President Paul Kagame has described Aloisea Inyumba, the late Minister of Gender and Family Promotion, as a selfless leader, who was ideologically clear.
“She was a very good cadre and ideologically clear, she was more than just a minister, governor, senator…those are positions that come and go; Inyumba was not just another leader, that's the difference,” the President told mourners at the Parliamentary Building where the late minister’s body lay in state.
Kagame praised the deceased for her dedicated service during and after the liberation struggle, describing her as a “fearless cadre” of the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF), who put her life on the line for the good of the liberation movement and country.
The President, who said he first met Inyumba around 1985, eulogized the late minister as a trusted and patriotic cadre who had the ability to cultivate a good working relationship with anyone and bring rivals on the same table.
He said Inyumba’s character symbolized Rwanda’s own experience of perseverance and triumph, and urged the nation to uphold her legacy.
“Today we bid farewell to her body, but her values live on,” Kagame said.
Inyumba succumbed to cancer from her home in Kigali, last Thursday, two weeks after returning from a hospital in Germany.
After her first stint in Cabinet, Inyumba went on to serve as the Executive Secretary for the National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (1999-2001), during which time the country was going through a critical phase of truth-telling, reconciliation and healing – from the Genocide and its after-effects.
During that period, she actively spearheaded a national adoption campaign to place Genocide orphans in homes.
Later, she was appointed the governor of the Kigali Ngali province before joining the country’s inaugural Senate in 2004, and in May 2011 reappointed to Cabinet.
She spent her last days urging the public to adopt children from orphanages and to raise them as their own, with the view of phasing out orphanages.
The President talked of how he practically forced Inyumba to take medical leave after she had insisted on accomplishing certain official responsibilities.
Mourners formed a long line to view the body of the late minister in a casket draped in national colours, before they headed to Christian Life Assembly (CLA) church for funeral service ahead of burial at Rusororo cemetery in Gasabo District.
Earlier, Cabinet Affairs minister Protais Musoni eulogized Inyumba on behalf of those who had worked with the fallen minister over the years, as did the central bank vice governor and chairperson of Unity Club (association of current and former senior leaders and their spouses), Monique Nsanzabaganwa.
They both described her as a heroine, and exceptional and charismatic leader, who will be dearly missed.
Inyumba is survived by a husband (Richard Masozera, the head of the Civil Aviation Authority) and two children, aged 15 (girl) and 10 (boy).