RWANDA CULTURAL DAY: A Heritage worth dying for

This coming Saturday thousands of Rwandans from all over the world will descend on the City of San Francisco to celebrate our culture and heritage in the first ever held Rwanda Cultural Day.

It behooves every well intentioned Rwandan to come and welcome our President who will be the keynote speaker at this historic gathering; a celebration of who we are as a People, and bask in the incredible successes of the last 22 years since the Genocide against Tutsi in 1994. And what a journey it has been.

Under good leadership and sound policies, Rwanda has crafted an amazing form of government and democratic institutions that have turned what could have become a failed State to becoming the marvel of Africa.

Facts on the ground cannot lie,and those who claim Rwanda is not the success story we say it is are simply ignoring reality. There is much to celebrate;

– Vision 2020

– Education empowerment

– ICT development that has revolutionized banking for the benefit of all Rwandans

– Economic growth that rose from 2% in 1993 to 8.6% (1996-2014)

– GDP rose from $234 in 1994 to $690 in 2013

– Life expectancy rose from 51 years in 2002 to 64.5 as of the 2012 census

– And a whopping 64% of Rwanda’s parliament are women, the best in the world.

Rwanda continues to play a big role in peace-keeping missions all over the world. Whenever the RDF raises our flag at their bases, that Sun on our flag shines ever so brightly and gives every Rwandan reason to walk a little taller.

No wonder then, as Rwandans congregate in the “City by the Bay” there will be reason to tell the world why we refuse to be defined by a single tragic event in our history. We have reason to celebrate our achievements and continued reconciliation and healing. We also have reason to acknowledge the man under whose watch all these things have happened: Paul Kagame. With a steady hand he has steered the ship of State through trying times and turbulent waters.

I hate to spoil the moment, however. The so-called New Rwanda National Congress under the misguided leadership of Rudasingwa and his cabal has convened a so-called “Rwanda Truth Commission” to meet in Washington, D.C.. On Decmber 9 – 11 to remember “the genocide against Hutu.”

Consider the source. Nothing from Rudasingwa is surprising or shocking. His continued relentless assault on the memory of the victims of the genocide against Tutsi and millions of survivors is the biggest cut of them all. Merciless. Crude and falls well below standards of decency.

Rudasingwa would not recognise truth if it stared him in the face. His lies and distortions about the events in Rwanda has come to define the man. The founding of the so-called New RNC speaks volumes about this shattering organization as well as those who seek to return Rwanda to the dark days. The in-fighting within the RNC and eventual split-up clearly shows the greed and mercenary character of its members.

Noteworthy, one of the co-founders, Kayumba Nyamwasa, is now listed by the New RNC as a genocidaire. There is no honor among conspirators, is there?

The sooner Rudasingwa returns to Rwanda to start his 24-year sentence, the sooner he can find peace with his Maker.

I am reminded of the saying that the higher a monkey climbs up a tree, the more he exposes his rear.

And how will Rudasingwa’s tombstone read? He has not asked for my advice, but I volunteer to pen it: Here lies Theogene Rudasingwa – Genocide Denier.

 

About Willis Shalita

I am a writer who is very impassioned about Rwanda and its remarkable journey from the barbaric carnage of Genocide against Tutsi. I am an avid photographer. I believe the African story should be told through African lenses. Our time has come. If not now, when?
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