Staff members of Rwanda’s largest beverage manufacturer, Bralirwa, on January 19 held a commemoration event in honour of its employees who perished in an attacked by militia groups in 1998.
The 39 victims were packed in a bus and brutally burnt to death, while others shot dead on the fateful date of 19, January 1998. The company also unveiled a newly constructed memorial site in honor of the victims.
The commemoration event was preceded by a mass service conducted at the Gisenyi parish where the mourners prayed for their deceased colleagues.
Gisenyi Parish priest told the mourners that it is important to remember the deceased ones since it gives due respect and restores dignity of the person’s legacy in life when they were still alive on earth.
The mourners also paid tribute to the deceased, whose bodies are laid to rest in Nyamyumba sector, in Rubavu district where the killing occurred.
Among the mourners, were some survivors who said that the killings were part of the continuation of the mass killings conducted during the 1994 genocide, even when genocide had been halted by the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) forces.
On behalf of Bralirwa administration, Freddy Nyangezi Biniga, the company’s Corporate Affairs and Communication Manager said that the families of the deceased have been cared for by the company in various aspects of social welfare; and the company will continue the support.
The company also estimates that over 32 Bralirwa employees were killed in Kigali during the Genocide. The company’s officials said that at least 180 children of the deceased have benefited from a scholarship scheme initiated by the company.