RWAMAGANA - Several people seek refuge in the neighbouring countries hoping for economic empowerment which does not materialize in most cases, recent returnees have revealed.
An estimated number of between 1800 and 1900 Rwandans were in July repatriated from Kyaka 11 and Nakivale refugee camps in western Uganda.
Talking to The New Times yesterday, a number of returnees who have been resettled in their respective homes, in Rwamagana district, said they regretted the time they wasted outside the country.
Jacqueline Musabyimana, now resettled in Kigabiro sector, said she had left for Nakivale refugee camp, expecting to uplift her economic status.
“I thought I would have a better livelihood after crossing the border. But, alas, I have to start afresh. My days in Nyakivale were a big waste,” she told The New Times.
Francois Mbarushimana, one of the returnees who fled the country fearing Gacaca trials was settled in Munyaga, together with his family, on July 16 2010.
He had also fled to Uganda in 2006.
“They had told me that I will be put in jail…so, I gathered few belongings and left. I regret so much for the time I lost in Uganda, I am now free and in my village. I found all my neighbours doing well and I have to start from zero,” he said.
Albertine Kangabe, the district official in charge of social development and governance, said most of the returnees left the country due to unfounded rumours and speculations.
“Some people went to Uganda expecting to access big chunks of fertile land, to boost their income. They were told all sorts of lies about the migration, which was disguised as seeking refuge,” she said.
The Executive Secretary of Munyaga sector, Aman Muhamya, where most of the returnees were resettled, also emphasized that the returnees had fled out of perceived fear as none of them was arrested by Gacaca courts on arrival.
“We received 20 families that returned from Uganda…only one man was on a preliminary list of suspects. He was later cleared, but because there were rumours that he will be sent to jail by Gacaca courts, he had fled,” Muhamya said.
Most of the returnees left the country between 1994 and 2008.