Lawmakers commemorate Genocide against the Tutsi

Senate president Bernard Makuza (left) and Lower House Speaker Donatille Mukabalisa (2nd left) and other Parliamentarians during the 25th commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi at Rwanda Parliament on April 10, 2019. Craish Bahizi.

On Wednesday, Members of Parliament and House staff joined the rest of the county to mark the 25th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, in which more than one million lives were lost.

During the event, legislators, who were divided into different teams, visited various memorial sites across the country, including Gatagara, Kiziguro, Buranga and Kabarondo, before converging at Parliament in the evening.

Senate president Bernard Makuza urged legislators to educate the youth about Rwanda’s history and enact appropriate laws for Rwandans to have a better future and avoid any kind of violence.

“It’s our role as legislators, to tell the truth to the young generation. They use the internet and social media; it’s easy for them to access wrong information. We have to help them get the real story, there are many out there who deliberately distort history to suit their own interests,” he said.

“They are an innocent generation, we do not want our children to inherit the history of hate that we had to live through for decades, no, we cannot bequeath this to them,” he said.

He added: “We must put more emphasis on the youth, they are 60 percent of Rwandans and 70 percent of them are below 30 years,” he said.

The Senate president said that a strong foundation has been laid for the youth but it must be solidified.

“We can only do this by ensuring a unified young generation. We, therefore, have to teach them unity and its effects on the general population,” he said.

Makuza also reminded legislators of their role in putting in place laws that prevent and punish any kind of violence in Rwanda and explained the central role politicians played during the Genocide against the Tutsi.

“Politicians played a very big role in preparing the Genocide and entrenching its ideology in the population through various platforms; media, education, etc…” he said.

“You are not the first legislators; even before Genocide there was a parliament but they abused their powers. They deliberately abstained from some international conventions; they didn’t make laws that prevent and punish genocide because they knew it was being prepared,” he urged.

The lawmakers and others at the event held discussions on the Genocide against the Tutsi, which centred on the country’s history, the role of politicians in bad governance, unity and its effect and the role of the media in executing the Genocide agenda.