MUHANGA - Officials and members of the Association of Genocide survivors (Ibuka) in Muhanga district, yesterday, snubbed Kabgayi genocide memorial activities.
This comes days after Ibuka officials on May 25 petitioned the Ministry of Local government and Sports and Culture, challenging the district’s decision to shift the day of the commemoration from June 2 to May 30.
Most survivors including the area Ibuka president, Eugene Karangwa, didn’t appear at the Sunday ceremony, insisting that the date set by the district was not known in the programmes of commemorating the thousands of victims who were killed in the area.
Survivors who talked to The New Times on condition of anonymity said they insisted on June 2 because it is when they remember the intervention of the Rwanda Patriotic Front forces’, who rescued the survivors who had sought refuge at Catholic stronghold of Kabgayi.
District mayor, Yvonne Mutakwasuku, however, said she was not aware of the reason why Ibuka officials boycotted the commemoration.
“The dates were changed so as to separate liberation from memorial activities. This set date is meant specifically for the memorial as the national liberation date remains July 4.”
“We have consulted with superior authorities and there is no problem.”
Unlike previous years, the event was attended by fewer residents and many students.
The handful of residents held a solemn prayers and paid tribute to genocide victims laid at Kabgayi memorial site. Red Cross officials helped mourners who experienced trauma.
MP, Damien Nyabyenda encouraged residents to turn a deaf ear to genocide deniers and work towards unity, reconciliation and nation building.