Rwanda: Richard Karimba - Patriots Founding Member Laid to Rest

Richard 'Richo' Karimba was laid to rest on Sunday, January 9.

The 51-year-old passed on Saturday, January 1, in a hospital in Kenya after a long fight with cancer.

The main funeral ceremony took place at Christian Life Assembly (CLA) in Nyarutarama, Kigali, from where the deceased used to worship.

At the church; those present also listened to eulogies from family and friends.

Later, they proceeded to Rusororo Public Cemetery where the burial took place.

Karimba's funeral was attended by a number of dignitaries including Aurore Mimosa Munyangaju, the Minister of Sports, Claire Akamanzi, the CEO of Rwanda Development Board, Donald Kaberuka, the former President of the African Development Bank, and former Chief Justice Sam Rugege.

Speaking at the ceremony, Atete Rugege, Karimba's widow, described him as a person from whom she learned so much about loving people.

"I learnt so much from how Richard lived his life. He was genuine with his love for family and people. Richard loved me and he showed it through his love language of gifting and service. I never had to worry about so many things that needed to be done to keep our home and my car running smoothly. He spoiled me in ways I fear I took for granted," she said.

"As Richard discovered he had stage 4 cancer, I learned how courageous my husband was. He did everything to make us strong. In the early days of his battle, we would sometimes forget that he was fighting a dreaded disease," she added.

Donald Kaberuka, who worked with Karimba in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning when the latter was a junior employee, told a story of how he was struck by the deceased's sense of truth, responsibility and humility.

"Death is normal. We will all die, but the most important thing is what you have done while you were alive. One of the reasons I am here is to talk about what Richard did when he was still alive," he said.

"Around 1999 and 2000, a group of young people joined the ministry of finance, where I was working at that time... ... . Because they were very young and not much experienced, yet they had been given a lot of responsibilities, they would often come to me and others to look for advice, which was the right thing to do. But Richard never did, not once!" He narrated.

"So overtime I became very curious. So, once I called him to my office to get to know him. I found out that he was my nephew. He knew it, I did not know it. The point he was making was that he did not want at all to be seen as if he was taking advantage of the fact that we have a blood relationship with me. That really impressed me, because it is very difficult for young people to be humble and responsible to that point," he noted.

Patriots Basketball team captain Arstide Mugabe said:

"I thank God for meeting you, you have been a big brother to me and so to my teammates. Thank you for your love, passion you had for the team and the love of the game. Very eldest, honest, best friend, hero. Thank you for being a great leader and a humble person, a traveling partner, even when we had to take a long road ride you never hesitated traveling with us."

Karimba is survived by a wife and three children.


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