The Association of Widows of the Genocide against the Tutsi, (AVEGA-Agahozo) on Tuesday, November 24, 2020, fulfill the promise made by a Genocide widow Nyirangoragoza Marianne before dying.
In 2014 AVEGA-Agahozo has addressed an issue of elderly widows ‘Intwaza’ unable to live alone in their homes due to elderliness surviving inability to take care of themselves and for their small jobs and structured a model to bring them together in elderly homes “Impinganzima” for proper and better follow-ups and cared for better off and healthy aging.
In partnership with FARG and Unity Club Intwararumuri, AVEGA runs four elderly care homes for widows without families to support them. These are located in Huye, Nyanza, Bugesera, and Rusizi Districts.
They receive specialist healthcare and mental health support, as well as food, clothing, and social activities with fellow residents. The model has proven to be prolific and protecting all the risks that may come to the old aged widows.
In 2019 AVEGA-Agahozo, raised a very crucial issue regarding the properties of those elderly members. The remedy was to first of all find a way of managing the properties of the elderly survivors and to make sure that any of them writes their testament.
In this effort, AVEGA found a partner, the Legal Aid Forum who offered to ensure good management of properties and to guide the widows in writing their testaments, through “the Elderly Widows Legal Assistance Project (EWLAP)” known as ‘Tubasindagize Project’.
“LAF is to help the vulnerable population to solve the problems concerning the law. In this context LAF has supported the project of AVEGA “Tubasindagize” because of the particularities to prevent conflict after the person is no longer alive.” The Executive Director of LAF, Me. Andrews Kananga noted.
In this project, any widow who wants to write their will is given a room where, in privacy, they meet a lawyer from Legal Aid Forum to help them since a testament is confidential.
This became a most valuable project to elderly widows until May 25, 2020, when one of them Marianne Nyirangoragoza who was aged 73 in Rusizi District surprised her housemates, where she lived at ‘Rusizi Impinganzima Hostel’.
Nyirangoragoza started by sharing her background, where during the Genocide she first lost her husband and eight of her ten children killed by Interahamwe militias.
She then fled to her family which was not the target of killers, but the family itself killed her remaining two children, creating an even huge wound in her heart.
In the aftermath of the Genocide, Nyirangoragoza continued to struggle for life, but at 70, she was too weak to survive alone, despite the social support that is provided to the vulnerable elderly in Rwanda. She was moved to the Rusizi home of the elderly Genocide widows who have every support from hygiene, feeding, medication, and other basic necessities.
From this background, Nyirangoragoza was quoted as saying “I was persecuted by my own family during and after the Genocide. I fled to DR Congo and, if it wasn’t for the love of President Paul Kagame, the FPR Inkotanyi wouldn’t have brought me back in Rwanda.”
“After this, Kagame built me shelter, fed me, and catered for me and I did not lack anything; in fact, he did what my children would have done for me. None else can inherit my properties if not President Paul Kagame.”
Nyirangoragoza died one month later aged 73 after deciding to leave all her belongings to President Paul Kagame in person.
“This testament was the first of its kind, but we allowed the lawyer to proceed with further steps because it was the will and the wish of the proprietor and it’s within the law.” said the Legal Representative of AVEGA-Agahozo, Mukabayire Valérie.
On this Tuesday, November 25, the Minister in the office of the President, Judith Uwizeye represented President Kagame to accept the inheritance.
“The president has accepted the will and is very appreciative for the love that Nyirangoragoza had towards him,” Minister Judith Uwizeye said at the event which attracted several officials in Western Province.
Neighbors of Nyirangoragoza said that she “made them proud by putting her properties to the care of a very important person that is President Kagame whose love to their community is without precedent.”
The inheritance is made of four plots totaling 2203 square meters located in Mubuga village, Nyarusange cell, Bushekeri sector, Nyamasheke District in the Western Province where Nyirangoragoza was married decades ago.