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Life Reflections

Gone through the mincer, been on the cross, now emerging……

By August 12, 2022June 6th, 2023No Comments

August 12, 2022

Whether you are Catholic-religion inclined or not, pay Kibeho a visit. Kibeho, headquarter-town of Nyaruguru District, is the site of Our Lady of Kibeho Shrine.

When you visit, first negotiate the tricky descent of the Way of the Rosary of the Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary to the holy water in the valley, then back up. If you are no longer the sprightly you of bygone days, you’ll have sweated plasma but take no breather!

Walk across Kibeho town and to the Monument of Christ. Here, also, first proceed to the shorter descent as you follow the Way of the Cross to observe Jesus Christ’s torturous journey of falling and being whipped up all the way. Climb back as you see depictions of His hanging, death and resurrection.

Now skip all else and set off for Busanze, through Munini Sector wherein is a new hospital and collection of modern blocks of flats that form a model village. Continue to Busanze, where you’ll want to check out Ntaruka A’s Small Hydropower plant.

This power plant, now at its final stage, what exactly has gone into building it?

Here was Akanyaru River at its bend around a hill. Going downstream, alright, but nowhere near being a natural waterfall. So, to form a waterfall, water will be impounded and sent up through a kind of upward “penstock” to the top where a valley for a reservoir and a dam to block it have been created.

Sluice gates will close the dam-opening for the reservoir, for instance, when works are going on along its ‘journey’ down. Otherwise, water will rush down inside a penstock and through a turbine, then further down through a downstream outlet to join its old ‘family water’ that was excess to that into the pipe, on its old route.

Meanwhile, the force from the turbine will have set a generator in motion that will send power through cables monitored in the powerhouse above. From there, green energy will have been produced, gone through a transformer to keep its power constant, and joined to the national grid for boosting the existing national power supply.

Now retrace your steps and soon you’ll re-join the night-lit, tarmacked and Sofiya-(speed-camera)-guarded road to make a tour of that near-world standard hospital in Munini Sector. A tour that will continue with the cluster of modern blocks of flats for some Rwandan vulnerable families. All of them with enough national energy to give light and operate whatever needs electrical power.

All these, remember, are in what was the impossible terrain area called Nshiri, as said here another time. This government has a way of sneaking progress onto Rwandans unexpectedly!

Anyway, back at the Monument of Christ, leisurely enjoy the beauty and expansiveness of this holy place and those at an even bigger scale around and in Our Lady of Kibeho Shrine. Then you can take all your time and meditate in either of the green gardens around.

After that, take a tour of the fast-growing Kibeho town, with all the trappings of Kigali City. That includes, but is not limited to, green and cleanliness, burgeoning numbers of modern hotels and housing estates, complete with an emerging ‘Nyarutarama Estate’!

In your meditations, hopefully, you’ll take time to reflect on the not-so-distant past of this Kibeho, if not Nyaruguru District generally.

It has risen like a sphinx from what was a remote, godforsaken collection of hills. That impressive Shrine sits on the site that hosted an inconsequential church, around which were the scenes of apparitions of the Virgin Mary, before it became a bloodbath for genocide victims in 1994.  Poor souls, they’d taken the church for a safe sanctuary.

A distance below the church were a number of ramshackle buildings that UN peacekeepers (UNAMIR) had garrisoned off to protect all the génocidaires of the area and their families, who included the defeated government soldiers (Ex-FAR), still armed to their genocidal teeth.

Pleas by the new RPF government to UNAMIR to free the innocent so as to return to their brethren/sistren and get the guilty tried for their crime, and soldiers disarmed, fell on deaf ears. Because the ex-FAR continued their bloody night raids on the surrounding population, the RPF government forced UNAMIR’s hand and freed the IDPs, with its RPA soldiers answering in kind those who attempted to fight them. The government later followed it with the dismissal of this UNAMIR group of idlers! 

The uproar about “massacres of innocents” (those armed Ex-FAR!) in the UN reports that touched off was reminiscent of today’s about these fabricated UN reports being churned out about Rwanda’s involvement in DRC, but nothing washed then, as it’ll never, any day.

Like the Catholic falls-and-whips walks of Kibeho and, unlike the Ntaruka A waters that freely give energy, Rwanda has gone through her own million-fold-sorrows mincer, been on the cross and resurrected, to leave all that behind and join the emerging economies of Africa.

And now some countries, however powerful, think they can bring that uproar to bear on innocent Rwanda and frighten her into bending to their whims? Poppycock!

As President Kagame archetypically quipped: “No worries…there are things that just don’t work like that here!!”

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