A father to Kutesa and pioneer of the East African Christian Revival Movement, Kyamuhangire passed away in 1952 during an Anglican missionary convention in Gahini, where he was eventually laid to rest.
In a glowing tribute, Kagame said the Christian revival that Kyamuhangire and his contemporaries spread across East Africa was in many ways the first real regional movement and placed them among the first true East Africans.
“Their work personified our current East African community motto; One people One destiny, long before even the organization existed. It is up to us that Rwandans do not feel foreign when they go to Uganda and Ugandans don’t feel foreign when they come to Rwanda,” said Kagame.
“This is really the most important thing these people stood for, believed in and sometimes it is a shame that today we have not been able to do much better than that. Therefore it remains an unresolved problem we need to address,” added Kagame.
Chimpreports.com on Saturday broke the news that Kagame would grace the occasion.
Flanked by his wife Jeanette Kagame, Kagame said: “Today, on both sides of the border, we are united in honouring him and what he stood for. We, in Rwanda, particularly feel greatly honoured that Gahini, was found fitting to be his final resting place.”
Top officials from Uganda included businessman Patrick Bitature and Gen. Salim Saleh among others.
The President and his wife laid a wreath and unveiled a tombstone in honour of the great preacher.
Kagame said Gahini is known to be the spiritual home of the Anglican movement since the early 1930s and will always “symbolise the bond that exists between the Rwandan and Ugandan people”.
“It reminds us that for centuries we lived as one and that the border that divides us is not only artificial and superficial, but with increased integration, should in a sense become irrelevant.”
“And as we know, Late Kyamuhangire’s generation were not hostages of this border. They had a vision of the people of Rwanda and Uganda living as a family, feeling genuinely at home on both sides of the border because they sincerely believed that we shared a common destiny,” he added.
Hon Kutesa praised all who contributed to and participated in the ceremony, and similarly noted the closeness of the people of the region.
“Some people continued to come here and served while others were just visitors. In some way our presence here is yet another pilgrimage to Gahini the centre of East African movement in Rwanda,” said Kutesa.
“For my people salvation was a changing and transformative phenomenon among the nomadic tribes. Many of the leaders in my country are either products or beneficiaries of the East African movement. ”
WHO IS KYAMUHANGIRE?
Born in 1914, the late Kyamuhangire was one of the first converts to Christianity. He went ahead to study catechism and got baptized.
Kyamuhangire then joined the East African Revival. With his colleagues he travelled on foot and bicycles to attend missions and conventions of the East African Revival Movement.
It was while attending such conventions in Gahini in 1952 that the late Kyamuhangire succumbed to meningitis and was buried in Gahini.
The revival is believed to have bridged racial as well as spiritual divisions, brought healing and unity which is one of its greatest achievements.
Ugandans felt genuinely at home in Rwanda, and vice versa, and borders meant nothing to them, all that mattered were the people, according to Rwanda authorities.
The movement also played a crucial part in the expansion of the church in Africa through the evangelistic zeal, which characterized it.