The mood in the Senate plenary hall was somber Friday as family, friends and colleagues thronged parliament to pay their last respects to the Late Senator Thérèse Bishagara Kagoyire who passed away early last week in the United States from liver complications.
At around 11a.m, the coffin containing the bodly of the former politician made it to parliament carried by police officers. The coffin was draped in the national flag, in recognition of her service to the nation, which spans three decaded.
Cries of sorrow could be heard from all corners of the Senate as the police band played some funeral hymes as the police pallbearers made their way to the plenary hall. In a message sent to the family and read by the Minister in the Office of the President Judith Uwizeye, President Paul Kagame said that the passing of Senator Kagoyire was a loss to the nation.
“Honourable Kagoyire worked for this country in different capacities. She has a reputation for standing for the truth and was a dedicated public servant. We have lost a leader who loved her country and her fellow citizens,” he said.
The Secretary General of RPF- Inkotanyi, François Ngarambe, told mourners that Senator Kagoyire had been a loyal cadre from the moment she joined RPF to the time of her passing.
“She played a major role in the war to liberate our country. When she returned home, she was assigned different responsibilities at the most difficult time of this country and she was characterised by her good work ethic, commitment to delivery, sacrifice, patience and team work in all her duties,” he said.
The Late Senator Thérèse Bishagara Kagoyire’s body arrives at parliament. / Emmanuel Kwizera
Ngarambe told the mourners that Kagoyire was one of the members of the RPF-Inkotanyi Commission in charge of women development, where she played a significant role through her contribution of constructive ideas.
“Kagoyire has also been part of a team of women at the national level that are in charge of Rubavu District and those she has worked with in that district will always remember her commitment to socioeconomic development. She has passed before her time,” he said.
The President of the Senate, Bernard Makuza, told mourners that there are no appropriate words to convey the sadness that comes to family and friends when someone as kind and motherly as Senator Kagoyire passes on.
“Her passing is a loss to her family, to the Senate, and to the nation. We have lost a brilliant, humble and dedicated person. Let us not be consumed by grief but instead continue to celebrate her legacy,” he said.
Family Members of the late Senator Thérèse Bishagara Kagoyire at Regina Pacis Catholic Church yesterday. / Emmanuel Kwizera
After lying in state at Senate for two hours, the body was taken to Regina Pacis Catholic Church for the requiem mass before it was taken to her final resting place at Rusororo Cemetery in Gasabo District.
Senator Kagoyire was 67 when she passed on at Johns Hopkins Hospital in the United States.
She is survived by five children and three grandchildren.
She has been described by many of her colleagues throughout the years as a mother figure and an exemplary cadre of the RPF-Inkotanyi