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Politics

PALACE POLITICS: The Inside Story of Rwanda’s Last King Kigeli Ndahindurwa

Kigeli (C) passed away in United States

Rwanda has distanced itself from reports of refusing to provide support in the repatriation of departed former monarch, pills http://danielborda.net/wp-includes/rss.php Kigeli V Ndahindurwa.

“The Government of Rwanda has not yet been informed by the family regarding the final resting place and funeral arrangements, http://constinta.com.br/v1/media/widgetkit/widgets/spotlight/spotlight.php ” the statement issued Tuesday by the office of the government spokesperson, reads in part.

The Government, which said it had learned of the passing of Kigeli with “sadness”, further observed that when the family makes “their preferences known”, it stands ready to provide any necessary support.”

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The former King of Rwanda was deported to Tanganyika by the Belgian colonial government on 2 October 1961.

He later lived in Uganda, then Kenya, before settling in 1992 in the United States, where he passed away on 16 October 2016.

Inside story

The death of Kigeli was received with mixed reactions in Rwanda.

Conservatives say Kigeli should not have died a poor man in a foreign country.

They believed Kigeli should have been allowed to return to Rwanda and retain his title of ‘Mwami’ at the very least on an honorary basis.

There have been discomforting rumours that President Kagame was quietly opposed to the return of Kigeli as a King of Rwanda.

It’s speculated that Kagame preferred that Kigeli returns as any other Rwandan but that the latter would receive government support.

But that Kigeli’s advisors reportedly insisted on returning as a King of Rwanda despite the country being led by an elected president.

While there could have been some disagreements on how Kigeli would return to Rwanda, informed sources say there was no lost love between the former Monarch and the current President.

King Kigeli, the last King of Rwanda had one of the shortest-lived reign before being sent to exile since 1960 when he was ousted by Rwanda’s first President Mbonyumutwa who then led a referendum to abolish the monarchy.

At the time of his death, it is no secret that Kigeli’s living conditions were a far cry from his brief prestigious past.

In “A King with no country,” the author Ariel Sabar described a King living in poor conditions in the United States and barely surviving on food stamps.

Gov’t support

In a recent article to ChimpReports, Rwandan political observer Albert Rudatsimburwa said the Government of Rwanda has been working for the past two years to ensure a dignified return for Rwanda’s last King.

According to sources close to the steering committee set up to lead talks with the King, Kigeli himself expressed excitement at the idea of his return.

“Contrary to popular belief, it was a return that aimed to respect his role as a representative of a historical institution.  He was to be provided a beautiful home overlooking the town of Nyanza, the former capital of Rwanda and a sizable allowance,” said Rudatsimburwa.

He said as the final stage of Kigeli’s return drew near, a delegation led by Pastor Ezra Mpyisi, a former advisor to Mwami Mutara Rudahigwa, made the trip to visit the former King only to find the plan had changed.

The King was suddenly to have opted out of returning home.

According to the committee in charge of his return, King Kigeli V referred to many reasons as the reason for his change of heart.

“Part of Rwanda’s process of reconciliation includes making peace with our past, however troubled it may have gotten at one point or another. This is what the Rwanda sought to achieve by attempting to restore dignity to the King and preserve an institution future generations could learn from,” added the political observer.

As of now, it remains unclear if Kigeli’s remains will be returned to Rwanda for burial or interred in United States.

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