October 16th, 2016 has entered in Rwanda’s History as sad news reached Rwandans’ ears that King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa who ruled Rwanda between July 28th 1959 and January 28th, 1961, passed away .
The place where the king’s mourning ceremony would be held created a controversial environment between his family members, with one side suggesting that the mourning should be held in Rwanda, while the other was against the suggestion, insisting he should be layed where the king has announced before he died.
However, it was Virginia-based court that solved the arguments by deciding to send the King’s body to his home country to be laid at the King’s palace, Nyanza.
King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa’s chief advisor, Boniface Benzinge and his compatriots didn’t appear to be happy of the decision taken by the Court, saying the decision was against the deceased king’s wish about where he would have been mourned, accusing some of Kigeli’s family relatives of stealing the papers written by the king which would have proven what he has said before he died, especially mentioning that he would not have been mourned in Rwanda.
According to IGIHE, the files stolen were among the items stolen by some King Kigeli’s family relatives including three safes, a locked bag in which was packed with those stolen files, insurance card, passport provided by American Office of Foreign Affairs, his written wishes and more documents.
In a statement released by Benzinge, talkingback on King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa’s mourning, and revealed that there was a copy on which King Kigeli V has written himself a ‘Procclamation’ to the general public on October 12, 2006, approving mourning tasks and people who would be in charge of the tasks should his death take place in exile.
This copy, which Benzinge brought from Portugal, would be a crucial proof which would have been presented before the court that could have prohibited the opposing side from mourning the king in Rwanda.
In the copy, King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa also wrote that the Abiru committee which would be elected had to reveal his replacement that would be handed the King’s power like him, which would give him full respect and the ability to take decisions as a king.
It states that the king named the chief of Abiru council, Boniface Benzinge, who Kigeli V said would be his replacement while alive. He also named his Secretary, Albert Alexander Montague and Assistant Secretary , Carl E.Lindgren more members of the council which consists of 12 members.
However, the document didn’t specify where the king’s body would be mourned, but Benzinge said he met Ducke de Braganza, Bishop Abilio in Portugal and reminded him that Kigeli V told them that he didn’t want to be taken back to Rwanda, that he wished his body should be mourned not in Rwanda, but in Portugal instead.
The statement matches Pastor Ezra Mpyisi’s early comments, where he said that some of the king’s family relatives went to take the king’s body at hospital but were told that there was a copy which was stating that the body would be mourned in Portugal, not in Rwanda.
Mpyisi said that tha reson behind the statement was the financial aid that the king was receiving from the Portugueses, and Benzinge tried to keep the body and mourn it in Portugal so he could keep getting the grant.
Some of King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa’s family relatives were heard furious with Benzinge’s intention of delaying the king’s body in exile.
During the recent king’s mourning ceremony in Nyanza, Pastor Ezra Mpyisi explained how he and Benzinge took thew king to America in exile and praised Benzinge’s heroic character during that time but slammed that his he came from hero to zero following his disappointing actions during the decision-making on where the king would have been mourned.