DRC (Universite Loyola Du Congo) On This Day, October 29, like today…

On October 29, 1996, Msgr. Christophe Munzihirwa (Archbishop of Bukavu) is killed during the capture of the city by the AFDL forces of Laurent-Désiré Kabila.

That day, Bukavu wakes up with fear. From the morning, heavy weapons are heard, especially towards Nyangezi. In town, the tension only increases and we hear shots being fired in every part of the town.

Around 4:30 p.m., there is a brief moment of calm and Msgr. Munzihirwa decides to go to the Alfajiri college (of the Jesuits) to try to help a small group of sisters, whose safety was not guaranteed. He drives his car alone, accompanied by his driver and a police officer for his protection.

Arrived at Nyawera (in the city center), the car is forced to stop by gunfire from some soldiers. Monsignor Munzihirwa goes down first, holding the pectoral cross in his hands, and goes towards the soldiers.

After an exchange of sentences that no one managed to hear, the soldiers forced him to go, not far away, towards an electric pole. The policeman accompanying him was shot suddenly as he tried to get out of the car. The driver was also murdered near the car.

Those in the second car, stopped behind that of the Archbishop, and who had managed to flee and hide, had followed every movement. They will confirm that until 6:30 p.m., Msgr. Christophe Munzihirwa was still alive, leaning on the electric pole, in a long discussion on the cell phone and it was at the beginning of the evening that his executioners decided to kill him: blows to the neck and Mgr. Munzihirwa slumped to the ground.

His body will be recovered the next day, around 1 p.m., by the Xaverian Fathers of the community of Vamaro (which is not far from the place of the assassination), after an unknown passerby informed the Father Superior.