Minister Bizimana criticizes youth expressing regret over Rwandan nationality

On 18 October 2023 at 04:24

The recent arrest of freelance journalist Jean Paul Nkundineza has sparked a range of reactions on social media platforms. On October 16, 2023, the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) officially announced Nkundineza’s detention on charges relating to his activities on YouTube. These charges included public insult, the alleged abuse of whistle-blower protections, and the use of threats.

In response to RIB’s announcement, an individual self-identifying as Simba Ya Solo on the platform "X" quickly expressed their discontent, stating, "By constantly stirring up negativity among Rwandans, you’re exacerbating the problems we already face. I regret being born as a Rwandan."

During a discussion with religious leaders held on October 17, 2023. Dr. Jean Damascène Bizimana, the Minister of National Unity and Civic Engagement, strongly criticized such negative sentiments.

He underlined the significance of unity among Rwandans and the importance of the justice system’s role in this regard. The minister called upon individuals to take pride in their Rwandan heritage instead of expressing regret.

Dr. Bizimana emphasized, "Young Rwandans who express remorse about their nationality must understand that a vast majority—94%—have embraced unity and reconciliation. When someone faces legal proceedings, it is not appropriate to pre-judge their guilt. Instead, the severity of their words and beliefs should be taken into account. The 6% who do not share this unity should be addressed through a comprehensive plan and commitment."

The minister acknowledged that the age of the person expressing regret was undetermined, but the individual appeared to be young.

Religious leaders also expressed their intent to address issues of disloyalty and disunity among some members of the community. They emphasized the importance of promoting unity through educational initiatives, especially within their respective religious congregations.

Research conducted in 2020 revealed that an overwhelming 94.7% of Rwandans believed that unity had been achieved and considered it their responsibility to actively participate in fostering it.

Additionally, Rwandans showed strong support for various government programs aimed at promoting unity and reconciliation.

Minister Bizimana has criticized the behavior of a young individual expressing regret over Rwandan nationality.