Zimbabwe says it will continue to pursue stronger ties with Rwanda as it joined the east African country in celebrating its 28th Liberation Day.
During the celebrations held in Harare, the deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, David Musabayana hailed Rwandans who made sacrifices that ended the 1994 genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda and brought peace to the country.
“This occasion gives us an opportunity to remember and reflect on the bravery of the Rwandan people who made tremendous sacrifices that brought peace and ended the tragic genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda,” Musabayana said in a speech read on his behalf by the chief director, multilateral affairs and SADC national contact person in the Foreign Affair Ministry, Ambassador Raphael Tayerera Faranisi.
He added: “As close friends of the government and people of the Republic of Rwanda, we are pleased to note that, notwithstanding the tragedy, you have accomplished important milestones in the development of your great country.”
He said Zimbabwe will continue nurturing its relations with Rwanda as both countries seek solutions to common challenges that confront both countries.
“Let me take this opportunity to assure you of Zimbabwe’s unwavering commitment to continue nurturing our excellent bilateral relationship as we jointly seek solutions to common challenges that confront us,” Musabayana said.
“We stand ready to continue working closely with you at the bilateral, continental and international levels to advance sustainable peace, stability and development. This becomes even more imperative as we seek to achieve our continental and global development agendas.”
Musabayana said Zimbabwe was impressed by the strides that the people of Rwanda have made towards the growth and development of their nation.
The Liberation Day celebrations were attended by Zimbabwean government officials, diplomats accredited to Harare, the business community and Rwandans staying in Zimbabwe.
Rwanda’s Ambassador to Zimbabwe, James Musoni said both Zimbabwe and Rwanda are benefitting from the strong and cordial diplomatic ties.
“Under the able leadership of His Excellency President Paul Kagame and His Excellency President E.D Mnangagwa, we have successfully held reciprocal trade and investment conferences that have set the stage for trade and economic cooperation,” Musoni said.
Musoni saluted President Kagame for leading the Rwanda Patriotic Front in ending the genocide against the Tutsi saying: “For three long months in 1994, our country’s survival was in doubt. One of the worst tragedies unfolded.
A segment of the population was being hunted and killed. More than a million people were murdered.
By July 4, 1994, the Forces of the Rwandan Patriotic Army led by President Kagame had brought the killings to an end and we salute these heroes whose sacrifice, patriotism, resilience and selflessness made it happen.”
Musoni said when Rwanda gained its independence on July 1, 1962, regimes that took power up to 1994 perpetuated the segregation legacy of the colonial masters which included propagating sectarianism, promoting hatred among Rwandans; masterminded the exclusion and oppression of some Rwandans, especially Tutsis in schools, work and politics, killing them and forcing them into exile.
He said Rwanda is stable, unified and recording socio-economic developments.
He said Rwanda was ranked the 2nd on the ease of doing business on the continent with potential investors requiring only six hours registering a business.
“The ongoing massive infrastructure development in Rwanda has transformed the country into a regional hub of service industry and ease transport network,” Musoni said.
“Rwanda is currently ranked 3rd by the World Bank’s Global competitive report index in Africa for the best and quality roads. Kigali is currently topping the electrified cities in Africa with all the key streets having public lights.”
He said today close to 100% of Rwandans have access to health insurance as a result of policies put in place by the Government.
Musoni said Rwanda was one of the top contributors to United Nations and African Union peacekeeping missions.