Kwibuka23: PSF remembers slain businesspersons in Kirehe

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Mutagoma hands over a mattress to one of the Genocide survivors who were given mattresses in Kirehe. / Kelly Rwamapera

Private Sector Federation (PSF) members in Kirehe District remembered fellow businesspersons who were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi in the district.

The ceremony was held on Wednesday at Nyakarambi Genocide Memorial in Nyakarambi Town, where more than 350 Tutsi business people were massacred. Some were later buried at the memorial which is now home to more than 9800 Genocide victims.

MP Berthe Mujawamariya cautioned residents of Kirehe against genocide ideology and asked Genocide perpetrators and those who witnessed the killings to reveal what they know as part of the healing process.

Jean Munyaburame, a Genocide survivor, was a businessman in Nyakarambi by the time of the Genocide.

Munyaburame recounted how most Tutsi could sense the danger ahead but had nothing to do.

“It was very difficult for a Tutsi to get a bank loan or passport and local authorities were closely working with banks to monitor us. They claimed that we were wasting the country’s money to help Tutsi refugees outside the country,” he stated.

He added that “a Tutsi who prospered in business could be implicated in trumped-up charges such that they could be arrested and their businesses fold.”

He said that Hutu businessmen in Nyakarambi aided Interahamwe militias by providing machetes and pickups to transport the killers.

The Human Resource Manager at PSF-Kirehe, Felix Mutagoma, called upon private sector to actively engage in building the country as opposed to the businesspersons who helped destroy the country.

“You have a country, it means you have everything. Meet you tax obligations, support Genocide survivors and do not let genocide ideology creep into your families,” he said.

As part of the commemoration ceremony, PSF donated a house to the family of John Shingiro, a genocide survivor in Kirehe.

PSF also gave six cows to six survivor families and 25 mattresses to other survivor families.

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