The recent conviction of seven medical doctors by a Gacaca court in Ngoma-Huye district in southern Rwanda: Sunday Times, September 9, will go in the annals of the traditional courts, but may have opened yet another chapter in the debate about the 1994 Rwandan Genocide.
Yes, prosecution found that the custodians of health abused their professional code of conduct by “neglecting patients who had been critically injured during the Genocide,” but then its possible that they may have abused those ethics even earlier before 1994 by involving themselves in ‘secret genocide’
Nobody has come up with evidence yet but it is plausible that if seriously investigated one might be shocked to find a number of women incriminating them of induced abortions or finding a number of abetted deaths that would have been avoided. It is also possible that during their work then they turned a hospital into a torture centre.
The fellows may have with utmost intent caused shortage of medical supplies by deliberately withdrawing critical medical equipment or their substitutes from the hospital.
Inside the hospital you may learn that the hospital was a den of horror rather than healing and was used by such extremist doctors to accomplish the regime’s agenda.
Such cases of secret genocide were reported to have been the case in Iraq during the reign of Saddam Hussein.
[Those against American invasion of Iraq should not get biased this is not political]
Another example of secret genocide reported by a number of media houses was the deliberate organ-snatching in China by doctors at major hospitals against a section of people called the Falun Gong reportedly orchestrated by the Chinese communist party, although the authorities denied the allegations.
The report had it that whereas between 1991 and 1998 there were only 72 liver transplants, in the whole of China, the number reached a whopping 3000 in 2003 a year which coincided with the beginning of persecution of the Falun Gong.
And because voluntary organ sale was not common, this sudden surge in organ transplants was questionable. Bearing in mind that every human being has only one liver; organ transplant leaves the donor dead.
These examples may be far fetched but they serve to explain that the tacit hand of the silent majority may also have done a lot that is yet to be known.
As the search for Genocide remains continues, you may find that a lot other remains are still earthed in the vicinity of the hospitals where those doctors served, since hospitals were not safe places.
Since the regime had for long indoctrinated its citizens that the Tutsis were undesirable and harmful elements in society, then such teachings could make everybody use available means in their capacity execute the ‘deal’.
It did not require only people with committed zeal to carry it out.
A related case in our society are the scores of people in parts of the country like Nyagatare and Bugesera in Eastern Province and Huye district in Southern Province among others boycotting the recently concluded registration exercise for the national IDs [call it census] were reported with majority of the boycotters claiming religious grounds as the cause for their negative action.
I have not heard any spiritual head come out openly to dispel the claims by sections of their followers since they claimed to subscribe to different religious denominations but I have felt responsible to point out that citing religion in this case was religious blackmail which has become common among different sections of people for their selfish interests.
I say blackmail because even the Bible which they subscribe to talks about a census in Luke 2:2 that purportedly led Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem where Jesus would be born.
Indeed the Bible relates stories of several censuses. The book of numbers describes a divinely-mandated census that occurred when Moses led the Israelites from Egypt. There was even a later census called by King David of Israel.
Against this background, whether one believes in the Old Testament of the Bible as for the case of our Muslim brothers, or the New Testament, there would be no religious justification for shunning a census.
These people [boycotters] would have been justified to shun the exercise had it included a question of race or ethnicity; they would suspect a sinister motive. But the days of identifying people in Rwanda basing on their ethnicity are history, so nobody would dare ask such a question.
The cited incidences of negative forces amidst our society need a thorough study and investigations into the causes. At this point in the country’s development, we cannot afford to have people working against government policies without reason. For the medical practitioners who were convicted by Gacaca courts as reported, I would expect more investigations into what they did before and after the actual Genocide records, the people they worked with and their conduct in the recent past before the conviction.
Otherwise we may be sitting on a time bomb; the remnants of genocide perpetrators and their ideologies should be uprooted completely and let the victims lie in peace.
The writer is the NewTimes Bureau Chief of Nyamata.