The media fraternity in the country on Tuesday woke up to the sad news of the passing of a veteran and one of the elders in the industry, Casmir Kayumba who died from Kibagabaga Hospital on Monday night.
Kayumba, who was in his 60s, according to acquaintances, was taken to Kibagabaga earlier in the day having been transferred from Ndera Health Centre in Gasabo District.
Speaking to The New Times, Gonzague Muganwa, the executive secretary of Rwanda Journalists Association, said that Kayumba’s passing is a huge loss to the media fraternity, adding that the deceased contributed a lot in the post genocide media and has mentored many practitioners.
“We are very shocked because it was very sudden, it was unexpected and he is one of elders, he played a big role in building the post-genocide media and mentored many journalists in the different media houses he worked for,” said Muganwa.
Kayumba, Muganwa said, began his practice in Tanzania.
“We are in touch with the family and in the coming hours, we shall have a clear plan on how as the media fraternity, we can contribute to his send off because of his valued contribution to the industry,” he said.
Kayumba was the founding publisher of Ukuri Magazine and was one of the founding members of Rwanda Independent Media Group, which published Rwanda Newsline and Umuseso newspapers.
Until his passing, Kayumba was working with Rushyashya newspaper as an editor, a job he has held for the past seven years.
“He leaves a huge gap, he was experienced and helped us a lot; he was like our library and it is a huge loss for us. We will miss him,” said Jean Gaulbert Burasa, the owner of Rushyashya, which is currently mainly web-based.
According to colleagues, Kayumba was still energetic and active, even during his last days.
"Kayumba was still energetic and had started working with a Tanzanian Swahili newspaper called Habali Leo as their correspondent in Rwanda, I was with him last Saturday and he didn’t show any signs of disease," said Anthere Rwanyange, who publishes Panorama Magazine.
According to colleagues, Kayumba was seen on Monday with neighbours in Ndera playing cards before he started complaining of chest pains, for which he was rushed to Ndera Health Centre, before he was transferred to Kibagabaga.