Several Rwandans have paid tribute to Damas Gisimba Mutezintare, a hero who saved over 400 people during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. He was pronounced dead on Sunday, June 4, aged 62. He is acclaimed for hiding more than 400 children and adults who had taken refuge at the orphanage he was running in Nyamirambo, a Kigali suburb in 1994. ALSO READ: Damas Gisimba: Genocide hero dies at 61 Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement eulogised Gisimba in a tweet; “During the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994, Damas Gisimba received more than 400 Tutsi in his orphanage and rescued them. In 2015, Gisimba was recognized as Umurinzi w’igihango at the national level. He will always be remembered for his good deeds.” Muri Jenoside yakorewe Abatutsi mu 1994 Gisimba Damas yakiriye muri Orphelinat ye Abatutsi barenga 400 arabarokora. Muri 2015 Gisimba yagizwe Umurinzi w’Igihango ku rwego rw’igihugu. Azahora yibukwa ku neza ye yagizwe na bake. pic.twitter.com/znG1LKmYO7 — Ministry of National Unity and Civic Engagement (@Unity_MemoryRw) June 4, 2023 Umurinzi w'Igihango is Rwandan citizen or foreigner who embodies Rwandan values such as patriotism, integrity, truth, humility, tolerance, impartiality, fairness and who fights against segregation, genocide ideology and genocicide. The ministry extended its sympathy to family and friends of Gisimba. Similarly, members of Unity Club, a forum that brings together current and former Rwandan leaders and their spouses, extended condolences through Twitter. “As parents and as leaders, we join the family of Gisimba and and all Rwandans in mourning the loss of the Guardian of the Friendship. We will always thank him for his courage to stick to the Rwandan values. Rest in Peace,” reads the tweet. Nk'Ababyeyi kandi nk'Abayobozi, twifatanyije n'Umuryango we ndetse n'Abanyarwanda bose mu kababaro ko kubura Umurinzi w'Igihango Bwana MUTEZINTARE GISIMBA Damas. Tuzahora tumushimira ubutwari bwamuranze bwo gukomera ku gihango cy'ubunyarwanda. Ruhukira mu Mahoro.@Unity_MemoryRw pic.twitter.com/uk7CdLzcrZ — Unity Club (@UnityClubRw) June 4, 2023 Gisimba’s passing has left many devastated by the loss and a number of people also took to social media to express their grief. “Thank you for being a Rwandan full of integrity and heroism. Your body is gone but the lamp you lit will shine forever,” tweeted King Ngabo, a Kigali-based artist. ALSO READ: Gisimba on managing largest orphanage during Genocide Author and Genocide survivor, Dimitri Sissi, also took to social media to heap praises on Gisimba for “taking care and raising orphans. You protected many, did heroic acts, hiding children and adults,” she wrote. “Deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Damas Gisimba. His selfless acts of courage and heroism during the genocide against Tutsi, saving many children, will forever be etched in our hearts, wrote Noel Kambanda. Dione Nagiriwubuntu, a guide at Aegis Trust, also praised Gisimba’s legacy as a person who saved many lives, raised children, and was a good parent. “The Lord has called you, go and rest in the chest of the eternal God. The good works you did are going with you,” he wrote. ALSO READ: How the Gisimba Memorial Centre came to be In a 2019 interview with The New Times, Gisimba said 405 people survived the Genocide from the orphanage. These ranged from babies of one week to teenagers and adults. Gisimba was awarded the Presidential Order of Umurinzi — meaning protector — in recognition of his heroic actions.