Musanze welcomes Kwibuka Flame amidst heavy downpour

Not even the afternoon heavy downpour or the heavens that constantly threatened to open up again could stop Musanze residents from turning up en masse to welcome the Kwibuka Flame as it reached the district on Monday,  completing its 16th stop on its nationwide tour.
The Flame arrived in Musanze from the neighbouring Nyabihu District where it had been since last Friday.  Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.
The Flame arrived in Musanze from the neighbouring Nyabihu District where it had been since last Friday. Jean Pierre Bucyensenge.

Not even the afternoon heavy downpour or the heavens that constantly threatened to open up again could stop Musanze residents from turning up en masse to welcome the Kwibuka Flame as it reached the district on Monday,  completing its 16th stop on its nationwide tour.

The Flame, which arrived in the northern district from the neighbouring Nyabihu, was welcomed at Busogo stadium and greeted with applause from the hundreds of residents and school children who turned up for the occasion.

As the torch made its way to the stadium, carried by two youths aged 20, accompanied by 20 kids, the crowd was enchatted to the tunes of  Urumuri Rutazima song with the message; “the Rwandan spirit has never died”.

“This is the light of hope, life and  remembrance,” the message in the song goes. 

Anaclet Niyonsaba gave a testimony of how the Tutsi were discriminated against and later targeted by militias, years before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. 

In 1994, Niyonsaba said, hell broke loose when  slaughter erupted leaving more that one million Tutsi dead.

He pointed an accusing finger to political and military leaders whom he said were very instrumental in the killings.

“They (leaders) clearly branded a section  of the population enemies and emphasised to all and sundry that the enemy must be wiped out,” Niyonsaba said.

However, he said after the killings, survivors refused to be hostages of the past, noting that they are busy striving to transform their lives.

 “This Flame is an indication that the future generations will inherit a strong and prosperous nation devoid of ethnic division and discrimination,” he said.

Musanze district mayor Winifrida Mpembyemungu, said survivors have been resilient enough to transform their lives that had been shattered by the bloodletting. 

“Let this Flame be a symbol that the future beholds the best for us all,” she observed. 

Shared responsibility

Northern Province Governor Aimé Bosenibamwe said the Genocide was a culmination of poor and bad policies promoted by greedy leaders.

It is also time to reflect on the country’s gains in the social, political and economic sectors over the past 20 years and devise strategies to consolidate the progress made, he said.

“We have a solution to our problems,” Bosenibamwe said.

 “We need good leaders who will continue to promote our unity. It is also our responsibility to ensure that we never go through dark times again,” Bosenibamwe told residents, urging them to fight genocide ideology, divisionism and discrimination.

Therese Murekatete, a member of the lower House, observed that the Kwibuka Flame should inspire residents to work for a better nation, a nation where citizens have equal access to resources and opportunities.

“Let this Flame encourage us to work hard and make Rwanda a better place to live,” Murekatete said.

What they said about the Kwibuka Flame

Amiel Muziraguhunga, 79, Resident:

We have lived so many years under the shadow of darkness. But we have now emerged from it and are experiencing better lives, thanks to good policies that have been put in place over the past 20 years. 

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Ngabo Theoneste, student: 

What the Flame means to me is that Rwanda has emerged from the  tough times that followed the Genocide. It also symbolises unity and prosperity.

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Joseph Nsengimana, student: 

The Flame is a sign that Rwandans are living a better life after suffering from the Genocide that was caused by bad leadership. It is the light of hope for all Rwandans.

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Rosine Nirere, 21 

The Flame means that the new-found light will stay in our hearts and will always enlighten our lives. We won’t experience darkness again. All Rwandans need to reconcile and live peacefully. Those who took part in the Genocide should seek forgiveness so that we move forward as one people.

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Valentine Mukayezu, 19, student: 

I think the Flame highlights the  difference between the past and the present. Rwandans went through difficult times because of bad leaders but now we are living better lives, thanks to good leadership. 

 

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