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Confession: Why Frank Habineza supports the return of King Kigeli V Ndahindurwa to RWANDA

Umwami Kigeli
Umwami Kigeli

When i was young i came to learn that the house i was sleeping in ( Namutamba Estate) indeed hosted Umwami-King Kigeli V of Rwanda in 1960 during his Official visit to Uganda and Intore traditional dancers in Namutamba made a good show for the King. I later learnt that, the same house i was sleeping in and table was using also hosted the Sabasajja King Ronald Muwenda Mutebi of Buganda, then to my great surprise i learnt that the man who raised me up and paid for my School ( Uncle John Nagenda and family) was the One who brought back King Mutebi then Sabataka ( Chief of the Land) to the Bush war in Luwero triangle because the chief liberator , H.E.Yoweri Museveni , was having difficulty to convince the Baganda people to join the struggle to liberate Uganda from the dictatorship. So Uncle John a rebel then in the National Resistance Movement/Army, went to UK and brought King Mutebi to the Bush and it proved very helpful to the struggle. I hear King Mutebi was a Colonel in her Majesty's Army ( i stand to be corrected).

As if that was not enough, Uncle Tendo Nagenda (RIP) became a chief Cook for the King. All this used to bring great proud to my family. I remember Aunt June Nagenda, telling me that i served the King breakfast without knowing. Ohh that was a great feeling.

When i was in Primary School, we prepared some songs when Sabataka Muwenda Mutebi was visiting Burela sub-County. It was Amazing to see how the Baganda people wanted their King to be installed. I used to sing very well the Buganda anthem - Ekitibwa cya Buganda and another good song - Umurangira Wasaja. But it’s a shame i know none of our Rwandan king’s songs.

Back to my Rwandan roots, my Mom used to tell me that she is from Abega Clan, the Clan where Rwandan Kings married from and she would tell me that we all had Royal blood. My father used not to give a damn at all, so we never celebrated that. However, all the time he used to swear in the name of the King and we took that very seriously.

I used to wonder what went wrong, why was i born in exile, why was there the 1959 social revolution as many call it, why was the King in exile since 1961. Why were people Killing each other. We used to hear that President Amin Dada offered King Kigeli military support to return to his country But he refused to shed blood on his people. And again i heard one Namutamban young man (from my village) Ezra Bunyenyezi used to be the Kings personal Assistant those days (stand to be corrected). All that used to make me wonder.

Then when RANU and later RPF started, people used to ask them if the King had approved of the liberation struggle and the response was yes though in reality it was a NO. All this proved that the Rwandan King was non-violent and indeed had no Kings Army as many had made us believe. But the King never returned after July 1994, when RPF had taken over the Rwandan Government. We waited and our eyes kept waiting. A lot has happened since then, it became taboo to talk about the King. Some in RPF said he never supported them. Then we had even President Kagame went to convince him to return but nothing happened. As for me two months after RPF stopped the genocide, that is in September 1994, i was able to be among the first returnees who came back from Uganda. Ohh, i remember we came in a Tata Lory and slept at Kagitumba boarder post. Then the next day was glad to see zebras and Impalas crossing in Akagera National Park. It was a great feeling though later we were sadned to find dead Bodies in houses and seeing dogs running with human hands and other parts in Kayonza and Kabarondo. That i can never Forget. Neither can i forget a house in Nyamirambo-Kigali, where we entered and found the whole family dead Bodies in a room. The Journey has been long and sad.

Having said all that, i find it my Big responsibility on behalf of all my people to Request the Rwandan Government to do whatever it takes to bring back our King to our motherland Rwanda, when he is still alive. He is already in his 80's and exiled in USA.

I promise my people that i will do whatever i can to make this dream become a reality.

Dr.Frank Habineza

 

Umwami Kigeli