cedric met Muhoza in 1999 during military training. “He excelled quickly. He had enrolled before me.”
“A few days back, he told me he wanted to buy a house. He said he had Frw1.5million,” Cedric says. As a close friend, Cedric was also taken for questioning hours after the shooting.
Cedric is deeply puzzled by his comrade’s sudden change of behavior.