Unknown son of Gen Fred GISA Rwigema reappears after 24 years
A son fathered by Gen Fred GISA Rwigema before launching the Rwanda liberation struggle in early 1990 has resurfaced 24 years after reportedly hiding from Rwigema’s known wife Janet who apparently tried to “eliminate” him and his mother.
The new son Alfred Gisa has reappeared through posting on social networking site Facebook with an emotional testimony of his life story. This information first appeared yesterday (Monday) on a blog (http://africanudo.wordpress.com) which does not seem to be located in Rwanda, but has several stories on Rwanda.
News of Rwanda has visited Gisa’s Facebook page under the names “Alfred Gisa” and it looks credible. Since he posted his testimony, there has been an outpouring of sympathy from his Facebook friends who are all wishing him well.
According to Gisa, he was born on April 16, 1990 to Eunice Matsiko. Gen Rwigema, who was preparing the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) invasion of Rwanda, named him Alfred Gisa. Gen Rwigema, then a senior Uganda military officer, left in October the same year.
“However, due to the suffering my mother had to endure at the hands of my stepmother Janet Rwigema, while I was still a baby, she opted to change my names and hide me until recently,” writes Alfred Gisa. His name from then on was Alfred Bada (Bada means ‘they will return’ in Luganda, one of the languages in Uganda) – says the blog post.
No details are given as to how Alfred survived all these years, but a hint appears in the Facebook post. He writes: “I want to thank my mother for keeping me safe and being that strong through the tough situations she endured while raising me up. And secondly, I thank all my father’s friends who helped me covertly.”
“Like it has wisely been said; EAST-WEST, HOME IS BEST. I am very happy to be home.”
According to the blog which originally published the information on Monday, until now, Gen Rwigema, commonly known in Rwanda as ‘Late Fred’, was known to have father children with only Janet. The two are currently in their late 20s: Eric Gisa Rwigema and Teta Gisa Rwigema. Both are studying in the United States.
The blog says Gen Rwigema died on battle two days after the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) had launched the invasion of Rwanda in early October. “At the moment, his remains are laid to rest at a special tomb at the Heroes Cemetery besides the National Stadium in Kigali. He is also top on the list of Rwanda’s heroes,” says the blog.
A special day February 1st, has been set aside for annual remembrance of Gen Rwigema and other known heroes. His known wife Janet lives in Kigali.
The new son identifies his mother as Eunice Matsiko, but does not give any more details. “The point of this message is to tell the world that I am tired of hiding my identity, and had to come out so that I can come to terms with my past,” writes Alfred Gisa.
“I also want to inform those who wanted me and my dear mother eliminated that such an era is gone. They have to accept my presence and live with it. I will no longer hide anymore.”
In the Facebook post, Alfred Gisa gives indication that he will release further details about himself, which could help give more light as to the identity of the new son. “As time goes-by, I will be giving my life story, which I hope will also help me recover from the traumatic past I and my mother have endured,” adds the new Gisa.