It shouldn’t take two decades for Genocide orphans to get justice

During one of the talks organised as part of commemorations of the 24th anniversary of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the issue of injustice still suffered by young survivors again came to the fore.

Many were orphaned at a very tender age, they did not know what their parents owned, be it financial or physical assets.

Some ended up in orphanages while the “lucky” ones were recuperated by their relatives. But their luck ended there. Some of the unscrupulous relative’s motives were driven by greed. They took over their dead relatives’ assets, managed them or disposed them as they saw fit.

When the orphans came of age, it was inevitable that they carry out research into their families’ backgrounds, and what most discovered was shocking.

Today, many are still trying in vain to recover their property, some of which have changed hands several times, but they always keep hitting a wall. How long will this merry-go-round be tolerated?

It is not that there is no enough information, but there is definitely little will on the side of local authorities, some of whom are even beneficiaries of the spoils.

And the orphans’ woes do not end there. Some of their parents had bank accounts, but in the absence of documentation, most of which were destroyed during the Genocide, they always hit a dead end. The same applies to social security benefits.

However, what really exposes some banks’ dishonesty is that some managed to track down heirs of some of their dead clients who owned them money but do not hunt for heirs of dormant accounts.

But while it is difficult to compel banks to seek the inheritors of the accounts, (some of which, by the way, because of bank charges in the last two decades, are already in the red), the same could not be said in recovering physical property. What lacks is the will.


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