Cassien Ntamuhanga

KAMPALA- A Rwandan journalist who had sought refuge in Mozambique has been kidnapped and his whereabouts are not known.

Cassien Ntamuhanga who had become a critic of President Kagame was kidnapped on May 22, 2012, from his place at Inhaca Island in Maputo.

According to sources close to his family, he was picked by 10 plain clothed security personnel and among them were four Rwandan officials.

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“Four people who were speaking Kinyarwanda first visited his place and pretended to have gone to buy pig for roasting from his farm,” the source said. They even slaughtered it. But they later started taking  his photos and after like 30 minutes more six people who later turned into security officers and took him away,”

DW Africa quoted the Director of Mozambique Center for Democracy Development, Adrian Nvunga on Tuesday saying that there are fears that Mr Ntamuhanga could be extradited to Rwanda.

The source said that residents around his place tried to protest his arrest but they were told that he is a drug trafficker.

They took his laptop, phones, refugee card, a passport and documents from his house.

According to Rwandan refugees in Mozambique, he was first detained at Maputo police station where he was up to Tuesday last week.

“Since that time no one knows where he is.  We have some information that he could have been transferred to Maputo Central Prison and he is said to be in solitary confinement waiting for Interpol to process his extradition documents to Rwanda,” A Rwandan in exile in Mozambique who doesn’t want to be named said.

Mr Ntamuhanga, a former Rwandan journalist with a religious radio called Amazing Grace, was arrested in 2015 alongside the late musician Kizito Mihigo who was later found dead after his release in February 2020.

 Mr Ntamuhanga managed to stage a prison break and fled to Mozambique in 2017 and sought asylum. He had a refugee status.

Days after he fled Rwanda his three young brothers were reportedly arrested and killed. In 2018, his mother and surviving brother and relatives fled to Uganda.

His kidnap came Mozambique President met his Rwandan counterpart in April in Kigali.