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Belgium: Rwanda’s Tutsi tribe originates from Ethiopia


In this news article we shall dwell much on the origin of Rwanda’s ethnic groups and the paradium that the Tutsi community in Rwanda was foreign invaders.

Rwandans lived together before independence. When the German colonialists arrived in Rwanda, they found the people of Rwanda highly organised with a King on top of their administration. By the time the German colonialists invaded Rwanda, the people of Rwanda had 27 clans with each clan led by a chief.

Rwandan clans had specific totems. Abazigaba had a leopard for totem. The people of Abazigaba clan were located in the recent day parishes Nduga, Gisaka, Bwisha, Ndorwa, Mubari, Bufumbira and Rukiga.

When the Belgians took over the political administration of Rwanda from the Germans, the Belgians introduced identity cards that erased all peoples’ clans and categorized all the people of Rwanda under Tutsi, Twa and Hutus’s.

The Hutu, Tutsi and Twa were social formations on Rwanda that was based on social class and occupation. For example one could be Umuzigaba and atb the same time be either Hutu or Tutsi, or Twa under the same totem.  

When the Belgians granted Rwanda independence, the old identity cards were abolished and a new card where one could only be a Hutu, Tutsi or Twa was introduced. The abolition of clans and introduction of tribes made the people of Rwanda who were once part of the same “family” became enemies.

After the derpature of the colonialists, the rich and royal families became Hutu, middle class group of people became Tutsi and the poorest became Twa.

After the end of colonial rule in Rwanda, the colonialists left literature that showed that the Tutsi came from Ethiopia (Abyssinia). Their predecessors Gregoire Kayibanda and Juvenal Habyarimana also spread the opinion found in colonial literature that said that Tutsis came from Abyssinia. In this regard Kayibanda and Habyarimana made Tutsis foreign invader and enemies of the Twa and Hutus.

Walakira Nyanzi

Historian in Kampala


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