On April 28th, the Development Bank of Rwanda held a solemn afternoon vigil to remember its staff and clients that were killed in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. In the event, the current staff, friends, and family gathered to recount our tragic history to honor the memories of the departed and ensure that it would never happen again. This article is dedicated to them and their families.
We remember members of our staff who departed way too soon and under very bleak circumstances. We remember Maharangali Augustin, who was the Managing Director of the bank at the time. We remember Kamanda Thaddee; Director of Finance, Kamanzi Charles; Head of IT, Hagumimana Pascal; Bailiff, Rutsindantwarane Charles; Accountant, Munyabitare Alphonse; Analyst, Gahongayire M Therese; Analyst, Sekanyambo Onesphore; Analyst, Munderere Christophe; Secretary, Mukamparaye Seraphie; Secretary, Iyakaremye Asmani; Gardener & Security Guard, Kabahizi Callixte; Security Guard, Bihire Protais; Security Guard. We also honor those who were employees of Caisse Hypothecaire du Rwanda (lit. Mortgage Bank of Rwanda) which was part of BRD. We remember Batsinda Arthemon; Analyst, Bizimungu Dieudonne; Specialized Analyst, Kayibanda Pascal; Specialized Senior Technician, Kayitesi Caritas; Qualified Technician, Muhongwanseko Marie Goretti; Specialized Technician, Mukamunana Marie Goretti; Junior Technician, and Niyitegeka Dioscor; Head of Legal. None of them will be forgotten so long as we are here to say their names and retell their stories.
We also remember our clients who did not choose how they were born. We fondly remember Shamukiga Charles, who constructed the building we now call our offices. We remember Nzamurambaho Frederic, Ndasingwa Lando, Mgabuta Jean Marie Vianney, Dr. Rudasingwa, Mugwaneza Huss, Gasamagera Gabriel, Gatsinzi Augustin, Kalisa Raphael, Ndayizeye Joachim, Ntiyamira Thaddee, Mzamwita Augustin, Nzamuranga Thaciana, Sebahutu Narcisse, and Twagirumukiza Denys.
Among these, Mrs. Mukamana Maimuna, the wife of the late Asmani, shared her testimony [Insert link to testimony]. She recounted the story of how she and the 13 children she was with escaped the hands of the Interahamwe, a group of militias that had one mission: to kill and exterminate all the Tutsi, regardless of gender and age.
Among these, Mrs. Mukamana Maimuna, the wife of the late Asmani, shared her testimony. She recounted the story of how she and the 13 children she was with escaped the hands of the Interahamwe, a group of militias that had one mission: to kill and exterminate all the Tutsi, regardless of gender and age.
“At some point, she lost sight of the kids in a commotion and was left with the baby she was carrying on her back. She soon found solace in a bush, where she found others that were hiding. The baby she was carrying kept crying because of hunger and everyone else wanted to chase her away for she would get them caught. In despair, she would take a bit of mud and feed it to the baby so she can stay quiet. She kept this on for as long as she could manage but…“
We keep Mr. Kalinda Ndabirora’s words in mind. The Justice Commissioner at IBUKA reminded the audience of the necessity to counter the lies of Genocide deniers with facts and not emotions whenever they are defaming the memories of those, we lost by calling the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi by other names. These include those who call it “a double Genocide”, as much as those who deny outright that there was one or discredit Tutsi as an ethnic distinction. He reminded us of the achievements of the government led by HE Paul Kagame in ensuring that the Rwandan Justice system need not prove in international courts that the Genocide happened or that it was perpetrated against the Tutsi.
We stand with those who lost their own in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. We remember them, vow to accomplish their dreams, and commit to never let Genocide happen again.” – Kampeta Pitchette, CEO of BRD. The Development Bank of Rwanda vowed to join hands with the Genocide survivors all over the country in their journey to renew, by distributing clean cooking stoves in the beginning to the survivors in Rukumberi, and more across the country.
Remember – Unite – Renew