The fruit of their labour was first witnessed in 1959

The Genocide against the Tutsi has taught us many a lesson, prominent among them being that everything we do in our life time or when entrusted with power and ability will reap certain consequences.

The Genocide against the Tutsi has taught us many a lesson, prominent among them being that everything we do in our life time or when entrusted with power and ability will reap certain consequences.

Those at the helm in Rwanda in the years beginning from 1935 to 1962 and the subsequent years until the early 1990s took decisions and chose a certain path. They decided and chose to sow hatred and divisionism.

All the regimes during those years decided to maintain the status quo and rode the same chariot preaching and propagating seeds of discrimination, hate, violence, sectarianism and ethnic ideology.

Eventually, what they planted blossomed. The end result and the fruit of their labour was first witnessed in 1959, it marked the beginning of the first mass murder of the Tutsi.

The killing of the Tutsi in 1959 was implemented by the PARMEHUTU. The PARMEHUTU were a brain child of the colonial administration in 1935.

Saying that they were not aware of how their actions would deepen over time is an attempt to deny the Genocide against the Tutsi. They knew and they were aware that every political decision taken not only has a meaning behind it but also an impact on the history of a country.

Yes, they planted and they harvested, in 1994 their harvest was plentiful, the Tutsi in different parts of Rwanda were killed on unimaginable scale.

To them, everything was planned. They knew that by sowing a thought (Genocide ideology) they would reap an act.

Astonishingly, the architects of the Genocide and their supporters continue to trot the globe blowing the trumpet of denial. But the message is loud and clear, they should know that they cannot escape the consequences of their actions.

Sowing something good

The luminous light in the left corner kept the garden bright, he ordered for the usual African tea, it was an ordinary evening and the discussions were not different from the typical chat about work, family and the media.

Our discussions changed after an intriguing question; why now? Why Ndi Umunyarwanda now? I answered in the affirmative that the best second time is now. That evening, the discussion between me and a friend of mine a senior reporter working for one of the media organizations in Kigali was guided by both his question and my answer.

The first best time was before the advent of the colonialists. They found a flourishing society where all Rwandans lived in harmony and unity. This should have been the norm from 1935 to 1962 and the succeeding years up to 1994. But it was different.

 In normal circumstances, we would have attributed the difference to being narrow-minded by the then leaders, but that would be sarcasm to what happened in 1994. As earlier mentioned, they had an agenda and they knew the type of seed that they were sowing.

The seed was disseminated widely and it culminated into the 1994 atrocities, where a neighbour slaughtered their neighbour, husband slaughtered wife and children, infants were put in mortars and minced, those who sought refuge in churches were mercilessly butchered, human bodies were floating on rivers and lakes.

However, those that fed on the fruits born out of that seed continue to deny the Genocide against the Tutsi, despite the available evidence that they have seen and witnessed but decided to ignore and keep a blind eye.

The fact that they fed and tested on the fruits of the seed for so many years, it will take them to change. However, all is not lost; I dedicate them Ndi Umunyarwanda, and they can also take time to learn from Rwanda’s current government and young generation.

The current government of Rwanda, led by President Paul Kagame, is sowing something good. Something good through programmes like Ndi Umunyarwanda whose core values hinges on dignity for all Rwandans, forgiveness, unity and reconciliation.

Today, the leadership of Rwanda is sowing something good. And the seeds are bearing fruit; ranging from security for all Rwandans, fighting corruption of all forms, and promoting the welfare of all Rwandans. 

Science and religion have taught us that we cannot live forever. It is a fact in life. Therefore, our actions today can create a lasting impact for the present and future Rwanda free from hatred and violence.

As we mark the 21st commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi, we should know that the colonial administration and the past regimes denied Rwandans a chance to sow something good, but the reality is, we cannot live in the past, we are in the present, and now is the perfect moment.

To the young generation, Rwanda’s current leadership provides an opportunity to learn, grow, be part of rebuilding Rwanda and bring value to our nation. It’s all a choice.

Commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi should be a time for all of us to reflect on sowing something good, a time to remember, renew and unite.

The writer is Head of Division, Health Communication Centre, at Rwanda Biomedical Centre.




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