The only daughter born to late Prime Minister Agathe Uwiringiyimana, a Rwandan heroine has laid a wreath at her mother’s grave which she said it is very important at this particular moment.
In a traditional garment, imishanana, Marie Christine Umuhoza, mother of two said, “I will turn 40 this year, and my mother was killed at age 40. I am happy to be here to pay her tribute this year as I reach her age.”
On April 6, 1994, after President Habyarimana’s plane was shot down, Uwiringiyimana and family ran to the UN premises in Kigali after threats to kill her increased.
Presidential guards were hunting for her. They had just shot her ten Belgian guards from UN mission (Unamir).
As the hunting continued, more and more people were getting killed, Uwiringiyimana decided to surrender to avoid more bloodshed.
She was shot dead together with her husband Ignace Barahira, but her children were rescued by a UN contingent Captain Mbaye Diagne.
The children were escorted and helped to flee the country to Switzerland where they have stayed to date.
“I think commemorating the heroes is a very good deed, and the most important is that it serves a good example to many,” Umuhoza said.
“Heroism is something everyone should aim at; loving, respecting every human being.”
Umuhoza said her mother’s legacy was ‘love everyone irrespective of their wealth, age and living standards’.
She does not have much to say about her mother’s service to the country, “Because she used not to tell us much about her job.”
Second born and only daughter in a family of five children, when the Genocide escalated, Umuhoza was 16 years old which was too early to understand much about the politics.
Meanwhile, it was only two years ago when news of how a morgue attendant at Kanombe military hospital hid the body of PM Uwiringiyimana after he was given an order to bury it immediately.
Caporal (retired) Thadeo Karamaga managed to keep the body safe until he was able to hand it over to Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi after the fall of Kigali.
“I heard about it. If you meet that man, please tell him thanks for discovering the body of my mother. It’s unfortunate I don’t know the whereabouts of my fathers’ body though,” Umuhoza told the media on Thursday.
Angelique Mpinganzima who is Umuhoza’s cousin also said, “We will find that man and give him a reward. We may give him a cow,” she said.
Gaspard Hangimana, the only brother to PM Uwiringiyimana also said he can’t wait to meet Karamaga.