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Faith Nyasuguta 

Rwanda has indefinitely dismissed the Miss Rwanda competitions until further notice as investigations into alleged cases of sexual abuse in the pageantry continue.

This comes after the recent arrest of an official in charge of the pageant over alleged sexual exploitation of contestants who participated in the Miss Rwanda pageantry over the years.

Currently, Rwanda Investigations Bureau (RIB) is investigating Dieudone Ishimwe, popularly known as Prince Kid, the Chief Executive Officer of Rwanda Inspiration Backup which puts together the Miss Rwanda competition.

Miss Rwanda 2022 winner /KT news/

“Following the ongoing RIB investigations into the sexual abuse allegations of Miss Rwanda contestants levelled against the CEO of Rwanda Inspiration backup, committed at different times of the pageantry, the Ministry of Youth and culture informs the public that it has suspended Miss Rwanda competitions pending ongoing investigations,” reads the statement from Rwanda’s Ministry of Youth and Culture published on May 9, 2022.

The ongoing sex scandal that has rocked Miss Rwanda became public after current Miss Rwanda, Nshuti Divine Muheto, recently spoke out and shared a recording of Ishimwe soliciting sexual favours.

The probe unit has also nabbed Ms Elsa Iradukunda, the Miss Rwanda 2017 winner, for allegedly using doctored documents in attempts to obstruct the ongoing investigations.

Miss Rwanda contestants 2021 /KT News/

Sources point to the former beauty queen, who is said to be in a relationship with the embattled pageant boss, manipulating victims who testified against Ishimwe into signing written documents that deny having been sexually abused by him at any time.

In a recent speech at the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) congress, President Paul Kagame said the cases went beyond sexual abuse of contestants by organisers to trafficking of girls for sexual exploitation.

He also decried the increasing trend of human trafficking in the country, where majority of the victims are turned into sex slaves in some countries in the Gulf, Middle East and Asia.

“I always see police reports that show people who have been trafficked and are trapped in other countries like China, Oman and other gulf countries; some reach out for help. These are Rwandans who end up being used as sex slaves.”

President Kagame called on young women to report errant men and any sexual abuse to authorities.

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Faith Nyasuguta

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