Rwandans in Uganda and Tanzania have paid tribute to the country’s liberators with a call to stay the course and more efforts to accelerate development.
The ceremony in Uganda took place yesterday at the residence of Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda.
Bright Rwamirama, Uganda’s State Minister for Animal Industry said that Rwanda’s liberation should serve as a lesson to Africa on how a focused and committed leadership can end ethnic divisions and promote unity.
He said that Rwanda and Uganda enjoy excellent relations guided by bilateral frameworks like the Joint Permanent Commission (JPC) which has seen a number of cooperation agreements signed in different sectors.
“To all you gathered here, consider Uganda as your home and I urge you to play your individual role in promoting our good relations,” he said.
The evidently excited audience chanted RPF-Inkotanyi songs and lauded the party for its achievements.
Frank Mugambage, Rwanda’s High Commissioner to Uganda, said that a new Rwanda is built is on the basis of unity of effort, accountable individuals, and institutions that aim for quality.
“It is this culture that continues to the present and is responsible for the achievements that have made Rwanda a world model in achieving where some thought it was impossible,” he said.
He added that from the outset of the liberation struggle, the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) leadership made the correct analysis of the situation and offered solutions for redress.
Scovia Nyirarukundo, an elder from Wakiso district in Uganda said liberation serves as a lesson to all Rwandans not to forfeit the values they hold.
“Efforts by our liberators, both the living and the deceased, should not be in vain. This should teach us to hold ourselves in high esteem and ensure continuity of what they fought for,” she said.
For Edward Rwagatare, a resident of Bweyogerere in Uganda, Liberation Day should be celebrated more than once a year as a show of tribute to Rwanda’s liberators.
In Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, celebrations took place at the High Commission offices and were attended by among others; Dr Salim Ahmed Salim, Tanzania’s former Prime Minister and former OAU Secretary General.
In his speech, Lambert Sano, the Charge d’Affaires in Tanzania informed his audience that like many other African countries, Rwanda suffered under the colonial regime which exercised divide and rule tactics culminating into a painful post- colonial era.
“We the people of Rwanda regard this liberation day as a landmark in the rebirth of our country. Today we commemorate the bravery of our heroes who sacrificed their lives to save lives and protect Rwanda as a nation,” he said.