The Executive Secretary of the National Gacaca Courts, Domitille Mukantagazwa, has said that survivors who think the case against Genocide suspect, Andre Sebatware, was not handled fairly, should send their complaints to her office.
She said this in response to claims by the family of late Gerald Karumeyi, a victim of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, that despite three Gacaca courts of Samuduha, Rwabutenge and Nyakabanda having ruled in their favor, Sebatware’s family has refused to compensate them.
The Gacaca courts found Sebatware guilty looting Karumeyi’s property, including herds of cattle, subsequently ordering him to compensate the family to the tune of over Rwf113m.
However, the defendant has continuously refused to pay.
“We suspect there is some foul play. This case has taken too long and we know Sebatware’s son is trying to prevent us getting our compensation,” a family source from the late Karumeyi’s family, who declined to be named, alleged.
But Mukantagazwa explained that if the family suspect foul play, her office is open to solve such issues.
“We cannot base on hearsay. We need proof that something went wrong,” Mukantagazwa said in a telephone interview yesterday.
Sebatware, a former politician in the previous regime, who is also placed under Category One of Genocide suspects, remains on the run.
Karumeyi’s family says compensation alone is not enough and wants Sebatware to stand trial in absentia for participating in the Genocide.
“Gacaca has only handled the issue of our looted property, but it has continuously failed to deal with our people who were killed, and time is running out. Sebatware might escape being tried for Genocide,” lamented the family source.
The three courts have in the past also found several of Sebatware’s defence witnesses guilty of perjury and handed them jail terms.