KIGALI - Events to mark the 16th Liberation Day will kick-off around the country on Monday, with various ministries and institutions engaging in development activities.
Radio and television talk shows, town hall meetings and debates at the village level on how best Rwandans can be part of the continued liberation process will be conducted by local leaders throughout the week leading to the Liberation Day held annually on July 4.
Addressing a news conference ahead of the national day, the Minister in the President’s Office, Solina Nyirahabimana, said that this year’s celebrations will be held both at the national and village level.
The focus will be on development; how Rwandans can continue liberating themselves from challenges they face, including poverty and ignorance.
“This day is important for many reasons. It is the day the Genocide was put to a halt by the liberation forces after three months of massacres. It is the day we liberated ourselves from bad leadership, poverty and many other bad things that came with the regime at the time,” Nyirahabimana told the press.
“This day is therefore important for us as Rwandans to assess where we have come from in the last 16 years and where we are going, and how we as Rwandans, can continue to liberate ourselves socially and economically,”.
Nyirahabimana who was flanked by the Minister of Defence, Gen. James Kabarebe, said that at the National, celebrations will be held at Amahoro National Stadium while countrywide celebrations will be in villages where people will gather and debate about liberation.
“All Rwandans are encouraged to evaluate together where we are in line with this year’s theme---be it on the economy, social welfare and also set goals of where they are going,” she said.
“We have come from far, we have achieved impressive progress in the past years but where we are going is still far. Therefore Rwandans will need to sit back and assess all this and at the same time set goals of where we are going”.
According to Nyirahabimana, for the second time, foreign personalities who played a role in the struggle will be awarded medals on Liberation Day but she said the list of those to be awarded will not be revealed until the D-day.
Last year President Yoweri Museveni of Uganda, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and former President of Tanzania Julius Nyerere were honoured for their contribution to the liberation struggle.
Kabarebe said that the Defence Ministry has arranged talk shows with journalists to give them an insight on the road to liberation--beginning with the struggle itself, where the country is today and the way forward.
“We at MoD believe that the media is one of the strategies that we can use to liberate ourselves. The media plays a positive role in the liberation struggle and that is why we want you to come and we share with you what we are doing so that you can tell the people,” Kaberebe said.