President Emmerson Mnangagwa has left Harare this afternoon to attend Rwanda’s 25th Liberation Day tomorrow the (Thursday) the 4th of July 2019 where several heads of state from Africa will join Rwandese President Paul Kagame in commemorating this day.
Rwanda a former colony of Belgium and Germany is a country that has defied odds.
The ethnic divide between the Hutus and Tutsi during the colonial hey days developed a stereotype that saw conflict between the two leading to clashes in 1963, 1967 and 1973 with the killings of the minority Tutsis by the majority Hutus after Rwanda’s independence in 1960.
The struggle for emancipation began earlier as the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) led by President Paul Kagame operated from bases in Uganda began a military campaign from north and east of Rwanda.
On the 6th of April 1994, a plane carrying two presidents Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda and Cyprien Ntaryamira of Burundi was shot down and fingers were pointed at the RPF, a move that kick-started the genocide.
From that day to the next 100 days saw the massive slaughter of ethnic Tutsis and moderate Hutus.
The genocide of Habyarimana using a militia called Interahamwe and Impuzamugambi went on the prowl to exterminate what they described as cockroaches meaning the Tutsi people.
It only came to a screeching hold when the RPF entered Kigali, the Rwandan capital, on the 6th of July 1994.
Over 2 million genocidal groups fled the country to Tanzania, Uganda and Democratic Republic of Congo and even as far as South Africa.
The world body United Nations and the super powers or global players looked aside and the people of Rwanda were left alone.
The people of Rwanda have, however, emerged stronger and united.
25 years on, Rwanda has pushed this genocide away but they do not forget and on the 4th of July (tomorrow), seven heads of state from Africa will join President Kagame in commemorating this day.
The 25th anniversary of the ending of genocide in Rwanda, among them is Zimbabwe’s President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
Tribalism and selecting people on ethnic or partisan lines is dangerous and all Zimbabweans should shun that.
A million people were slaughtered just because they belonged to an ethnic group, lessons have to be learnt.
President Mnangagwa was seen off at the Robert Mugabe International Airport by Vice President Kembo Mohadi, Defence and War Veterans Affairs Minister Cde Oppah Muchinguri-Kashiri, Home Affairs and Cultural Heritage Minister Ambassador Cain Mathema, Minister of State for Harare Metropolitan Province Honourable Oliver Chidawu, Chief Secretary to the President and Cabinet Dr Misheck Sibanda, service chiefs and senior government officials among others.