KIGALI - Hundreds of mourners, among them lawmakers and politicians, yesterday morning thronged the Parliamentary Building to pay their last respects to MP Judith Kanakuze who died over the weekend after a long illness.
Kanakuze’s white casket arrived at parliament at exactly 10:00am in a black van and carried by Police officers through a guard of honour mounted by members of both chambers of Parliament.
President Paul Kagame hailed the deceased MP as a champion of women’s rights and said the country had lost a great lawmaker who had contributed immensely to the development of her country.
“The President, together with his family, is very much saddened by the death of Kanakuze, who worked tirelessly to develop the country,” said Nyirahabimana, who read the condolence message from the President.
Delivering the eulogy, Francois Ngarambe, the Secretary General of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to which the late Kanakuze belonged, said that she died at a time when her country still needed her.
“She has fervently worked in the interest of her country, but most off all, struggled for the rights of women,” said Ngarambe.
“She was a person of integrity; we have lost a friend, a colleague, a relative and a mother.”
The Speaker of Parliament, Rose Mukantabana, affirmed Kanakuze’s hardworking spirit, even when she was bed-ridden.
“I was always worried about the pain she was going through, but whenever I talked to her, she was talking about work. Work was on her mind until the last minute,” said Mukantabana.
She added that Kanakuze had left a heritage characterized by integrity, hardworking and commitment to everything she worked on.
Others who paid their respects to the fallen lawmaker included Chief Justice Aloysia Cyanzayire and other top government officials.
Kanakuze had been in Parliament since 2003 and headed several committees and was once the Chairperson of the Forum for Rwanda Women Parliamentarians (FFRP).
Before her death, she was a member of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Gender and Family Promotion.