Former Rwanda King laid to rest
Written by: Our Reporter
Monday, January 16th, 2017, 7:08
Rwanda’s former King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa was on Sunday laid to rest in Mwima, Nyanza. The ceremony to pay tribute to the last monarch to rule over Rwanda was flocked by thousands at the same place he was crowned.
The funeral ceremony started with a requiem mass by the Catholic Bishop Phillipe Rukamba at the royal palace in Nyanza. The late king was laid to rest next to his predecessor and brother, King Rudahigwa.
Many paid tributes including the only surviving sister to the King, Princess Speciose Mukabayojo, saying she was glad the late King will now rest next to his elder brother. Neighboring kingdoms from Uganda and Burundi sent their representatives for the funeral ceremony with messages of condolences.
The Rwandan government also sent the Sports and Culture Minister Julienne Uwacu to represent. The minister said, government was very saddened by the passing of King Kigeli and promised support towards the surviving family.
Kigeli’s death sparked controversy between factions within his family, where some wanted him interred in the United States, while others called for his repatriation for burial in Rwanda. A legal battle ensued and a court in the US state of Virginia, where the monarch resided prior to his death, ruled that he should be buried in Rwanda.
Relatives of the late King in Rwanda have also rejected a declaration by the King’s Chief courtier Boniface Benzige that a successor should be Prince Emmanuel Bushaija, who now lives in England. The family has not said who will be the successor.
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 King Mutara Rudahigwa, whose monarchy ended in 1959 following his untimely death.
Kigeli V reigned from July 1959 until he was removed from power on January 1961.