Following an investigation into alleged cases of s*xual abuse in the pageantry, the Miss Rwanda pageant has been suspended until further notice.
The event was canceled after an official in charge of the pageant was arrested for alleged sexual exploitation of Miss Rwanda contestants over the years.
According to the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), Dieudonne Ishimwe, a former musician known as Prince Kid, was arrested on April 27 for alleged “s*xual assault related crimes.”
The ministry of youth and culture issued a statement on Monday, May 9, stating that “the Miss Rwanda beauty pageant has been suspended pending the completion of investigations” into the allegations against Ishimwe.
The 36-year-old is facing charges of allegedly committing crimes against former Miss Rwanda contestants at various times, according to RIB spokesman Thierry Murangira at the time of his arrest.
The Miss Rwanda sex scandal broke after current Miss Rwanda, Nshuti Divine Muheto, spoke out and shared a recording of Ishimwe soliciting sexual favors.
RIB has also arrested Ms Elsa Iradukunda, Miss Rwanda 2017, for allegedly attempting to obstruct ongoing investigations by using forged documents.
According to sources, the former beauty queen, who is said to be in a relationship with the embattled pageant boss, has been coercing victims who testified against Ishimwe into signing written documents denying ever being sexually abused by him.
According to its website, Miss Rwanda made her debut in the global Miss World competition in 2016. It bills itself as the leading beauty pageant in East Africa.