Over 300 members of the association of Ugandans living in Rwanda visited Kamonyi memorial site in Southern province in commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
It is the fourth time the association has expressed solidarity with their brothers and sisters during this period of mourning.
The group visited child headed families, donated money and goods to orphans and pledged to assist the orphans achieve a better future. What was most touching was the level of understanding and psychological involvement.
The spokesman of the group Mr. Issa Bogere, speaking in Kinyarwanda, said that although what happened to Rwanda was beyond comprehension, the level of national reconstruction was impressive.
“In a period of 16 years Rwandans have risen from ashes of genocide to rebuild an exemplary society” he said. He lauded the spirit of self reliance, good governance practices and advised fellow Africans to emulate Rwanda by seeking homegrown solutions to their problems.
The gesture of brotherhood and solidarity touched many Rwandans particularly members of child-headed families of Gacurabwenge. A young man representing the group expressed his appreciation saying, “It is reassuring to see nationals of another country do this, it means we are not alone and with this kind of solidarity we have hope for a better and safer future. In keeping with Rwanda wisdom expressed in the `proverb “umuturanyi aruta umuvandimwe wa kure” or a neighbor is more useful than a far off relative, Ugandans and Rwandans need to establish closer ties not only at diplomatic level but at all levels
The spirit of African brotherhood was also expressed by the Serena group, led by Mr. Mugo Maringa, a Kenyan. The Serena hotel group visited, Abahumuzanyana, a survivor group in Kimironko composed of 28 child headed families and in addition to the donation of a total of 1.300.000 Rwf pledged to continue offering their members with skills to use for the rest of their lives through training. According to Mr. Maringa the Serena group trains and employs some members of the association and encouraged other corporate entities to do likewise.
The groups cited above are not the only ones that have expressed solidarity but serve underscore the beauty of good neighborhood and the brotherhood of mankind. Being residents in Rwanda they have first hand knowledge of the Rwandan reality, they will be good ambassadors.
They have touched hearts of many and their contributions will go a long way in empowering the survivors and consequently reducing trauma. When Rwandans abroad, like self styled human rights activists Rusesabagina continue to trade in lies to undermine the progress of his motherland, the testimonies of foreign nationals living in Rwanda will prove him wrong.
While I was following the activities of the sixteenth commemoration of genocide, the hotelier was at it again. Instead of joining the rest in finding ways of managing trauma caused by the extreme acts of violence that was unleashed by genocide, he went to the BBC last Sunday to talk about war of words and guns.
I would like to confine myself to two falsehoods. He said that Rwanda went to DRC to steal minerals and that Rwanda has no coltan deposits yet it exports the mineral.
Sometimes one wonders at the patience of those journalists who have to up with lies and sometimes half-truths by those who seek recognition through international radios stations.
Why couldn’t they ask him about FDLR and the reason for the biggest UN military contingent on the African continent! The UN Peace Keeping Forces MONUC and the Congolese army have been battling FDLR in Congo for long. FDLR is outlawed but continues to massacre people in the RDC, destroy property and runs its war machine through looting RDC mineral resources. FDLR has exacerbated the humanitarian crisis in Congo.Is that not a good reason for military action by those concerned.
To suggest that there are no deposits of Coltan in Rwanda, Rusesabagina demonstrates ignorance or he is deliberately misleading his audiences.
Those Ugandans who visited Kamonyi would certainly dismiss that claim. Sadly as I write this article, City Radio has announced (Wednesday, Midday news) that three coltan miners had died and three injured when walls of their mines collapsed at Rukoma in Kamonyi district. May their souls rest in peace.
Surveys indicate that the biggest part of Rwanda lies in the Kibaran Belt Rocks that are known to contain minerals.
The Rwanda mining sector is vibrant, dominated by foreign companies including Gatumba Mining concession from South Africa, Bay View Group from USA and Rwanda Minerals from Germany. Information about Rwanda’s mineral deposit is readily available, so those who trade lies should be challenged.
I would like to end this article expressing my appreciation to our regional brothers and sisters who have demonstrated the value mutual cooperation.