Nayurgenge Primary Court on Monday sent Fashion designer and founder of Moshions, Moses Turahirwa, on remand for 30 days, pending investigations into alleged drug abuse, ahead of his trial.
During the bail ruling on Monday, the judge said Turahirwa, who was detained by Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), on April 27, on allegations of forgery and drug abuse, will remain in detention on grounds that he pleaded guilty to the charge of drug abuse and will most likely continue the habit if released back into society.
The judge said that Turahirwa, who used his social media platforms to claim that he is allowed to consume the psychoactive drug, Cannabis, and to grow it in Nyungwe, will most likely continue to engage in the same activities if released. It was also argued that he could continue to use his social media platforms to encourage young people to take drugs.
The Court however said that Prosecution did not provide enough evidence to prove that Turahirwa committed the crime of forgery, after he posted a photo of his passport claiming that it was issued with his preferred gender of ‘female’. The charge is likely to be dropped when the trial goes into substance.
Last week, Turahirwa, 32, pleaded guilty to the charge of drug use, but told court that he smoked marijuana during his two-year stay in Italy. He admitted that he was found in possession of the drug but said that it was found in a shirt he hadn’t worn for a long time.
He said that in Italy consumption of marijuana is not illegal, though records show that the drug is illegal and highly regulated in the European country.
On the charge of forgery, Turahirwa said that he had altered his own passport, but removed key information, in an artistic way to promote his new initiative dubbed ‘Kwanda Season I’ but did not think he was committing a crime. He said he deleted the post after realising that it was misleading the public.
He said the said copy doesn’t have a passport number and that he never purported to use it anywhere, as though it was his official passport.
Turahirwa, who was flanked by one of his lawyers, Irene Bayisabe, appeared unbothered and kept a jolly mood as the court pronounced itself on bail. In his bail application, the designer had staked his fashion business, which he said is valued at more than Rwf5bn, as bond security, while his sister had also stood surety.
His lawyers argued that he is not a flight risk and should be granted the right to bail but the court said that there is enough reason to keep Turahirwa behind bars.
Prior to his arrest, the fashion designer had been in the news in recent months for the wrong reasons. At the beginning of April, he claimed that he is allowed to smoke Cannabis publicly, including on the streets of Kigali, for medical reasons, despite the consumption of marijuana remaining illegal in Rwanda, whether for medical or recreational purposes.
Earlier this year in January, the fashion designer was in the news again after a video of him, seemingly in an intimate act with other men, made rounds on social media platforms. Before his arrest, Turahirwa had been moving around promoting his new clothing line ‘Kwanda’.
Turahirwa will now wait for the substantive trial date to be set.