On 12th June 2017, residents of Kicukiro District and High Hills Academy pupils joined the Mount Kenya University Rwanda (MKUR) fraternity in marking the 23rd commemoration to remember the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi.
The commemoration which started with a walk to remember from MKUR to Nyanza Genocide memorial site was graced by the Vice Mayor in charge of social affairs, Kicukiro District, Bayigana Emmanuel. Also present were: a representative from Commission Nationale de lutte contre le Genocide (CNLG), Gatabazi Claver, Mwesigye Robert, the Executive Secretary of National Youth Council and other Government officials.
In his speech to mark the commemoration, the Vice Chancellor of MKUR, Prof Edwin Odhuno gratified Kicukiro District and the Government for giving the Institution an enabling environment to operate and said the University will continue supporting worthy causes that impact positively to society.
“We thank the leadership of Rwanda for national unity that has put in place policies and laws to ensure genocide does not happen again. Rwanda is now on the right track for sustainable development and MKUR will be supportive of government programmes that promote peace and unity among society” he said. Quoting His Excellency, the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul Kagame in his own words, ‘Rwanda cannot turn back the clock, but we have the power to determine the future.’ Prof Odhuno urged Rwandans to embark on continuing re-building the nation for the betterment of the young generation.
Bayigana Emmanuel commended the University for playing a big role in building capacity and improving the social welfare of the Rwandan community. He urged the youth to exercise patriotism in re-building the country to prosperity. “The Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi was unique compared to other genocides in the world in that it was organized by Rwandans, executed by Rwandans and was stopped by Rwandans. This has made it easy for Rwandans to unite and reconcile for prosperity”, he said
The CNLG representative, Gatabazi Claver said the leadership in Rwanda during 1959-1994 was based on divisions specifically amongst the youth which caused the Genocide against the Tutsi. He urged the youth to focus on their studies seriously as well as engage in research to enable them become job creators for the benefit of society.
In her testimony, kagoyire Esperence, the survivor narrated to the public how Tutsi in 1994 were being captured and taken to Sonatube from Eto Kicukiro to Nyanza by foot to be killed. She said during that time an estimated number of over 2,000 people were killed in one of the local schools called ETO located on the outskirts of Kigali, which was at that time protected by the United Nations Keeping force. Following the removal of the UN troops, refugees were forced to move to Nyanza where they were all killed. She was one of the lucky survivors as she was assumed dead after surviving a handful of grenades, machetes and other traditional tools. She thanked MKUR management for the financial support she received to grow her business and continue being self reliant.
During the visit to the site, the University gave a donation to the centre to enable it carry out its day today activities.