The United Nations Information Centre in Zambia embarked on a 2-day outreach tour of educational institutions in the two provincial towns namely Ndola on the Copperbelt at Ndola National Technical School and Kabwe in Central Province at Kabwe Secondary School from April 6-7, 2016 whose was the theme “Fighting the Ideology of Genocide”.
The target groups were the students, members of staff and other non-academic staff who were interested in learning and knowing about the Rwanda Genocide. During the tour there was a video screening of documentaries of some survivors and an exhibition, the purpose being to highlight the experiences of what the survivors went through as a way of generating discussions around the theme.
On hand to give background information on the genocide as well as answer questions was Charles Nonde, Team Assistant who coordinated the exhibition, documentaries and the discussion. There was also a screening at UNIC on April 8, 2016.
Discussions from Ndola and Kabwe generated the following questions and opinions:In the documentaries, the survivors mention that some of the perpetrators are still in the community, what sort of punishment has been minted out on the perpetrators?
- Why was the UN very slow at putting in place preventative measures to avert the killings, since one of the roles is conflict prevention and peace building?
- In Zambia of late there has been a lot intolerance and tribal talk from politicians, who are also using the youth to perpetrate violence against each other. What advice or interventions can the UN in Zambia apply to prevent what happened in Rwanda?
- An observation has been made, that in Zambia political leaders are exhibiting dangerous behavior and using language that is inciting violence as evidenced from political meetings, threats on the media and political opponents, there is need to counsel them
and show them documentaries such as those of the survivors so that they don’t encourage violent acts towards others.
- Some students after the presentation were of the view that forgiveness and the process of healing for them would be applicable only if they would also inflict some form of hurt on the perpetrators so that they too feel the pain and annoy of losing loved ones to a senseless cause.
Other activities included; Exhibition, outreach through bulk sms (30, 000), video screening and public outreach (1000 students) and media interview with the Post Newspapers (300,000 readers)