A popular Rwandan rapper, who was being held on drug charges, passed away after he consumed a mixture of methanol disinfectant, sugar and water, the East African nation’s Correctional Service announced.
According to BBC, Jay Polly, 33, was taken to the hospital after he consumed the said substance. The deceased rapper’s brother said he got to know about his death through the Rwanda Correctional Service, though they did not tell him about circumstances surrounding his passing.
Jay Polly’s girlfriend also told the news outlet she had “a life project” with him. “I am in deep sorrow, I don’t believe it yet until I get to Rwanda [from Kenya] and see it myself,” she added. “Everyone who met or lived with Jay Polly will remember him for his love, kindness and how he was always smiling,”
Born Joshua Tuyishime, Jay Polly was arrested in April for allegedly flouting the COVID-19 safety protocols after he held a party in his home, AFP reported. His arrest was also publicized by authorities. Police said the rapper and other suspects were drinking and had marijuana as well as fake COVID-19 certificates in their possession when they were rounded up.
The rapper, who was denied bail on a number of occasions, was scheduled to go on trial in December. He also maintained his innocence after his arrest.
Jay Polly is reportedly the second Rwandan musician to mysteriously die while in custody in less than 24 months. The first musician, Kizito Mihigo, died in his cell in February after allegedly committing suicide. Authorities said Mihigo hung himself using bedsheets.
Mihigo’s music had been banned by President Paul Kagame’s government prior to his death. In 2015, he was convicted and sentenced to 10 years in prison after he was found guilty of conspiracy against the government. He was, however, released in 2018 after he was granted a presidential pardon.
The musician’s February death while in custody came a few days after he was arrested while attempting to flee the country.