Kangura No. 46

R.T.L.M.: No Chance for the Tutsi

Hassan Ngeze

“Listeners of the Radio station that fights for safeguarding the Republic, are you vigilant? It is Hassan Ngeze calling upon you to fight for your unity.… You are tuned to 106 FM!!”

“The power of the majority made it possible for us to have Radio R.T.L.M. Good morning! This is Noël Hitimana, your announcer.”

Unity is strength. The Hutus’ dream is finally coming true, for they have been able to set up a free radio and television station whose creation was announced more than a year ago. Many were wondering why it was only the Inyenzi who had that monopoly. As such, we, the Hutu majority quickly examined the possibilities of setting up a free radio and television station. As the days went by, we saw various small groups of people advocating for the speedy creation of the station.

The small groups became very many, brought their ideas together and decided on one thing: the setting up of a radio and television station. They quickly made contacts with potential donors, for this venture mainly required money. Rich Hutus of all political persuasions and natives of all the regions of the country, including Félicien Kabuga, the richest man in Rwanda, and his rich colleagues, bought several shares in this company named R.T.L.M.

The county’s intellectuals and top-ranking authorities from all over the country and members of all the political parties also bought shares. Surprisingly, however, no single Tutsi has bought shares in R.T.L.M. But that is understandable. At the general meeting held at Amahoro Hotel in Remera on 11 July 1993, even though the participants continued to insist on the commercial aspect of R.T.L.M., it was only a matter of words… [illegible part] …the participants were worried that not only did the Inyenzi have their own radio station, Radio Muhabura, but they and their accomplices had infiltrated Radio Rwanda. It was obvious that all the shareholders agreed on one thing: that this radio and television station be a symbol of solidarity for the Hutus. It was, moreover, this venture that made them agree for the first time and work as a team.

So, that is the situation with regard to a radio and television station that will help Kangura further the Hutu objectives. On the frontline, the Rwandan Armed Forces have scored successes, Kangura has won in the written media and now our radio and television station has just won. This station is also referred to as the station for the people fighting for the defense of the Republic. You who do not accept the Republic, let R.T.L.M., in collaboration with Kangura, show you where you belong. R.T.L.M., Radio 106, went on air as from 8 July 1993 through the voice of a newly-born, named “Doctor.” Let R.T.L.M. be for us a symbol of solidarity, let it be a voice to arouse awareness in the majority of the population and protect their interests.

What is R.T.L.M., Radio 106, the Voice of the Majority?

Twelve eminent men took the initiative to set up R.T.L.M. on 13 July 1992. The initiative became a reality on 8 April 1993 when the memorandum and articles of association setting up the R.T.L.M. Company were signed. Those were the main reasons that prompted the founders into creating R.T.L.M. They expressed satisfaction over the steps taken to promote pluralist democracy and deemed it wise to support such steps and protect the Republic.

They further agreed on the need to set up other mechanisms for exchanging ideas, because the existing mechanisms were inadequate and too partisan. Another strong reason behind the creation of R.T.L.M. was their desire to educate the people through the dissemination of reliable and impartial information. The abbreviation R.T.L.M. stands for Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines and transmits from Kigali. Let me tell you some of the main objectives of the station:

  • The collection, preparation and transmission of news;
  • Educating the population through news, advertising and discussions;
  • Contribution to the consolidation of democracy in Rwanda and the protection of the Republic;
  • Promotion of the media through images and the radio;
  • Representation or cooperation with other information centers in other countries…

The initial capital of R.T.L.M. was one hundred million, representing twenty thousand shares. Each share is worth five thousand (5,000) Rwandan francs. The maximum number of shares one can hold is one thousand.

Structure of the R.T.L.M. Company

The highest organ of the company is the general meeting of shareholders. There is a board of directors responsible for the management of the company’s assets and an audit committee to check the company’s accounts.

Current Status of the Project

The company has several shareholders, some of whom are foreigners. Many other people have also decided to buy shares, to the extent that the targeted initial capital of one hundred million (100,000,000) Rwandan francs required to launch the project will be put up by December 1993.