|President Kagame attends the late Kosiya Kyamuhangire’s memorial service|
Gahini, 24 June 2012
President Kagame and Mrs Kagame were in Gahini, Kayonza District today to attend a commemoration service in honor of the late Kosiya Kyamuhangire - father of the Hon Sam Kahamba Kutesa from Uganda and a pioneer of the East African Christian Revival Movement.
President Kagame said that the Christian revival that Kyamuhangire and his contemporaries spread across East Africa was in many ways the first real regional movement and placed them among the first true East Africans:
“Their work personified our current East African community motto; One people One destiny, long before even the organization existed. It is up to us that Rwandans do not feel foreign when they go to Uganda and Ugandans don’t feel foreign when they come to Rwanda. This is really the most important thing these people stood for, believed in and sometimes it is a shame that today we have not been able to do much better than that. Therefore it remains an unresolved problem we need to address.”
Hon Kutesa thanked all who contributed to and participated in the ceremony, and similarly noted the closeness of the people of the region:
“Some people continued to come here and served while others were just visitors. In some way our presence here is yet another pilgrimage to Gahini the centre of East African movement in Rwanda. For my people salvation was a changing and transformative phenomenon among the nomadic tribes. Many of the leaders in my country are either products or beneficiaries of the East African movement. ”
Born in 1914, the late Mr. Kyamuhangire was one of the first converts to Christianity. He went ahead to study catechism and got baptized. Mr. Kyamuhangire then joined the East African Revival. With his colleagues he travelled on foot and bicycles to attend missions and conventions of the East African Revival Movement. It was while attending such conventions in Gahini in 1952 that the late Mr. Kyamuhangire succumbed to meningitis and was buried in Gahini.
The revival is believed to have bridged racial as well as spiritual divisions, brought healing and unity which is one of its greatest achievements. Ugandans felt genuinely at home in Rwanda, and vice versa, and borders meant nothing to them, all that mattered were the people. The movement also played a crucial part in the expansion of the church in Africa through the evangelistic zeal, which characterized it.