Rwandan kings were famous for their wisdom, generosity and impartiality when resolving disputes. And Yuhi IV Gahindiro, the 22nd king of Rwanda (1746-1802), was not any different.
During Gahindiro’s reign, Kamegeri, who was his favourite servant (umuja w’akadasohoka) tried to trick the king into doing something terrible but his bad intentions were quickly foiled.
Consequently, Kamegeri was severely punished for that.
What exactly happened?
There are different versions about what exactly Kamegeri did to the king but Claver Gasirabo, an employee of Ruhango district where the rock is dedicated and has read extensively about its history, shares with us the most authentic version.
“Kamegeri was walking with the king one evening when he saw a big attractive rock. He then suggested to the king that the rock could be used to punish his wicked subjects,” Gasirabo says.
The king, however, could not figure out how that was possible and asked Kamegeri to elaborate, he adds.
“I will ‘bake’ this rock until it turns red hot. Then we will bring your enemies here and dump them on the rock so that they burn,” Kamegeri explained.
“Good idea,” the king answered. “Do as you have said. I am sure we shall have people who deserve such a penalty.”
That very day, according to Gasirabo, Kamegeri ordered for fire wood and started ‘baking’ the rock until it turned red hot.
Satisfied with his ‘good’ work, Kamegeri called the king saying: “My lord, you can now bring these evil subjects to serve their sentence.”
The king, accompanied by other high ranking kingdom officials, made the most surprising move.
“People,” the king ordered, “take Kamegeri and throw him on the rock to burn. I have never seen such an evil person in my kingdom. He is the only one who deserves this sentence.”
The subjects complied and Kamegeri burnt to death.
Gasirabo told Education Times that the Kamegeri Rock (Urutare rwa Kamegeri) which is in Ruhango sector, Ruhango district is among the 8 tourist sites in the district.