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After nude photos exposition, Kagame’s fierce critic now goes ‘missing’

The woman whose nude photos were leaked after she announced her intentions to challenge President Paul Kagame in Rwanda’s presidential election has gone missing.

Prior to her ‘disappearance’, Diane Rwigara had been arrested during a raid at her home on Tuesday night.

This even as police dispelled the arrest claims with Police spokesman Theos Badege on Wednesday telling The EastAfrican that the officers were investigating alleged forgery and tax evasion which prompted them to conduct a search at the family’s home in the upscale suburb of Kiyovu in Kigali.

A relative said police arrested Ms Rwigara, her mother, a sister and two brothers and their phones have been off.

DISQUALIFIED

“I have not been able to reach any of them on phone… even on WhatsApp… I saw they had all been offline at the same time,” the family source told The EastAfrican on Thursday.

Ms Rwigara shot to limelight in May when she announced her intentions to run against President Kagame, only for her nude photos to be leaked and widely shared on social media days later.

Rwanda’s National Electoral Commission would later disqualify her and two other candidates on technical grounds.

FIERCE CRITIC

Ms Rwigara has been a fierce critic of President Kagame, often accusing his government for clamping down on freedoms of expression, media and political space.

The Rwigara family has also been subjected to a probe over suspected tax evasion in its real estate and tobacco manufacturing businesses.

If found culpable, Ms Rwigara could face more than five years behind bars for the alleged crimes.

According to Rwanda’s penal code, forgery attracts five to seven years in jail and a fine of Rwf3 million.

Similarly, tax evasion attracts imprisonment of six months to two years and a fine equal to the evaded levies.