23 April 2018

Rwanda: Kwibuka 24 - Parastatal Employees Urged to Promote NDI Umunyarwanda Drive

Staff members of Rwanda Revenue Authority (RRA), the National Electoral Commission and the Office of the Auditor General, have been urged to take a leading role in promoting national identity through the Ndi Umunyarwanda programme to ensure genocide never happen again.

The call was made on Friday as the three institutions held a memorial in remembrance of all the victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, including over 100 former employees of the then revenue collecting agency.

The event was held at the RRA premises at Kimihurura.

Jean-Damascène Bizimana, the executive-secretary of the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), said the seed of hatred was sown progressively into one section of the population against another section which helped the massacre to happen at the rate it did.

"Remembering the Genocide victims helps us to reflect on what happened, how it happened and draw lessons to help us draw strategies of ensuring it does not happen again. Our bitter past should make us reckon that that there is nothing good about divisionism and hatred. Everyone in society should feel responsible to build a new generation where unity prevails", he argued.

Chilling testimony

The crowd was moved by Gloria Benimana 28 year old, now a staff member at RRA, who recounted how, aged just 4 during the Genocide, she witnessed the killing of both her parents and her elder sister by the Interahamwe.

At the time, they lived in the former Butare town, now part of Huye District, where her father worked as a lecturer at the National University of Rwanda and her mother as secondary school teacher.

During the attack on her family, Benimana was hacked with a machete on the neck and was left for dead.

She said she later managed to escape and was helped by a wife of one of the killers who later took her to an orphanage where she met her brother (then 9 months old) .

Later she was driven to Burundi with other orphans where she connected with members of her extended family who had previously fled to Burundi.

Here, she managed to get medical attention.

"24 years now, I feel much better. I'm grateful that that I grew up to become a productive citizen though it was not easy because sometimes I could be overcome by depression seeing that there is no meaning of life without parents. I'm thankful to God for the good leadership that took good care of us through education and social support," she said.

Rwanda

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