KIGALI - Ibuka, the umbrella organisation of Genocide survivors’ organisation, together with the National Gacaca Jurisdictions, have reacted angrily at revisionists remarks made by presidential hopeful, Victoire Ingabire, ever since her arrival in the country.
Theodore Simburudari, the President of Ibuka. said that survivors were offended by the statements uttered by Ingabire at Kigali Genocide Memorial Site and are also upset by her politics which are based on ethnic division.
“We are very upset. She should not be allowed to visit any memorial sites anymore. People who lost relatives to the Genocide are still living in pain and are not ready to see a politician come and add more pain to their lives.”
“Her revisionist politics are equally not welcome. I heard today she was in Gitarama a place where the Genocide and Hutu 10 commandments originated from. This clearly tells you her plans,” Simburudari observed.
Simburudari called upon the government to bring Ingabire to order in accordance with the laws, saying that her utterances undermined unity and reconciliation.
On criticising Gacaca, Simburudari said that Ingabire must be naive given her 16-year absence from the country, because the Gacaca she criticises, has been even more lenient on those who committed the Genocide.
“She should go and find out, many of the people, including those she knows went away with less punishment compared to their crimes. The statistics are there----some went to TIG. If I were her, I would appreciate the leniency of Gacaca,”
Simburudari wondered whether Ingabire wanted to see the killers walk free on the streets. He said that some Genocide survivors are not happy with the some of the short sentences Gacaca gave those who killed their relatives, but still welcomed the job done by Gacaca.
In an interview with The New Times, the Executive Secretary of Gacaca, Domittille Mukantaganzwa, said that Ingabire is not aware of how Gacaca worked and what it has achieved, urging her to take time and find out.
She added that her claims that Gacaca courts are one-sided are baseless and urged her to go to other courts that are mandated to hear war crimes.
“Gacaca was created to handle cases of Genocide, not war crimes; there are other courts in the country that can handle war crimes. She should refer her concerns to them.”
“There is a law in place establishing Gacaca and how it is supposed to function and it emphasises fairness in hearing the cases.
“People are accorded a fair hearing in broad daylight, and are given chances to appeal and re-appeal if they are not satisfied. People are given a chance to have a say and surely she can also come and attend cases if she wants. They are still going on,” Mukantaganzwa said.
She said that it was surprising that Ingabire and other Rwandans in the Diaspora, some guilty of participating in the Genocide, are still peddling rumours of Gacaca being inefficient when the whole world has appreciated its role in promoting justice.