By Watchdog reporter
The biggest regional news on the weekend was the death of Kigeli V Ndahindurwa, coined as ‘Last king of Rwanda’.
Every serious news platform reported the death in Uganda, Kenya, including BBC in United Kingdom. However in Rwanda, not a single serious publication or broadcaster dared to write or announce anything.
However, Rwandans using other channels of communications, are well aware of the death of their king Jean-Baptiste Ndahindurwa who came to be known as King Kigeli V.
Kigeli who ascended the throne in 1959 died in USA on Sunday morning.
He was deposed in 1961 when Belgian colonial power favoured the majority Hutus and backed a coup which forced the king into exile and his monarch abolished.
Rwanda was proclaimed a republic in 1961, and a Hutu, Dominique Mbonyumutwa, became president. The country has since 1959 faced genocide or other ethnic cleansing with hatred haunting one generation after the other.
While in exile in USA, Kigeli set up a charity to help Rwandan refugees and orphans. However BBC quotes a 2013 profile in Washingtonian magazine that found him living off food stamps in subsidised housing.
King Kigeli was the last in a line of monarchs from the minority Tutsi ethnic group, which had dominated Rwandan politics for many years.
He died in US after more than 50 years in exile. A Tutsi himself, Kigeli couldn’t return to Rwanda in 1994 after Tutsi dominated RPF captured power because he demanded to return to Rwanda as a king with monarchial powers.
The new leader in Paul Kagame however told him to return as an ordinary Rwandan, which he declined.
That created animosity between the two and the standoff silently divided the Tutsis.
Some conservatives believe Kagame should have returned the king while others especially the young ideologues thought otherwise.
Rwandans were eagerly waiting to see if the government would allow returning his body for decent send off in Rwanda, but it seems the RPF government was not interested.
The silence of the news outlets which are tightly controlled by the State, is an indicator that the government in Kigali had no interest in giving a dead man a decent send off, in any way, it would be pretentious to show love and respect for a man who died in poverty outside his country.