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Rwanda police must produce 'missing' female critic of Kagame


A critic of Rwandan president Paul Kagame is missing after a police raid on her family house. Diane Rwigara, her mother and other relatives were said to have been arrested, a claim the police spokesperson, Theos Badege, denied on Wednesday.

But a relative is charging the police to produce the family of five. The unnamed relative based in Canada told the British broadcaster, BBC, that police should account for the ‘missing’ persons they had ‘arrested’ in the view of witnesses.

“They are said to be where they want to be, and because ours was just to conduct just the search, which is part of the investigation as I said, we don’t know where they are. We can only say they are not in police hands, they have not been arrested,” Badege said.

Rwigara, a 35-year-old accountant, failed in a bid to stand in the August 4 presidential polls. She was barred over inadequate signatories and use of details of dead people. The latter – which she denies – has led to the pressing of forgery charges against her as confirmed by police on Wednesday.

She has repeatedly accused Kagame of stifling dissent and criticised his Rwandan Patriotic Front’s near total hold on power.

Police also confirmed that the family’s tobacco business was under investigation for tax evasion. According to the Rwanda Revenue Authority’s Commissioner General, Richard Tusabe, the Rwigara family’s tobacco company had not paid taxes “over a period of five years.”

The phones of Rwigara and three family members were switched off on Wednesday when Reuters called them. No one answered when a Reuters reporter rang the door bell at the home.

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