NYARUGURU – The Parish priest of Cyahinda Catholic Parish in Nyaruguru district has challenged fellow clergy members who were involved in the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi to come out and ask for forgiveness.
Father Innocent Gakwaya said this while presiding over prayers dedicated to 142 genocide victims who were reburied on Sunday April 18 at Cyahinda memorial site.
The site is located within the vicinity of Cyahinda parish where hundreds of genocide victims had sought refuge.
In candid talk, Father Gakwaya slammed fellow clergymen who failed to speak out against the Genocide yet they had the capacity to restrain some members of their congregation from committing genocide.
“Priests, bishops and other religious leaders are trusted by the community, it was easy for us to use our positions to dissuade people from killing,” said Gakwaya.
Recognizing the fact that there are some members of the clergy who lost their lives and relatives during the genocide, Gakwaya also acknowledged that some among them committed genocide.
“We have to recognize our role in the 1994 Genocide and apologise,” the priest said.
Genocide survivors in Cyahinda Sector narrated how hundreds of Tutsis who had sought refuge at the parish were gruesomely killed.
“We had run to the church thinking that no one could dare attack the temple of God,” said one survivor only identified as Francois Xavier.
The day’s Church offerings amounting to Rwf68 000 were dedicated to the maintenance of the memorial where over 29,000 victims are buried.
Christopher Ntirushwa, the district vice Mayor in charge of Economic Affairs, said elaborate plans are under way to rehabilitate the memorial site.
“We have budgeted for Rwf32million for the rehabilitation of the site which will be elevated to a district memorial site,” said Ntirushwa.