The story of Rwanda’s post-Genocide reconciliation is unique and extraordinary in many ways. One just has to hear survivors testify of having forgiven a neighbour who hunted them down and killed their family members, a perpetrator’s offspring marrying a survivor whose family his own slaughtered.
Such reconciliation undertones have surely put the devil that swept through the a thousand hills of the country 20 years ago to shame.
However, there is blight, for this devil is not dead and it continues to haunt the people of Rwanda from its hideout. It comes in the mould of greed and dishonesty that has continued to pervade society despite the abundance of reconciliation success stories.
This is the distasteful story of persons who continue to occupy properties belonging to Genocide orphans, persons who have amassed wealth meant for these orphans and use the same wealth to fight and defeat their victims.
Like the sorrows of 28-year-old Jean Karekezi, a third-year student at Kigali Institute of Management, who, for the last 15 years, has been trying to get back his family land of three hectares from families who occupied it when his parents died in the Genocide.
For his attempt to fight the devil, Karekezi now lives in fear “because people who occupy the land don’t like it when I ask for it.”
Given the systematic manner in which the Genocide was planned and executed, little or no information remained for survivors, worse still, those who were just coming out of their diapers in 1994, to use to repossess their property.
The government says more than 300 orphans of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi could fail to get back their family assets due to lack of information.
All the reconciliation olives being passed might fail to touch the hearts of these dishonest persons, but justice never fails to win. It is time that hits the mark. Our citizens have a war against greed and dishonesty to fight. And because they always win, they will again triumph with time.