Rwandans should stand united to defend the dignity of the Nation. This appeal was made by the Minister of Local Government, Hon. Francis Kaboneka on Saturday, 30th May 2015 at University of Rwanda (UR) Huye campus. At this occasion, Minister Kaboneka and the Minister of Sports and Culture, Hon. Julienne Uwacu were addressing students on “Ndi Umunyarwanda program”.
In his introduction about a public talk on “Ndi Umunyarwanda” program, a concept which translates from Kinyarwanda to English as “I am Rwandan”, Hon. Francis Kaboneka explained that this program aims at calling upon Rwandans to embrace unity by overcoming any sort of division among Rwandans. With regard to how division among the population affected negatively Rwanda, Hon. Kaboneka went through the History of Rwanda before, during and post colonial era to demonstrate how there was a time Rwandans were united and another time when Rwandans were divided based on the so-called ethnic groups.He explained that for many years before the colonial period, Rwandans lived in harmony as a one people with different classes based on economic activities. Minister Kaboneka further highlighted that colonizers turned economic classes into ethnic groups in order to divide Rwandans and he showed how that was a manipulation because Rwandans share the same culture, language and clans which means what colonizers called ethnic groups were not that; because ethnic groups can’t share all those characteristics mentioned. Hon. Kaboneka regretted that Rwandans adopted that division spread by colonizers as in 1959; some Rwandans were forced into exile following conflicts based on ethnic groups and that division culminated into Genocide against Tutsis in 1994.
Refer to what came as a result in ethnic divisions, Minister Kaboneka asked students to overcome any form of division. “We gained nothing in division among Rwandans rather we lost a million of innocent people killed, mass refugees, deaths caused by bad living conditions and other negative effects. We should change that history by standing as one people then and focus on working for our nation”, Minister Kaboneka urged students.
In her address, Minister of Sports and Culture, Hon. Julienne Uwacu shared her experience of the time when division was lively. In this perspective, she gave examples on how people would benefit or lose rights depending on their ethnic groups or their region origins. To this end, Hon. Uwacu asked students as they are the majority of the current youth to be at the forefront in cultivating the culture of unity in order to record the new history for Rwanda. She noted: “Youth holds 70% of the Rwandan population and many of them have today attended the school. If you can behave well and assist others, the whole society of Rwanda will be transformed”.
Mr. Moses Mutabazi, one of the students who were present at the public talk, commended the guest Ministers for addressing students on Ndi Umunyarwanda Program as he believes it’s a program that can help Rwandans restore their unity. He pledged to play his role in spreading the good message of Ndi Umunyarwanda program.According to the Principal of UR’s College of Arts and Social Sciences, Dr. Usta Kaitesi, the Public talk on Ndi Umunyarwanda was organized at UR Huye in the framework of discussions on different themes in line with the 21st commemoration of Genocide against Tutsis. Speaking at the event, the Deputy Vice Chancellor of UR, Mr. Pudence Rubingisa recommended the students to consider what they learnt from discussions as their take-home message to people they will find at home as they starting their holidays.
Note that after the public talk, a mega concert was held to grace the end of the academic year 2014/2015.It featured students who perform modern and traditional music and the local music superstar known as Tom Close.
Representative of UR Huye campus Ndi Umunyarwanda Club, Mr. Jean Luc Musana talking about the club's achievements.
Principal of CASS, Dr. Usta Kaitesi delivering her welcome remarks.
Minister of Local Government, Hon. Francis Kaboneka speaking at UR Huye campus on 30th May 2015.
Minister of Sports and Culture, Hon. Julienne Uwacu speaking at UR Huye campus on 30th May 2015.
Students following presentations by Ministers.
L-R: Principal of CMHS, Prof. Phil Cotton,DVC/Finance and Administration, Mr. Pudence Rubingisa and Mayor of Huye District, Mr. Eugène Kayiranga Muzuka.
UR's Huye campus Cultural Troupe, Indangamuco.