Sunday set for King Kigeli V burial ceremony
Written by: Tuyizere Daniel
Wednesday, January 11th, 2017, 13:18
Kigali: Three months after Rwanda’s former King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa died in the US, a date has been set to be finally laid to rest. This Wednesday it was announced that the late King will be buried on Sunday, January 15, 2017 in Mwima, Nyanza.
Pastor Ezra Mpyisi announced the funeral arrangements on behalf of the royal family who met in Kigali after the body of King Kigeli V was brought back from the US. The King died on October 16, 2016, aged 80.
His body was repatriated following a legal battle in the US state of Virginia between two camps including his family members, advisors and close confidants. One group wanted his body brought back to his ancestral land, while the other was against given that the King never wanted to come back.
Following the court ruling last week, the body was swiftly brought to Kigali with no media attention until landing at Kigali International Airport. At the airport the King’s body was received by family members and some government officials.
Burial arrangements for Rwanda’s last King were announced amid a growing controversy after the King’s advisor Boniface Benzige released a statement that The Rwandan Royal Council of Abiru proclaimed Prince Emmanuel Bushaija as the successor with the Kingship title of Yuhi VI Bushaija.
Pastor Mpyisi refuted claims of the King’s successor, saying that Benzige did not have authority to proclaim a successor. There are plans to hold discussions between Government, Rwandans and members of the royal family to decide on the successor.
The late king will be laid to rest in his ancestral lands in Mwima close to where his elder brother and predecessor King Rudahigwa was buried. The Sunday events will include cultural ceremonies and prayers led by the Catholic Church, religion in which he was baptized.
Kigeli V Ndahindurwa Jean Baptiste was a son of Yuhi V Musinga, a former Rwandan king. Born in 1936 in Rusizi, Kigeli succeeded his brother Mutara Rudahigwa, whose monarchy ended in 1959 following his untimely death.
Kigeli V reigned from July 28, 1959 until he was removed from power on January 28, 1961.