EDITORIAL: We still have work to weed out the genocide ideology

As we were just settling back comfortably, congratulating ourselves that the number of hate crimes had reduced considerably, the killers struck again. It was no ordinary crime, especially given that this is a low-crime city that a single murder or robbery makes headlines.

As we were just settling back comfortably, congratulating ourselves that the number of hate crimes had reduced considerably, the killers struck again.

It was no ordinary crime, especially given that this is a low-crime city that a single murder or robbery makes headlines.

The strangling to death of a 58-year-old lady in a quiet Kigali suburb sent shock waves across the city and beyond. In fact, she was killed on the same date as that of her family members during the Genocide against the Tutsi, which has caused many people to wonder whether it was a coincidence.

But speculation apart, the genocide ideology is well and truly alive. What is most distressing is that those caught in the net were either too young or not yet born during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

There are reports in the media that several cases have been reported so far and most fall within those age brackets.

This country chose to walk the path of reconciliation despite skeptics saying those efforts were doomed to fail because the wounds were still fresh. But we refused to give in.

Reconciling and uniting all Rwandans have been largely successful. Most people do not look at things through the prism of ethnicity. But there are still pockets where the old demons are still alive and need to be exorcised.

Maybe it is time the government went back to the drawing board to revise the sanctions meted out against those found guilty of the genocide ideology. Maybe the five-nine-year prison sentence is not deterrent enough.

But whatever the case, this is a message that we should not throw our hands in the air in surrender. We have a lot of work to do, even though it will be difficult to completely drive the black sheep out of the family.

 

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