Musoni: Pan-Africanism is about valuing every African with no discrimination

Protais Musoni, Chairperson of Pan African Movement. Sam Ngendahimana

On this Saturday, July 4, Rwandans celebrated the Liberation Day for the 26th time.

The Day implies the time when the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) stopped the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that claimed a million people in just 100 days.

 

Liberation Day is also an opportunity to pay tribute to individuals who selflessly sacrificed their lives and comfort zones to liberate their Mother-land- in which they were denied entry by the discriminatory government that promoted hate and divisionism.

 

Additionally, on this day, the country not only celebrates the defeat of the genocidal regime but also assesses apparent challenges and recommits to the nation’s development agenda.

 

Twenty-six years after the Genocide against Tutsi, Rwanda has undoubtedly experienced remarkable economic, social and political progress.

This, according to Protais Musoni, the Chairperson of the Pan African Movement (PAM – Rwanda) Chapter should be a lesson to all African countries.

Self-reliance

He said that: “African countries should always strive to think creatively on how they can find solutions within their reach, because as it was the case of Rwanda, solving your own apparent problems builds confidence which later helps you to overcome other challenges in future.”

“This does not mean that you achieve everything in a blink of an eye, nonetheless, it is worth the wait as long as you will not wait for people outside to come and solve your own problems,” he added.

However, Musoni noted that this does not nullify the importance of partnership as long as that partnership is a fair win-win agreement.

The self-reliance of Rwanda was among others manifested by the decision of the former RPA, regardless of how few and young they were, to leave their places of refuge and came to liberate the country that was neglected by other countries and international organizations since 1959 when the killing of Tutsis began- forcing many to flee their country and became refugees for decades.

This value even characterized the post-Genocide regime, whereby in bid to hold genocide perpetrators accountable, the government introduced Gacaca justice system in 2002 and was officially closed in 2012, after trying more than 1.9 million Genocide crimes in ten years.

The system was borrowed from the cultural value that Rwanda’s ancestors had of sitting together as members of the community to discuss several challenges with the aim to find home-grown solutions.

Leadership- a two-edged sword

Musoni went on to say that: “It is impossible for genocide to take place in a given country without the unwavering support of the government. This is also the same when it comes to building a prosperous country, which we need in Africa, the government has to shape citizens’ way of thinking in this regard and provide the necessary support.”

Musoni reiterated that for Africa to achieve Agenda 2063, the leadership of African countries should be people-centred.

The power of inclusiveness

One of the major characteristics of the genocidal government was divisionism and discrimination, whereby among others Rwandans who had become refugees in foreign countries since 1959 were denied entry in their country, being told that the country was full like a glass of water with no space left for them.

Additionally, Tutsis who were in Rwanda were denied many opportunities such as jobs and rights like access to education among others, before culminating into the Genocide against the Tutsi in 1994.

This, according to Musoni, should be an eye-opener to all African countries on how toxic divisionism and discrimination can be.

“The main pillar of Pan-Africanism is valuing every African with no discrimination because at the end of the day you find that when given the opportunity, everyone can make a contribution that will help a country achieve its vision. We should never give room to anything that may stir devaluing a given group of people,” he explained.

Rwanda’s pillar of inclusiveness went beyond ethnicity to gender, whereby the country has been topping the global list of countries with the most female political parliamentarians. As of now, 61 percent of Chamber of Deputy seats are made of women.

Additionally, disabled people also have a representative in the Chamber of Deputy.

editor@newtimesrwanda.com

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