Staff members of Banque Populaire du Rwanda (BPR), part of Atlas Mara Group, on Friday 13 April 2018 joined residents of Gatsibo District to remember victims of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The commemoration started from Banque Populaire du Rwanda’s head office in Kigali where staff members boarded buses that headed to Kiziguro Genocide memorial site Gatsibo district, Eastern Province, where they paid tribute to genocide victims, laid to rest there.
While there, the bank also remembered its former employees killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and used the moment to donate Rwf 2,000,000 towards the maintenance of Kiziguro Genocide memorial site.
During the Genocide, the Tutsi fled to Kiziguro church for refuge, only to be killed by the Interahamwe militia using traditional weapons, grenades and bullets, from the place of worship.
The victims are buried at Kiziguro Genocide Memorial Site which is constructed along the Kigali-Kagitumba high way, close to 109 kilometers from Kigali City.
The bank later joined the residents of Kiziguro sector to close the commemoration week of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi and donated household materials worth Rwf 6,000,000 to 15 families of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi survivors residing in Kiziguro sector
“It was a tragedy. A tragedy that started many years back even before the genocide of 1994. For many years, this commune was led by brutal leaders like the infamous Jean Baptiste Gatete. He led the commune from 1987 to 1993. This man was a strong enemy of Tutsi in this area,” said Manzi Theogene the Vice Mayor of Gatsibo District.
He later thanked, BPR for deciding to pay tribute to the victims of the 1994 genocide in Gatsibo District.
Maurice K Toroitich, BPR’s managing Director, said the bank remained committed to fight genocide ideology and denial. He affirmed the bank’s readiness to supporting those who survived the Genocide in one way or another.
“In memory of former BPR colleagues and other victims, we are sympathetic to all those who lost their families during the Genocide,” said Toroitich
“We are proud of the country’s fast development. Our bank is committed to support Genocide survivors in different aspects of their everyday lives, toward better welfare. Our staff will always stand against genocide ideology and denial in the community to avoid genocide from happening again, either in Rwanda or elsewhere.” He said
He commended Genocide survivors for their forgiveness of those who killed their families, which he said is key to unity and reconciliation.
One of the beneficiaries among the 15 families of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi residing in Kiziguro sector, Uwanyirigira Egidia said she was grateful for the support from BPR that came at the right time when they needed it most. “They had just built us new homes and we lacked home equipment because we had no money to buy them. Am really touched by the gesture from these good people who have showed us a lot of kindness”
For many years, the bank has been active in supporting Genocide survivors in education and over 29 have been studying under the BPR’s fully paid university scholarships.