Ibuka, the umbrella organisation for Genocide survivors, has called on Genocide survivors not to despair but to work harder for a more meaningful life.
Ignace Munyabuhoro, the Ibuka coordinator in Kayonza District, made the call while addressing a crowd of mourners in Nyamirama Sector as part of the 20th Genocide anniversary events on Monday.
He decried the fact that some desperate survivors had taken to drug abuse and binge drinking, saying those in that state should embrace a new, positive lifestyle.
“It is lamentable to see a person who survived the most heinous crime dying of illicit brew (Kanyanga). Drug abuse is not the answer, it only exacerbates the problems,” he told the mourners.
A past survey by Ibuka indicated that some survivors who were left without any relative tend to seek solace in bars.
“It is bad to give in to despair…that you survived the Genocide is proof that you have a future ahead of you. You have a life, meaningful life to lead.”
Munyabuhoro called on all Rwandans to embrace the concept of Ndi Umunyarwanda programme, which seeks to promote unity and a sense of common identity among Rwandans.
“We are all one people; ethnicity was a colonialist invention and has nothing good for us. When we enter taxis, the driver does not ask us whether we are Hutu or Tutsi, you will not receive a service because you say you are this ethnic group or the other one, we are all Rwandans and should build our country together,” he said.
Evariste Mutsinzi, a survivor, said not all survivors lived a hopeless life, adding that most of them had developed themselves economically.
“For the last couple of years we have been working hard just like any other Rwandan. We have built for ourselves decent shelter, our children go to school, we have bank accounts and are saving with Saccos, among others. We are fully an integral part of the Rwandan society,” he said.
“But of course some remained in despair longer than others. We reacted to the Genocide differently, that’s expected. But most of us are out of isolation and are committed to leading productive lives. It’s an everyday struggle, we’ll never give up, reconstruction work is work in progress,” he added.
Genocide in Kayonza District started in Nyamirama Sector when the group of Tutsi in the area were killed in Kabuye village.
When the killings spread further Tutsis who had taken refuge at Kabarondo and Mukarange parishes were also butchered by the Interahamwe militia and soldiers of the genocidal government.
John Mugabo, the district mayor, castigated the then regime for coming so close to totally destroy its own people.
“It’s our duty to change our country for good and we are already doing that; together with us all, our government is working hard to build a nation free from violence and where every citizen has equal rights.” he said.