Ruhango, 27 November 2015

Today, President Kagame and his family paid their last respect to Asteria Rutagambwa as she was laid to rest in her hometown of Ruhango.

The ceremony was attended by over two thousand friends and family from Rwanda, the region and beyond including a delegation from Uganda led by Minister Sam Kutesa of Uganda.

President Kagame began by thanking the doctors and nurses who took care of his mother throughout her illness as well as his sisters and the First Lady Jeannette Kagame.

Having lost his father at a young age, President Kagame described Asteria Rutagambwa as becoming both his mother and father and sacrificing to provide for her family.

“My mother was a dignified woman. She taught us to respect ourselves and give respect to others. She gave us more than we were ever able to give to her,” President Kagame said.

President Kagame expressed sadness at the loss of his mother but added that the life she lived was one that brought joy and pride to her family.

“The hardships we and our parents have endured should not be wasted but should serve as a lesson. It should transform us for the better.  Today, Rwanda remains standing and it is our role to keep it that way. I thank each of you for your contribution to our country’s transformation,” Kagame said.

Asteria Rutagambwa had four daughters and two sons. She passed away on 22 November at the age of 84 leaving 13 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren.

Tweeting on the death of his mother, President Kagame said: “I know mothers are special people to many….mine was very very special to me. She has passed on. May God rest her in peace.”