Umuganura Taken to Rwandan Prisons

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By Jean de la Croix Tabaro

Umuganura has for centuries been an important ceremony in Rwanda at the start of every harvest season uniting the subjects and the monarch.

Muhanga Prison inmates have showcased what they do best to celebrate Umuganura, the First Harvest day.

The prison gates were on Friday opened for the public to attend  the celebrations- the event was dominated by artifacts, fruits, and cooked foods.

The inmates in their uniform and the prison wards welcomed the guests with traditional dance performed with a banquet that was prepared from their harvest – inmates grow different types of crops in state owned and gazetted land.

Among the enthusiastic performers at the Umuganura celebration was Dr Leopold Munyakazi recently sentenced to life in jail for Genocide crimes.

“I am facilitated to work on my trial dossier, the prison service allows me to call home from time to time. I am thankful for that,” said Munyakazi.

Traditional dance performances during Umuganura in Muhanga prison

Assistant Commissioner of Prisons Jean Bosco Kabanda told relatives of the inmates never to interfere with the correctional services.

“This gesture intends to remind the inmates that they are part of the society. As of their relatives, please help us carry out the correctional services so that when they return home they are indeed rehabilitated,” Kabanda said.

“For example, if you bring drugs to inmates whichever tricks  you can use, you should understand that you are not helping the inmate to transform.”

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