Study on state-of- the art cathedral development at former Nyarugenge prison underway

On 26 February 2021 at 02:15

The Archbishop of Kigali Diocese, Cardinal Antoine Kambanda has said that the study plan to relocate Saint Michel Cathedral to premises of former Nyarugenge prison known as 1930 has reached final phases.

Saint Michel Cathedral is located in Kiyovu, Nyarugenge district. The ground where the cathedral is located is small that expansion activities seem impossible.

Speaking to IGIHE, the Archbishop of Kigali Antoine Cardinal Kambanda revealed that Kigali has had a plan to build a large cathedral because the existing one is relatively small that expansions seem impossible.

In January 2020, it was announced that the of 5.5 hectare piece of land where seated former Nyarugenge prison was given to the Catholic Church that was required to make a study plan of how the land will be utilized.

Cardinal Kambanda has explained that following the acquisition of the land, the church is currently doing a study complying with Kigali city master plan.

“The next move was to make study plan which is being developed. We gradually provide updates of the progress,” he said.

He revealed that developing a new state-of-the art cathedral doesn’t mean buildings of Saint Michel will be demolished.

The last group of inmates from the ‘1930’ prison were relocated from the historical prison in July 2018 to the new Mageragere correctional facility.

During the ceremony to install Antoine Kambanda as the Archbishop of Kigali Diocese early 2019, he told the tens of thousands of Christians including President Paul Kagame that it was time to have a cathedral that matches the beauty and modernity of the City of Kigali.

“The City of Kigali has developed in remarkable ways. We thank our leadership, particularly the President, for the infrastructure and cleanliness, which is admired by all our visitors. My wish is that we can build a cathedral that is in line with the current Kigali trends,” he said.

In his speech at the ceremony, President Kagame responded to this wish with a pledge to join the church in building the cathedral.

“We shall work together to build it. We will build a new and great cathedral and when that time comes, we shall, if possible build it in a new location. All this will depend on the wishes of the Catholic Church,” he said.

Preparations are underway to relocate Saint Michel Cathedral to premises of former Nyarugenge prison known as 1930.