The Genocide by the Hutu militias against the Tutsi’s occurred between April 7, 1994 and July, 19 1994 in Rwanda during the wake of the Rwandan civil war.

The Tutsi minority ethnic group, moderate Hutu and Twa were butchered by armed Hutu militias. The Kwibuka conference, Kwibuka meaning “to remember’’ in Kinyarwanda held in KICC in early April was attended by Daystar students from IR department in the School of Arts and social sciences (SASS).The conference was the 30th commemoration in remembering the events that took place between April 7, 1994 and July 19, 1994 that saw close to 1 million people being executed in the 1994 Rwandan genocide against the Tutsi minority and minority Twa.

The mission of the conference was to exchange ideas, reflect on dark human history and the horrors of the genocide. ‘The lessons learnt are many among the Rwandan citizens and those around the continent. “ Education is vital and eliminates hatred and discrimination, ‘’said the Rwandan ambassador to Kenya. “The failure of the international community to prevent such atrocities is a lesson the world can learn seeing the adverse effects left upon Rwanda as a country after the aftermath of the deadly genocide.’’

Furthermore, I learnt from the Rwandan High commissioner to Kenya Mr Martin Ngoga,that genocides are not born, it’s brought about by segregation,hate,ideological differences and injustice cases among the locals.This,he mentioned was another cause of the past events of the genocide. To cure this the Rwandan ambassador to Kenya urged the attendees of the event to promote peace, justice and reconciliation. One of the panelists,Dr Fred Kaloba Muteli previously a Ugandan said,“It’s not a miracle regarding the outcome of deliberate efforts of leaders leading Rwanda for the past 30 yrs and we would not want another Rwandan genocide, Rwanda is a democracy and is a concensus building nation.’’

Dr Kolaba mentioned that there are eleven political parties in Rwanda,nine being in government and two out of government. President Paul Kagame has been endorsed by four smaller political parties which are already in a coalition with Kagame’s ruling party Rwandan Patriotic front. (RPF) Elections in Rwanda are set to be held on July 15,2024.

Prof Patrick Loch Otieno PLO Lumumba the well known English public speaker and renowned lawyer said that political parties are adversaries insighting them to do bad.He furthermore advised the audience on the need to tell and invest in our own African stories. He said ,“we should have media of our own to tell our stories,do we have them? “We don’t,’’ he replied. He mentioned that we should stop agonizing and start organizing in a manner that has evidence and is believable, evidence based and verifiable.’’

Another Rwandan panelist mentioned that past Rwandan genocide aims to serve unity amongst Rwandans. One member of the audience asked ,“why don’t they prosecute them (genocide perpetrators) in those Western countries? Why do they refuse to bring them to Rwanda for justice on the basis of unfair trial? The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) began its work in early 1995 in Arusha Tanzania,eventhough the perpetrators had to face the so called Gacaca translated to short grass in Kinyarwanda,it was a place where neighbourhood male elder used to meet to solve local problems.Therefore Gacaca were the traditional courts in Rwanda.

When Dr Kaloba was questioned amongst the audience on why President Paul Kagame kept on being re-elected,his answer was simple.He said,“ President Kagame is alive.’’ And he asked again ,“do the other RPF candidates meet the standards for being elected?

RPF does not groom an opposition leader.President Kagame is the best choice we have for now.This is our country and we decide on our affairs.’’


Dr Kolaba mentioned that earlier he had discussed with elite political leaders from the eleven political parties (SDP) the Social Democratic Party,the second largest and one of the oldest political parties accepted President Kagame’s nomination and declined to sponsor a candidate.Eight political parties accepted his nomination out of the nine .Is it good or bad? That decision lies amongst Rwandans.He also reiterated that international media should focus more on the positive as he stressed that it was false terming President Kagame as a dictator,he stressed that Rwandans only re-elected him for the positive changes his government has made to make Rwanda a better country.Most Rwandans are surprised and would not have pictured the current Rwanda looking back thirty years ago.Kigali at the moment is the cleanest city in Africa.


Mrs Charity Kagwi,who is the Crime Prevention,Criminal Justice and Anti-Corruption Head of Programme,Eastern Africa under the United Nations Office On Drugs and Crime (UNODC) reminded the panelists at KICC that chilly morning of how the Hutus used a local popular radio station to continually refer to Tutsi tribal members as Inyenzi translated to cockroaches in English.As the  support for the characterization of such defamatory claims grew among the Hutus,it essentially stripped away any moral obligation to see Tutsi’s as fellow human beings.Mrs Charity Kagwi also mentioned that people were killing their mothers for them not to be exterminated painfully by Hutu militia’s.“It is never okay to dehumanize someone,’’Mrs Kagwi said.

To resolve such atrocities one of the panelists advised that state-society relations should be restored.“How do you bring citizens to actively participate?’’ If a re-ordering of relations of government and people can be done that would be great, we can re-engineer solutions. He reminded the audience that President Kagame then a military officer and his peers helped stop the genocide against Tutsi’s. Kagame was previously a commander of the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF),a rebel armed force which invaded Rwanda in 1990.The (RPF) was one of the parties of the conflict during the Rwandan Civil war and the armed force which ended the Rwandan genocide.He was considered a de facto leader under President Pasteur Bizimungu,he was also a minister for defence and Vice president but that vice-presidential position was abolished afterwards.

“If we don’t meet,our children will meet,’’ended Mrs Charity Kagwi in her remarks (UNODC).

“We must be quick to forgive,a turn of vigilance.Tell our African stories from an African perspective,’’these were the last remarks of Professor Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba PLO who is a Kenyan lawyer and activist who was the director of the Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission.He is currently the director of the Kenya School of Law having served previously as the director of Kenya  Anti-Corruption Commission from July 2010 to August 2017.

The event was organized by the Rwandan High commission and the moderator for the panel discussion was Mr Eugene Anangwe who is the Rwanda country manager at CNBC Africa, since May 2022.

The facilitation of students to and fro Daystar,Valley road campus to KICC to attend the thirtieth commemoration of the Rwandan genocide was done by Mr Martin Kioko a congress representative from the school of Arts and Social sciences (SASS) Valley road campus.The event happened in early April,2024.


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