A spokesperson of King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, Boniface Benzige, has said that the late King willed not to be buried in Rwanda if he did not return to his country as a living King.
Kigeli V reigned from 28th July, 1959 until he was removed from power on 28th January 1961. He died at the age of 80 on 16th October 2016 in Oakton city of Virginia in the United States.
Talking to Voice of America Radio yesterday, Boniface Benzige said that King Kigeli V will not be buried in Rwanda, following his will.
“We won’t bury the King in Rwanda even though the country may want it. As the spokesperson of the King, I have to respect the King’s will. Indeed, the culture and laws of the state respect the last word of a person before death,” he said.
“We cannot accept current wishes as they are different from the late King’s. ” he added.
Talking on whether the late King Kigeli V left a testament indicating preferred burial place, Benzige said that the King had rejected returning to Rwanda as an ordinary citizen.
“Which piece of writing can have the value beyond what he spoke himself,” he said.
On 26th October, a delegation of nine relatives from King Kigeli V with Pastor Mpyisi Ezra who was a palace loyal arrived in America for negotiations on the burial arrangements.
Pastor Mpyisi recently told the media that there is no will about burial place of the king.
Benzige said that he has mixed feelings whether the Mpyisi delegation was sent for negotiations by the government of Rwanda or not.
“I have not yet known whether the delegation was sent by the government of Rwanda or individually motivated. They, last time, said to have been commissioned by the Rwanda government but denied it when they returned back to Rwanda. Even today, it is confusing to know the motive behind their coming to USA,” he said.
The government of Rwanda had promised to provide assistance in the final funeral arrangements.
Benzinge explained that relatives and friends of King Kigeli V bid him the last farewell last week while a mass was celebrated for him on Monday at St Athanasius Church in Washington, DC where he was a congregant.
Benzige said that the Kigeli heir will be announced.