This week is no ordinary week for Rwandans. It is a week of commemorating terrible events that should shame humanity.
This week is a solemn one as we go back to those 15 years ago when the most brutal massacres against over a million innocent citizens took place.
Their crime? Being Tutsi. The world woke up to a nation that had suffered one of the worst blood baths, within a hundred days.
The events during the first weeks of April and thereafter will forever remain etched in our memories.
The authors and implementers of the genocide were brutal and shameless, as they executed a senseless mass murder, against innocent civilians.
Women were raped, some infected with the HIV virus, and babies were killed on their mothers’ backs, others from wombs – our sons being the most priced lambs for sacrifice to the demonic spirits.
This week we remember. Genocide survivors will relive the horrible episode as they retell their stories. As they tell what they witnessed, above all what they survived, when neighbour turned against neighbour.
We will hear how men brandishing machetes, slaughtered limb by limb, those whose blood they thirsted for, we will hear how babies were mercilessly smashed against walls.
We will visit the memorial sites where hundreds of thousands are buried, to honour them, in recognition of their untimely deaths.
We will pray, fast, cry, together as a nation.
There are those who wish to mask their inaction during this dark period by underplaying the events that took place. Let the revisionists and negationists be reminded that there are those who lived to tell the story.
Let them be reminded that it is an axe that strikes a tree that forgets but a tree that was struck will never forget.
The strength of remembering, is part of the healing process, as we make a fresh vow that Never Again, shall neighbour turn against neighbour.
It is the solemn uniting vow as we light the candle of hope and unity. As victim stands next to perpetrator united by the power of forgiveness.
As we light the candle of hope tomorrow, not only do we remember, we honour those who had the courage to stand up and take Rwanda where she is today.
Battered though she was she stands tall a beacon of hope to all that the human spirit can triumph against any form of adversity.
It is because she had a leadership that was brave enough to vow that never shall Rwanda be defined by the scars of the past but by hope of the future.
In remembering, we make a fresh resolve, as we take our destiny into our hands.