Dominique Mbonyumutwa

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Dominique Mbonyumutwa
President of Rwanda
In office
1 January 1960 – 26 October 1961
Succeeded byGrégoire Kayibanda
Vice President of Rwanda
In office
30 October 1961 – 30 October 1964
Personal details
BornJanuary 1921
Gitarama, Rwanda[1]
Died26 July 1986(1986-07-26) (aged 65)
Brussels, Belgium[2]
Political partyMDR-Parmehutu
Spouse(s)Sophie Mbonyumutwa

Dominique Mbonyumutwa (January 1921 – 26 July 1986) was a Rwandan politician who served on an interim basis as the first President of Rwanda, from 1 January to 1960 to 26 October 1961, following the abolition of the Rwandan monarchy. He took over by overthrowing the monarchy under King Kigali V Ndahindurwa and declaring Rwanda a republic, resulting in the 1961 referendum.

Mbonyumutwa was of Hutu ethnicity and was respected by the population both before and after his presidency. On 1 November 1959, while serving as a sous-chef (equivalent to a district mayor today), he was assaulted by a group of Tutsi youth in Byimana in Southern Province. This incident triggered the "social revolution" of November 1959,[3] which eventually brought down the monarchy while driving hundreds of thousands of Rwandan Tutsi into decades-long exile.

Mbonyumutwa was succeeded as president by Grégoire Kayibanda a few months before Rwanda's independence. After his presidency, he maintained a position in Rwandan politics by serving as the Vice President of Rwandan and holds an honorary position as Chancellor of National Orders in service of later president Juvenal Habyarimana.[4] He died in July 1986 in Belgium and was buried in Gitarama Stadium, the site where the Republic was proclaimed in 1961, as a recognition to the country. In 2010 his remains were exhumed and reburied in a public cemetery due to the plans to redevelop the stadium.

References[change | change source]

  1. Nkundabagenzi, F. (2010-06-01). Rwanda politique: Documents prיsentיs par F. Nkundabagenzi - Centre de recherche et d'information socio-politiques - Google Books. Retrieved 2012-01-10 – via Google Books.
  2. Keesing's record of world events - Google Books. 2008-04-08. Retrieved 2012-01-10 – via Google Books.
  3. Guichaoua, André (2015). From War to Genocide: Criminal Politics in Rwanda, 1990–1994. University of Wisconsin Press. p. 7. ISBN 9780299298203.
  4. "Présidence de Dominique Mbonyumutwa". Retrieved 2016-01-19.