Preparatory activities ahead of the 20th Liberation Anniversary, on July 4, were launched on Tuesday in earnest, setting the mood for a grand celebration of the country’s dramatic rise from ashes.
A day after the country paused to remember the children slaughtered during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the government dispatched high powered delegations, led by cabinet ministers, to different parts of the country to set in motion a grand Kwibohora20 plan.
With July 4 edging ever closer, Rwandans will use Kwibohora20 as an occasion to celebrate the defeat of the most brutally efficient genocide machinery the world has ever known, by a brave youthful movement – the Rwanda Patriotic Front/Army.
Tuesday’s Kwibohora20 events saw the laying of foundation stones in five districts, signifying the beginning of construction of 500 health posts across the country, works that will be spearheaded by the men and women in uniform and backed by government and local communities.
The planned health posts, whose construction is expected to end in December, are seen as a major boost for the government’s goal of having one health post per cell by 2017.
That the RDF chose to celebrate the twentieth liberation anniversary by helping to take health services closer to the people is no surprise. Over the years, the country’s defence forces have earned an enviable reputation of a highly disciplined force that do not only care about the welfare of the people but one that actively takes part in finding solutions to the socio-economic challenges facing their countrymen, besides of course defending homeland.
By consistently working closely with other citizens to devise homegrown solutions to the problems that face the people and country, whether in case of disasters such as floods, or constructing roads and bridges that link villages, or extending free healthcare services, RDF embodies the values of patriotism, excellence and accountability that are synonymous with Rwanda’s story of the last two decades.
There are lessons to learn from the RDF. For instance, the Rwanda Military Hospital-Kanombe is a model in so many ways, particularly in customer service and efficiency. It offers invaluable lessons to other establishments, public or private.
As we mark Kwibohora20 it’s important that every Rwandan upholds the same values that have helped shape the RDF into a national army we are all immensely proud of.