Contrary to what some from the opposition members may say, or even believe, apologising for a close relative's crime and for having caused harm to other families, especially in cases where a life has been wantonly destroyed, is a time-honoured tradition in many cultures – including western ones.
It was meant to distance the innocent family members of the killer from the actions of one of their own, and perhaps minimise the likelihood of a blood vendetta by the aggrieved family to settle scores.
An apology by innocent members of the family of the killer might also be motivated simply by empathy for the suffering caused by one of their own. In times gone by some cultures required material reparations to assuage the thirst for revenge of the aggrieved family.
However, this is not what I understand to be Edouard Bamporiki's aim, nor does his apologies for the involvement of family members intended to imply that he himself is legally responsible for their actions; that wouldn't be possible. No, all he is saying is that he feels some moral responsibility for the irredeemable pain inflicted by members of his family against the larger Rwandan Family.
I salute his courage for there is an unfortunate tendency to stand by family members against non-family members no matter the enormity of the crime the relative may have committed against that other family.
In my book this is a mark of cowardice not courage. Thanks to Bamporiki, and the commendation by the President.
Mwene Kalinda, Kigali, Rwanda
Reaction to Sunny Ntayombya's opinion, “Of the apologising youth and taking sides in the DRC mess”, (The New Times, July 24)
Apologising for relative's crimes is a time-honoured tradition