The government of Rwanda has early today issued a statement regarding the death and funeral arrangements for King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, commonly known as the ‘Last King of Rwanda’.
‘It is with sadness that the Government of Rwanda has learned of the passing of Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, the former King of Rwanda’, the statement indicates.
King Kigeli, who at one time lived in Uganda during Iddi Amin’s regime in the 1970s, died on October 16 while exiled in the US where he had lived for 24 years, and the government says it has not been informed by his family about the funeral arrangements.
‘The government of Rwanda has not yet been informed by the family regarding the final resting place and funeral arrangements. When they make their preferences known, the Government stands ready to provide any necessary support,’ the statement adds.
During his exile days that spanned 55 years, the late King who died aged 80, was first deported to Tanganyika by the Belgian colonialists, and he also lived in Kenya before relocating to the US.
Little is talked about his immediate family and by press time it was not possible to establish the place where his remains will be interred. But sources have pointed to Rukari, his former palace in Rwanda.
According to media reports, in 1996 Kigeli had expressed the desire to return to Rwanda in his life time, and in response the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) regime under Paul Kagame said he ‘was welcome to return home but not as a monarch’.
And for him he said that was a matter to be resolved by his former subjects, through a referendum.