East Africa

Rwanda’s detained politician Rwigara finally released

Diane Rwigara

Rwandan politician Diane Rwigara has returned home after she was arrested along with her mother and sister during investigations into alleged forgery and tax evasion.

The police tweeted that the three women were “escorted home” after questioning.

The politician’s family say she was arrested last week after police raided her house in the capital, Kigali.

The police, however, only confirmed on Monday that they were holding Ms Rwigara and her family members.

Police spokesman Theos Badege told the BBC’s Focus on Africa programme last week that the police did not know the whereabouts of the three women:

“They are said to be where they want to be, and because ours was just to conduct the search, which is part of the investigation… we don’t know where they are,” he said.

Ms Rwigara, a renowned women’s activist in Rwanda, was disqualified to run in last month’s presidential race which was won by incumbent President Paul Kagame.

Investigators allege that Ms Rwigara committed an electoral offence by collecting forged signatures to endorse her candidacy.

She has however denied the allegation saying instead that she met all the requirements to run.

Police also accuse her mother and sister of being involved in tax evasion, an allegation that the family denies.

Family members say that police raided and ransacked their house on Tuesday last week, before arresting the three women and confiscating communication gadgets, computers and some cash, which have not returned.

Mr Badege told the BBC that they had only conducted a raid at the politician’s house and taken away communication gadgets, but denied arresting her.

Police said in another tweet on Tuesday, after the women’s release, that they might be called back for questioning.

The politician’s brother, Aristide Rwigara, told the BBC that her sister’s treatment was “inhumane”, and blamed it on her political ambition.

“All my sister did was run for president and now they are persecuting the family.”


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