It may be fourteen years after the horrendous Genocide against Tutsis in Rwanda, but Simone Kasine has no hope that she will ever burry the remains of her clubbed father.
Kasine is among those silent Rwandans who saw their beloved ones being cut in pieces and their body parts shared by their killers.
“After they killed my dad, they divided his body parts amongst themselves to go and show their colleagues as evidence that they had finished him off. I have since not been able to trace any of his parts,” Kasine, who is in her 20s, told mourners last week.
She was speaking during a commemoration function organised to mark the Genocide in Remera, Kigali. The nation completed the fourteenth annual Genocide remembrance week on Sunday.
Kasine, who was bitter that some of the killers of her own family were currently walking free on the streets, broke down as she narrated the atrocious conditions in which both of her parents and her relatives, were killed. Thousands of Genocide suspects are out of prison on presidential amnesty.
Kasine, who now lives in one of orphanages in Kigali, said her family was resident in Gasabo District during the Genocide.
“One of my father’s killers took his private parts to his wife who used to work with (my father),” narrated Kasine, who on several occasions fought back tears, during her testimony. She said her father was beheaded and his head taken away by somebody she does not recall.
“Others took fingers, legs, and other amputated parts. They did not leave behind even a single limb,” she recalled agonizingly.
She said her father had been a top target for his assailants for long, adding that the killers always reported to a lady who had a long list of wanted Tutsis, who in turn marked against the name of the killed person.
“Everything was conducted systematically.”
She told of how they had pleaded with a soldier known as Suleiman to kill them using a gun, and gave him money for “that service” but he declined.
“The whole family beseeched him (Suleiman) to use a gun and kill us but he took the money and never did as we requested him. He instead called Interahamwe (a militia that largely perpetrated the Genocide) and they killed my people with crude weapons,” she narrated.
“The soldier said bullets were too expensive to be wasted on my family.”
Most of the Genocide victims were killed using such traditional weapons as machetes, clubs, hoes, spears and arrows.
Kasine said she survived because the Interahamwe dumped her unconscious among dead bodies thinking that she had breathed her last.
She recalled how she was on several occasions sent away from school because she was a Tutsi during the pre-Genocide days.
“Teachers used to ask Hutus to stand up and I also stand ignorantly only to be told to sit down and wait until they ask Tutsis to do the same,” she testified.
She also told of how French soldiers had taken over ownership of her family’s property shortly before the Genocide, saying that they always used to come to their home and take away any property without bothering to seek consent from their family.