REBERO - Opposition politicians who were killed during the Genocide were yesterday honoured at the Politician’s Memorial Grounds at Rebero Hill in Kicukiro District.
The ceremony which also marked the end of the official commemoration week was presided over by the president of the Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta, and was attended by diplomatic corps, regional and international delegations.
The sombre event was also attended by the Speaker of the East African Legislative Assembly (EALA), Haither Abdirahin Abdi, several government officials, political leaders and families of the 12 fallen politicians.
During the event organised in conjunction with the Forum for Political Parties, respects were also paid to the remains of over 14,000 Genocide victims who were dumped around Kigali Central Teaching Hospital (CHUK).
In her speech, the Mayor of Kigali, Dr. Aisa Kirabo Kakira, thanked residents of Kigali for participating fully in the commemoration week and for helping survivors deal with trauma and urged them to continue through the 100 days of remembering the Genocide.
On behalf of political parties in Rwanda, the spokesperson of the political parties’ forum, Jean Baptiste Rucibigango, noted that the politicians being remembered should serve as role models.
“We all know that politicians played a major role in the planning and executing the Genocide; however, the ones we are remembering today chose to oppose it. They are heroes and we should all stand for the values they stood for,” Rucibigango, who is also a Member of Parliament, urged.
The Minister of Sports and Culture, Joseph Habineza, hailed the fallen politicians for standing for a good cause and eventually sacrificing their lives, adding that today’s leadership is committed to stand for the same cause which include good governance and patriotism.
“Rwandans today know what they want; they will not let anything separate them. They want to build strong institutions that will support them.
“Also today, as good politicians, we should focus on good governance, good politics and working for the people, not ourselves. Politics is a calling to serve the people, if you cannot, then don’t join politics,” Habineza said.
Buruta also described the slain politicians as ‘heroes’ who stood up against a bad regime and bad leaders, adding that they established the foundation of good leadership which the current leadership has built on.
“They stood up and said no, without considering the repercussions. Today as we remember them, it is a challenge to us, to assess ourselves and see if we can stand for the same values”.
He warned that Rwandan’s have learnt from their past and will not tolerate anyone who wants to drag them back to the old politics.
The politicians laid to rest at Rebero include members of the Liberal Party (PL) Landouard Ndasingwa, Jean de la Croix Rutaremara, Charles Kayiranga, Aloys Niyoyita and Augustine Rwayitare.
Others include Social Democratic Party’s Frederic Nzamurambaho, Felicien Ngango, Jean Baptise Mushimiyimana and MDR’s Faustin Rucogoza.
Others include Joseph Kavaruganda and Venantie Kabageni as well as former Prime Minister Agathe Uwilingiyimana who was reburied at the Heroes Cemetery.
The ceremony was also characterised by moving performances by Rwandan artists and Kizito Mihigo who put up a solo emotional performance.