Minister Aloisea Inyumba dies at 48

  • By Edwin Musoni
  • December 07, 2012
The late Gender minister Inyumba speaking at a past function. The New Times / File.

A wave of shock swept across Rwanda yesterday following the death of Aloisea Inyumba, the Minister of Gender and Family Promotion in the Prime Minister’s Office.

Inyumba, 48, succumbed to cancer at her home in Kagugu, a Kigali suburb, yesterday, at around 10a.m. She is survived by a husband and two children – a daughter aged 15, and a son 10.

She was married to Dr Richard Masozera, the Director General of the Rwanda Civil Aviation Authority.

MP Gideon Kayinamura, a close relative, told The New Times yesterday that the late Inyumba had traveled to Germany for treatment but returned home two weeks ago after showing signs of improvement.

“It is a great, great loss to the family, to many people, and for the country,” Ambassador Kayinamura said.

Kayinamura added that it is unfortunate Inyumba will not be part of the Silver Jubilee celebrations for the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), a party she diligently served for the better part of her adult life. The anniversary is scheduled for December 20.

She will be laid to rest on Monday, December 10.

President Paul Kagame was among the people who took to social media yesterday to express their sadness for the minister’s death.

He tweeted, “What a great loss in the passing away of Aloisea Inyumba for RPF, the nation and all of us at a personal level.  She was among the best of RPF and national leaders.”

Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) is a political organisation that Inyumba belonged to and served for many years. The President added, “A. Inyumba will be greatly missed and remembered among others, for her Liberation and Gender credentials/effort(s)! May her Soul Rest in Peace.”

Inyumba held leadership positions since 1994.

She was the Ministry of Gender twice – first during the immediate aftermath of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, and then from May, 2011 until her death.

In between, Inyumba served as the head of the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), Governor of the former Kigali Ngali province, and Senator in the country’s bicameral parliament.

As Minister of Gender and Social Affairs in the first post-Genocide cabinet, Inyumba focused much attention on the welfare of widows and orphans of the Genocide. She is credited for actively encouraging women to vie for elective positions.

At the NURC, Inyumba oversaw the burial of Genocide victims, the resettlement of returnees, actively promoted truth-telling and reconciliation, and spearheaded a national adoption campaign to place Genocide orphans in homes.

Inyumba was instrumental in the establishment of the national women’s network, which helped adjudicate family and property issues resulting from the Genocide.

The late minister held an Honors Degree in Social Work and Social Administration from Makerere University Kampala, Uganda, and a Masters of International Relations from the Irish American University and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy.

She was also awarded an honorary doctorate by La Roche College in the United States.

The late Inyumba was a board member of Women for Women International (Washington, DC), and the Institute of Research and Dialogue for Peace in Kigali.

Inyumba has been a respected senior cadre in the ruling RPF, and is credited playing a central role in mobilising for the party’s support during the 1990-94 liberation struggle.

She played a central role in fundraising for the Rwanda Patriotic Front since 1987, directly managing the funds that were raised.

Contact email: edwin.musoni[at]


It is so sad for the abrupt death of our beloved and Patriotic Senior Cadre of RPF!May her soul rest in eternal peace!

09:33:44 Friday 07th, December 2012 Kigali - Denis

Reply | Close

We want to thank you, posthumously, for the work you did since those dark days of the early 1990s from a dingy office in Kampala, the motivation and encouragement to step up the struggle, the food you gave us, and the gum boots and guidance during the night rides across the Rwandan border. We also thank you for your dedication to public service for much of your adult life and your service to RPF of many years. We will be there for Richard and the children during your physical absence but we will all know that your spirit lives with us all. May your soul R.I.P.

10:11:12 Friday 07th, December 2012 South Africa - Dr Dennis Karangwa

Reply | Close

Inyumba Aloisea was a model of Rwandan leaders to serve the most vulnerable people.May God comforts her family and Rwandan in Rwandan in general

12:16:30 Friday 07th, December 2012 Kigali - Simeon

Reply | Close

Indeed is really sad news, some of us hear its had to take, why so soon? its hard enough to imagine that one will never see you phyiscally again or even just give you a call as usual. We were all looking forward to seeing you and share good moments of the coming celebration of RPF.Physically u will be missed and in spirit, u will always be with us. may your soul rest in peace.Camillie Kaneza

18:57:05 Friday 07th, December 2012 Amsterdam, The Nerherlands - Camillie Kaneza

Reply | Close

Our dearest friend Inyumba, you have left the world too soon, you were a spacial person who made every body who knew you feel loved and at home. You loved strangers in your land, you comforted the widows and cared for orphans you loved me your neighbor as yourself. You shared everything you had with everyone. You left the world a better place than you found it. Surely you have inspired me. It is a sad day to hear of your passing on to the other world. You have left your young children and husband behind. They will miss you dearly. Although we miss you here now but it is only for a while. You have gone before us, to a place where there is no pain, sorrows or mourning. He who made you has welcomed you into his home in a place he prepared for you before the foundation of this world. My loving and Kind friend rest in everlasting peace.

21:35:29 Friday 07th, December 2012 Juba South Sudan - Wim and Cathy Groenendijk

Reply | Close

To day we join the throng around the world and our thoughts are with family, friends and all the people of Rwanda to pay our last respect to our legendary friend Inyumba. It will be strange when I visit Rwanda next time not to talk to you but I will put sweet flowers where they will put you to rest today. You have fought the good fight, till we meet on the beautiful shores good bye Inyumba Rest in everlasting peace

10:08:02 Monday 10th, December 2012 Juba South Sudan - Cathy Groenendijk

Reply | Close

Submit your comment

Please type the answer What is : 4 + 2