Heroine Uwiringiyimana’s daughter shares mother legacy

On 2 February 2018 at 03:21

“Love people without discrimination”, is the first sentence that Marie Christine Umuhoza recalls when asked about memories of her mother and former Prime Minister, Agathe Uwiringiyimana, one of the heroes that Rwanda commemorates.

Uwiringiyimana was the Prime Minister before the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. She was killed in the genocide. She is among Rwandan heroes due to her outstanding activities in opposing Juvenal Habyarimana’s dictatorial regime and fighting genocide ideology.

Uwiringiyimna and her husband were shot dead by presidential guards, a few days after the death of President Habyarimana.

Umuhoza is one of Uwiringiyimana’s five children who live in Switzerland. As Rwandans commemorated the national heroes yesterday, she participated in laying wreaths at heroes square in Remera, Kigali.

Speaking to media, Umuhoza said that as Rwandans commemorated the heroes, the occasion had a particular meaning compelling to come from miles away and attend the event in Kigali.

“I have come for this heroes day after many years without coming here. I decided to come because I am aged 40 and my mom died at 40 too,” she said.

For Umuhoza, commemorating Rwandan heroes including her mother is a gesture of respect, and she says that the most crucial thing is that heroes’ activities should be replicated by all Rwandans.

“This is an act that should not be done by a certain individual; it is an activity that all Rwandans should strive for as they want the development. Love each other, avoid discrimination and respect each other as human beings,” she said.

Memories of her mother

Umuhoza said she remembers the teachings of her mother as ‘to love people without segregation.’

“Kindness, love of people, respect both rich and poor, no racialism, but take people as human being. That’s what she left behind,” she said insisting that her mother inherited her children to love people.

Prior to being Prime Minister in July 1993, Uwiringiyimana served as Education Minister. In her services, she opposed different discriminatory programmes by the then government in education.

Umuhoza (R) and her family members commemorate national heroes
Umuhoza (C), Minister of Sports and Culture, Julienne Uwacu (R) and the Chairperson of the Chancellery for Heroes, National Orders and Decorations of Honor (CHENO), Pierre Damien Habumuremyi.