The City of Kigali has donated 10 cows to families of its former employees killed during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
The victims worked for what was then known as Préfecture de la Ville de Kigali (PVK).
Four families are from Gasabo District, four from Nyarugenge District and the other two from Kicukiro District.
Each of the families received a cow.
The City of Kigali says it has so far identified 44 former employees who were killed during the Genocide.
“Giving cows to the families is, first and foremost, a way to pay homage to the former city employees, but also a fulfillment of an earlier pledge we made to keep supporting the families in their healing and development journey,” said Patricia Muhongerwa, the city vice-mayor in charge of social affairs.
The handover ceremony took place yesterday at Ndera Sector offices in Gasabo.
Muhongerwa noted that giving cows to the survivors is also part of a broader effort by City Hall to establish a strong bond with city residents.
“In our culture, a cow is a symbol of love and the friendship between people. This is why we decided to give out cows as part of the relationship that we are cultivating with citizens,” Muhongerwa added.
The donation came at a time the country is commemorating the Genocide against the Tutsi for the 23rd time. The weeklong official memorial events will come to an end today but commemoration activities will continue through July 3, spanning 100 days within which the Genocide was committed.
At least one million people were killed in the world’s fastest genocide in recorded history.
Julienne Dushimimana, from one of the beneficiary families and whose father was a Kigali city employee before he was murdered, described the donation as an act of love and a sign of the friendship that has long characterised Rwandans.
“To be honest, this was a surprise to me. I never thought that someone would come to us with this kind of support 23 years after what befell us, I’m also encouraged to support others in any way I can,” she told The New Times.
Officials said each of the cows is valued at Rwf400,000.
The city also gave the same families cash envelopes.