The family of late King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa has dismissed a communiqué naming a successor to the king and warned the public not to take it serious.
The king’s family says the circulating communiqué was authored by Boniface Benzinge a former staff to the late King.
“The authors should mind their own business,” said pastor Ezra Mpyisi – a former servant to the king and member of Abiru who represented the family at a press conference.
In a communiqué, Benzinge said that the administrative council of the king, commonly known as Abiru had named Bushaija Emmanuel as ‘new king’.
However, Abahindiro family to which the late Kigeli belongs, said that Benzinge should keep his ‘new king’ to himself.
“We heard about the king’s successor while on our way back from US bringing the king’s body,” Mpyisi told journalists, adding that “let Benzinge name ten more kings, it’s his business.”
According to Mpyisi, “In normal practice, a king is enthroned by Rwandans through Abiru, but in this case we have only two people doing it on their own. They just named a ‘fake’ king.”
Mpyisi was a servant ‘umugaragu’ of King (Mwami) Mutara III Rudahigwa – a step brother to late Kigeli. At Mutara’s death, Mpyisi continued his service with the successor even when the king remained in exile.
Mpyisi returned to Rwanda in 1992 leaving Benzinge with the King.
When King Kigeli died on October 16th last year, Benzinge filed a court case to prevent the kings body from being buried in Rwanda.
However, the US court ruled that the Kings body should be buried in Rwanda without any hindrances. After losing the case, Benzinge decided to immediately name successor to the king also living in exile.
James Vuningoma, the executive secretary of Rwanda Academy of Language and Culture (LARC) said that Rwanda is a Republic. “We don’t think there is a successor to the king. Indeed he (Kigeli V Ndahindurwa) is the last King of Rwanda.”
Kigeli’s sister Mukabayojo Speciose, Pastor Mpyisi announced that burial of the King is scheduled for Sunday 15th, at Mwima na Mushirarungu, Nyanza district in Southern province.
“I am grateful he will be buried at the place he was enthroned,” said Mpyisi lauding US court decision to send the kings body to Rwanda for burial.
Prior to the burial a farewell mass will be read at Nyanza Parish where Kigeli was baptised.
Kigeli was enthroned as king (Mwami) of Rwanda on 28th July 1959 until the monarch was overthrow on 28th January 1961.