KIMIHURURA-Hundreds yesterday turned out to bid farewell to the late Minister of State in charge of Social Affairs in the Ministry of Local Government, Christine Nyatanyi, who passed away last week in Belgium.
The casket, carried by Police pallbearers and led by the police brass band, arrived at Parliament buildings in the morning where it lay in state as government officials paid their last respects
President Paul Kagame and the First Lady, Jeannette Kagame were the first to pay their respects to the deceased minister, followed by the president of the senate Vincent Biruta, the Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, the Chief Justice and the Prime Minister in that order.
The Head of State said that the death of Nyatanyi was not only a loss to her family, but also to the government and the Rwandan community as a whole.
He noted that Nyatanyi was a committed and hardworking person who served the government wholeheartedly. He added that she always fulfilled her duties and worked tirelessly to ensure that the lives of the people improved.
President Kagame described the eight years the late Minister was in government, as fruitful, noting that she would be remembered for her many positive contributions.
The Head of State pointed out that Nyatanyi’s departure is also a time to reflect as well as celebrate her achievements and life.
The Minister of Local Government, James Musoni, described Nyatanyi as a committed person whose legacy at the local government ministry will never be forgotten.
Musoni said that Nyatanyi was not only hard working, but was also driven by patriotic principles and beliefs that all Rwandans should live proper lives, a cause she was committed to until her death.
After Parliament, Nyatanyi’s body was taken to Regina Pacis Parish in Remera where a requiem mass was held.
The Bishop of Kabgayi Diocese, Smargade Mbonyintege, who led the mass, hailed the late Nyatanyi as a devoted Christian and God-fearing person who, throughout her life, attended church services.
Mbonyintege added that Nyatanyi balanced her time between serving God and the people.
The late minister’s sister, who spoke on behalf of the family, described Nyatanyi as a family-oriented person who always devoted time for relatives despite her busy schedule.
Monique Nsanzabaganwa, the vice-president of Unity Club, an association of former and current ministers and their spouses, said that Nyatanyi was a committed member of the club and her advice and counsel will be missed.
Nsanzabaganwa disclosed that when the late minister temporarily returned from Belgium earlier this year, she made sure that all her outstanding contributions and obligations as a club member were cleared, before she returned to continue her treatment.
Later in the afternoon, Nyatanyi’s body was laid to rest at the new cemetery in Rusororo, Gasabo District.
Marie Christine Nyatanyi was born in 1965.