Florida Mukanyangezi, 46, has been living with her husband in a rented house for more than 15 years in Cyinyana Cell, Gishari Sector in Rwamagana District.
At some point in her life, she was not able to pay rent anymore, and Gishari Sector paid rent for the disadvantaged family for more than a year, before they listed them as people who were in need of their own houses.
Mukanyangezi and her family are one of 159 needy families across 14 Rwamagana District sectors who on National Heroes Day were given houses. Most of the houses were constructed by residents through the monthly community work known as Umuganda.
“It is so significant to get a home on Heroes’ Day,” Mukanyangezi said, “When RPF Inkotanyi liberated Kigali [in 1994], they spoke on Radio Rwanda that, ‘Rwandans should get back to their homes, what we want is unity, peace and security,’” she recalls.
“Long live to the RPF and President Kagame,” hailed Mukanyangezi, who emphasised that RPF who liberated the country and oversaw its transformation are heroes.
“As we get our own houses, our lives are going to change for good,” she added.
Her husband has some physical disabilities, and life was not easy as they had to take care of twin babies; She said they did not have a good life as they did not have a home and a stable income to nurture their twin children.
“Our children are going to get a better life because they have a home, and we as parents are going to do all we can to improve our livelihoods,” she declared.
“I am overwhelmed with joy, and this shows me how my country loves me as citizen,” Evariste Kalinda, Mukanyangezi’s husband told The New Times.
“Please tell our President that we are thankful for how our country has become home for all Rwandans, how they support us the disadvantaged, now we are going to work, and we are going to progress,” he added.
Kalinda, 47, once served in the army and his hearing is disabled, however, he got employment through Government’s pro-poor programme, known as Umurenge VUP, where he gets some income for the family.
Rwamagana District Mayor, Radjab Mbonyumuvunyi, reminded area residents that Rwanda’s heroes used to be those who contributed in the development of the nation, and in recent decades, those who safeguarded the country’s security and those who fought for unity and prosperity of Rwandans, “this was assured by RPF-Inkotanyi,” he said.
However, “Anyone can be a hero in whatever work they do, whether in crop farming, animal husbandry, leadership, and so on, like President Kagame always reminds us that the remaining battle is the fight for better livelihoods of Rwandans”.
Fred Mufulukye, the Governor of Eastern Province said the houses built in Rwamagana by residents themselves, for the disadvantaged who were homeless is an act of heroism.
There were 467 homeless families who were supposed to get houses during 2019/2020 year in Rwamagana District; besides those who received them on heroes Day, the district mayor says that 220 houses are in the finishing stages.
The Ministry of Local Government indicates that 11,000 houses would be built for homeless families across 30 districts of the country this fiscal year, with the districts committed to complete the construction works by March.Follow JDNsabimana