Senator Kalimba laid to rest

On 7 January 2022 at 11:32

Former Senator Zéphyrin Kalimba has been laid to rest in a somber ceremony during which he was eulogized for his dedication at work and efforts to strive for the rights of historically marginalized people.

Kalimba who breathed the last on 2nd January 2022 succumbing to natural cause at King Faysal Hospital was laid to rest on Thursday 6th January.

The ceremony to bid last farewell took place at his home in Gikondo, Kicukiro district followed by a requiem mass at Gikondo Parish before laying him to rest.

It was attended by relatives, friends and Government officials who reflected on virtues that characterized Kalimba and wished him Eternal Rest In Peace.

Eugenie Kantore, the wife of late Kalimba said that her husband will always be remembered as a brave man who always lived in harmony with relatives and neighbors.

She also revealed that Kalimba was a humble man who loved God and warmly welcomed all guests including children and the elderly.

Kalimba’s son also disclosed that his father was social interactive and would make possible efforts to live with everyone in peace.

“ I am convinced that he leaves a good legacy which we pledged to uphold. He did not only do good things for our family but also changed many people’s lives. My father’s legacy will continue to live on,” he said.

Kantore revealed that her husband fell sick when he was still serving the Senate.

“He was hospitalized for a long time but we are thankful that God extended his lifespan until the day he breathed the last,” she said.

Kalimba will also be membered as an activist who advocated for human rights, particularly, the rights of historically marginalized people.

The President of Senate, Dr. Augustin Iyamuremye said that Kalimba was a zealous man with outstanding contribution to national development.

“Here, I stand as one of officials who worked with him. I was lucky to meet him before working together at the Senate. I remember how truthful he was,” he noted.

“I would like to tell everyone gathered here that Kalimba used to share strong ideas at the Senate. We have made it a routine to note down individual’s ideas at the Senate. His speech will be remembered,” added Dr. Iyamuremye.

He revealed that the senate will make possible efforts to follow up his advocacy for people with vulnerable backgrounds.

Brief history

Zéphyrin Kalimbawas born on 26th May 1959.

He held different positions before and after the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Kalimba worked for gendarmerie, para-military policing unit during the pre-Genocide period and led the Rwandese Community of Potters.

Kalimba is among activists who advocated for the rights of historically marginalized people.

He headed the International Alliance of Indigenous and Tribal Peoples of the Tropical Forests in 1997.

Kalimba was among eight senators appointed by President of the Republic in 2012 and held the position until his tenure ended in 2020.

He was born in Ruhango district in Southern Province where he studied and pursued secondary education at Karubanda Junior Seminary.

In 1978, he became a gendarme (paramilitary police officer) at the regime of President Juvenal Habyarima for four years and eight months and later worked in the Ministry of Trade and Industry.

Kalimba later founded associations that advocated for human rights, particularly, the historically marginalized people.

He also established different schools and organizations supporting people with vulnerable backgrounds particularly historically marginalized ones.

Zéphyrin Kalimba died at the age of 63. He leaves a woman, 10 children and 10 grand children.