The renowned Rwandan business magnate and industrialist, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, has passed away at the age of 82.

News of his death initially surfaced on social media late Tuesday before being reported by various media outlets, including Voice of America, which cited sources close to his family.

As of Wednesday, April 17, morning, the circumstances surrounding Rujugiro’s death had not been disclosed. The tycoon resided in South Africa at the time of his passing.

Rujugiro gained prominence primarily for his entrepreneurial endeavors, notably in the tobacco industry. He founded and led Africa’s largest tobacco company, the Pan African Tobacco Group.

Born in Rwanda, Rujugiro’s business journey transcended borders, leading him to establish a business empire across multiple sectors. However, his success was not devoid of controversy.

In April 2021, a report addressing East Africa’s struggle against extremism, crime, corruption, and associated illicit trades implicated the exiled Rwandan dissident in illicit trade and terrorism financing.