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Kwibuka30: Petroleum Products Importers Rebuilding New Family

by Daniel Sabiiti
12:58 pm

Some of the ASSIMPER members

Over 500 members of the Rwanda Association of Petroleum Products Importers (ASSIMPER) have paid tribute to victims of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

On April 30, the members held a walk to remember and visited the Kigali Memorial site in Gisozi where they laid the wreaths on the final resting place of more than 250,000 victims. At this place, they also lit candles symbolizing the ‘flame of hope’.

Eric Herbez Mutaganda, the ASSIMPER president stated that the Association has a responsibility to commemorate genocide so as to educate the young generation and foreigners on Genocide but also ensure it never happens again anywhere.

Ivorian National, Saibou Coulibaly the Managing Director at Vivo Energy Rwanda, and member of the Association who has been in Rwanda for four years said that every time he participates in the commemoration, it is a new experience that enlightens him to ensure that genocide never happens again.

“Personally as Africans we see the need to unite, rebuild and renew Rwanda and we do this by educating Rwandan visitors who don’t know what happened here,” Coulibaly said.

Genocide survivors like Francine Uwera Havugimana, who was 15 years during the genocide and lost her parents who used to deal in petroleum products said that she was saved by foreigners who knew her family.

“My parents used to sell petroleum in jerrycans, had no extended family but found one in the business community,” Havugimana narrated.

Eric Herbez Mutaganda, the ASSIMPER president

During the genocide, Havugimana said that the Kenyan friends who loved her Dad’s entrepreneurial ways of doing business had asked him to escape to Kenya but he refused so even thought there was tangible signs the Genocide was being planned.

One of her Dad’s best friends who was a soldier in the then government changed into an enemy and betrayed their family by leading an attack on their home on April 7 claiming her parents and siblings.

Havugimana says that she narrowly escaped and survived with her siblings.

“It was God’s mercy that we survived. God listened my dad’s prayer that if he dies, we should live,” Havugimana said.

Francine Uwera Havugimana

By God’s grace, Havugimana and siblings managed to escape to Kenya with the help of embassy diplomats and started a new life in Nairobi with the help of Kenyan friends.

“The point here is that the foreigners helped us to survive and rebuild a family because of the good relationship they had with our dad, they even tried to get our father’s savings in Barclays bank in vain,” she narrated.

Today, Havugimana, who is married with five children, says that she and her siblings have rebuilt a new family tree thanks to the Rwandan liberators, the Rwanda Patriotic Front(RPF) Inkotanyi.

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