Private sector to be assessed on reconciliation programmes

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has announced plans to start looking into how the private sector and development partners implement unity and reconciliation programmes in their action plans.
Bishop Rucyahana addresses senators yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)
Bishop Rucyahana addresses senators yesterday. (Timothy Kisambira)

The National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC) has announced plans to start looking into how the private sector and development partners implement unity and reconciliation programmes in their action plans.

This, according to officials, is meant to harness all sectors in the country to consider unity and reconciliation into their plans are in conformity with the national roadmap.


Implementing this, NURC say, will ensure national unity climbs from the current 92.5 to 100 per cent.
This was announced as the commission presented its 2015/16 annual report before the Senate during which they also spoke of their focus for the current fiscal year as regards promoting unity and reconciliation.


According to Bishop John Rucyahana, the chairperson of the commission, a lot has been achieved in the past year especially as far as reconciliation is concerned but more is yet to be done, appealing for more partners to supplement their efforts.


“We are going to increase the coordination between members of the private sector and development partners on the evaluation of unity and reconciliation programme implementation as we also seek to increase partners,” Rucyahana said.

Such measures, he said, will help them in synchronising efforts to ensure maximum output.

“Where possible we are looking at 100 per cent reconciliation as opposed to the current 92.5 per cent,” he added.

Rucyahana argued that while reconciliation can be achieved at a satisfactory level, unity per se is very broad and need continuous sensitisation from generation to generation.

“You see Rwanda is massive and is no longer defined by geographical borders, we have members of the Diaspora, and it is our responsibility to share with them the positive stories of this country,” he said.

The report assessed different variables looking specifically at how Rwandans understood the past, present and how they envision the future; their own status of citizenship and identity; views on political culture, security; justice and social cohesion.

Although it cites constant hindrances, ranging from isolated cases of genocide ideology, post-Genocide emotional and physical trauma, to ignorance and poverty, officials believe sooner than later Rwanda will be a complete unified society.

Reacting to the report, senators commended major strides made so far calling further on more measures and resolutions to sustain the momentum for a brighter and peaceful future.

Senators react

However, the senators said there will be need for multiple approaches on how to deal with repetitive concerns that hinder the process of unity and reconciliation.

According to Senator Jean Damascene Ntawukuliryayo, the issue of failure to execute Gacaca judgements, including paying reparations to Genocide survivors’ families should be given a special attention by all stakeholders.

“The findings of the NURC reports have elements that keep bouncing back, should we change the approach? The question of lack of enforcement of Gacaca verdicts is becoming a serious issue, have we failed to address it completely? The commission should advise on the way forward,” he said.

In response, Rucyahana stated that the least his commission can do is to expose the challenges in place and to show their implications on national cohesion.

“Our job is not to go and execute these judgements, it is the task of the Ministry of Justice and other organs of the Government, up to now that is the least we can do,” Rucyahana explained.

According to law N°04/2012/ terminating Gacaca courts compensation is paid by the offender themselves or through auctioning of their property.

Among key achievements registered last year, according to the report, included the continued gains made under Ndi Umunyarwanda campaign which has been extended to many institutions, including prisons, and, according to the report, this will continue to serve as a tool to promote national cohesion.

The report also documents a milestone in the selection of the ‘protectors of friendship pact’ popularly known as Abarinzi b’Igihango.

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