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Kizito Mihigo: The Rwandan gospel singer who died in a police cell

Rwandan gospel singer Kizito Mihigo was at one time hailed as a great national talent but then he was accused of being a traitor. He was recently found dead, at the age of 38, in a police cell. The BBC’s Great Lakes Service looks back at his life.

With his signature crucifix dangling around his neck and his patient demeanour, Kizito, as he was popularly known, resembled a priest rather than one of the most popular performers in the country.

Like a priest, he felt he had a mission to promote peace in a country scarred by slaughter, but it was this mission that is widely seen as having eventually landed him in trouble with the authorities.

He was initially embraced by the government. His concerts drew tens of thousands of fans, from all walks of life, who appreciated his message offering hope for the future.

But his journey from superstar to pariah was swift.

Influenced by his father, who composed liturgical music, his songs echoed the sounds heard in Catholic worship.

But in 1994, at the age of 12, he lost his father, as well as other relatives, in the Rwandan genocide, in which about 800,000 people, ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus, were murdered by Hutu extremists.

Profoundly affected by what had happened, Kizito, an ethnic Tutsi, made reconciliation a central message of his work once he became a performer.

Born in 1981, Mihigo was the third child in a family of six. He grew up in Kibeho, southern Rwanda, an area that became a pilgrimage site after several schoolchildren there saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the 1980s.

It was in this religious context that the future gospel star grew up.

He fled to neighboring Burundi in the wake of the genocide and was reunited with surviving members of his family.

They returned home once the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the mainly Tutsi rebel movement led by the current President Paul Kagame, had taken power.

Born in 1981, Mihigo was the third child in a family of six. He grew up in Kibeho, southern Rwanda, an area that became a pilgrimage site after several schoolchildren there saw apparitions of the Virgin Mary in the 1980s.

It was in this religious context that the future gospel star grew up.

He fled to neighbouring Burundi in the wake of the genocide and was reunited with surviving members of his family.

They returned home once the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the mainly Tutsi rebel movement led by the current President Paul Kagame, had taken power.

‘Trailblazer’

An initial plan to join the army and take vengeance for the death of his father did not work out as he was turned away. But then, at 14, he enrolled in the Karubanda Minor Seminary, where his musicianship was nurtured.

“I will remember him as a very talented musician who gave people joy, who was a trailblazer in composing and singing,” school friend Jean de Dieu Sibomana told the BBC.

In his second year at the seminary, Kizito became the school’s chief organist ahead of some more senior students and led an elite choir, which entered competitions across the country.

Eventually, his talent was recognised by President Kagame who awarded him a scholarship to study at the prestigious Conservatoire de Paris.

 

Huawei: US issues new charges of racketeering and theft

The US has expanded its lawsuit against Huawei, accusing the Chinese telecoms giant of a “decades-long” plan to steal technology from US firms.

Prosecutors said Huawei had violated the terms of partnerships with US companies and stolen trade secrets such as source code and robot technology.

It adds to a list of other charges brought by the US last year.

Those accused Huawei of violating US sanctions and stealing technology from T-Mobile. Huawei has denied the claims.

The firm, one of the world’s biggest smartphone makers, said the US is targeting it because its expansion is a threat to American business interests.

Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer and the daughter of the company’s founder, is still being held in Canada where she is fighting extradition to the US.

She is wanted there on charges of fraud and sanctions violations – claims she denies.

“This new indictment is part of the Justice Department’s attempt to irrevocably damage Huawei’s reputation and its business for reasons related to competition rather than law enforcement,” the company said.

In the updated indictment, the US accuses Huawei of racketeering and trade secret theft, and gives more detail about the firm’s efforts to evade US rules on doing business with Iran and North Korea.

Prosecutors also said Huawei offered bonuses to staff who obtained “confidential information” from its competitors.

“As a consequence of its campaign to steal this technology and intellectual property, Huawei was able to drastically cut its research and development costs and associated delays, giving the company a significant and unfair competitive advantage,” prosecutors said.

Huawei said the new charges are a “contrived repackaging” of claims that have already been litigated in civil court.

“The government will not prevail on these charges which we will prove to be both unfounded and unfair,” the company said.

The new charges, filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Thursday, suggest the US is not backing away from its fight over Huawei, which has added to tensions between the US and China, and complicated American relationships with allies.

The US has pushed partners such as the UK to ban Huawei technology from their networks, maintaining the company’s equipment could be used for spying by China.

Despite the pressure, the UK last month announced it would continue using Huawei technology in its growing 5G networks, but with restrictions.

 

Joe Biden calls for Trump’s impeachment

Former Vice President Joe Biden called for President Trump’s impeachment today for the first time at a rally in Rochester, New Hampshire.

“With his words, and his actions, President Trump has indicted himself by obstructing justice, refusing to comply with the congressional inquiry. He’s already convicted himself in full view of the world and the American people,” Biden said.

“Donald Trump has violated his oath of office betrayed this nation, and committed impeachable acts. You know, to preserve our Constitution, our democracy. Our basic integrity. He should be impeached,” he added.

Biden went on to say that Trump thinks “he can and will get away with anything he does.”

“He shooting holes in the Constitution. And we cannot let him get away with it,” the former vice president said.

has been at the center of the Ukraine controversy. Trump has repeated an unproven accusation that claims that Biden was improperly trying to help Hunter, who served on the board of a Ukrainian natural gas company, when the then-vice president pressured the Ukrainian government to fire the country’s prosecutor general.

 
Respond of Donald J. Trump
So pathetic to see Sleepy Joe Biden, who with his son, Hunter, and to the detriment of the American Taxpayer, has ripped off at least two countries for millions of dollars, calling for my impeachment – and I did nothing wrong. Joe’s Failing Campaign gave him no other choice!

Special Representative of China assures Sierra Leone of further cooperation

State House, Freetown, Friday 6 September 2019 – President Xi Jinping’s Special Representative, Yang Jiechi, has met with His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio to assure of his country’s commitment to further deepening and strengthening bilateral relations with the New Direction Government.

Mr. Yang, who is visiting Kenya, Nigeria and Sierra Leone this month to exchange views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest, said he was in the country on a special assignment for His Excellency Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China.

He recalled that during President Bio’s visit to China last year, the two Heads of State discussed a range of issues, including how to further strengthen cooperation between the two countries.

He said China cherished its ties with the West African state and was ready to work with the new administration to further deepen that relationship, maintain close relations and push for greater progress for the benefit of the two counties.

In his brief response, President Julius Maada Bio thanked the delegation for visiting the country saying it was a special visit that heightened the relationship between China and the people of Sierra Leone. He also commended the Chinese government for maintaining its relationship with Sierra Leone and added that he was happy to receive the team.

Yang Jiechi is a high-ranking Chinese politician and diplomat who was the Director of the Office of Foreign Affairs Commission of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China.

For More Enquiries:
State House Media and Communications Unit
+23276758764/+23288269282

Storm strengthens to category 4

The US Hurricanne Center said that the powerful storm that had threaten south-eastern coast of The US has grown to category 4.

Hurricane Dorian has maximum sustained winds of nearly 145mph (225km/h). The Storm is expected to grow even stronger, its center potentially crossing the Bahamas before skirting Florida’s east coast early next week. Reports show that a florida has declared a state of emergency and residence have been asked to stock enough food, water and medication which can last at least a week.

Tourist are said scrambling to leave the Bahamas before the international airport is closed.

Forecasters warn Dorian could be the region’s worst storm since category five Hurricane Andrew killed 65 people and destroyed 63,000 homes in 1992.

By the middle of next week, forecasters expect Dorian to shift eastwards, putting the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina at risk.

“Dorian is anticipated to remain an extremely dangerous major hurricane while it moves near the north-western Bahamas and approaches the Florida peninsula into early next week,” the NHC said.

The NHC warned that Dorian could cause “incredibly catastrophic damage”.

Residents of Georgia and South Carolina have been told to keep an eye on the forecast as Dorian churns towards the US coast.

Dorian is expected to drop up to 12in (30cm) of rain on the coastal US, with some areas getting as much as 18in. Tides in the region are already at some of their highest levels of the year, owing to a naturally occurring event.

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