Democratic Green Party Vice-President Mr Andre Kagwa Rwisereka was found murdered last July 2010. Throughout this difficult moment, his family had remained quiet about their father’s passing but have now chosen to express and share with the rest of Rwandans and friends, their experience.
A Father First
“First I would like to stress that he was a father before he was a politician” Jean Luc Havugwa Rwisereka, his oldest son said. “So it was very important to us that we mourn him as a father and we try to understand what had just happened. The circumstances in which he was killed were very horrific to us to the point that we could not just start speaking out about what had happened. We are still mourning our father up to now and we are still taking all precautions so as not to put the other members of our family still in Rwanda in trouble. Those who killed our father are still roaming around in Rwanda and they can still do what they did to him to any one of us.”
Mr. Andre Kagwa Rwisereka grew up in Democratic Republic of Congo, the then Zaire, after leaving Rwanda in the late 50 as a teenager. He lived in the Kivu area where he rose to become young headmaster of high school in Uvira in the 70s. Everyone knew him as Prefet. Later he became businessman with successful businesses in Bukavu and in Burundi. He was an active member of RPF since the beginning up to 2009 when he decided to leave the party because he perceived that his former party had departed from its founding principles as he had known it. He joined a young Democratic Green Party.
As a father Mr Rwisereka was like any loving parent, who cared more about the welfare and education of his children. He was a very strict person, who wanted everything to be done the right way, but also believed in speaking his mind.
Mr Rwisereka was a man of dialogue and principles but would not also hesitate to express his opinion even if he disagrees with anyone. As a friend, those who knew him will always tell you that you could rely on him to help you out. Many Rwandans in former Zaire especially in Bukavu survived harsh conditions of the time because of he was always ready to lend a helping hand (financially and morally), some of them are doing well today in Rwanda.
Mr. Rwisereka never wanted trouble with anyone; he only wanted to put his potential and talents in doing business and be helpful. On several occasions, he left his businesses to his former associates, in cases of disagreements. He would leave them and would start different business and was always successful. He was a very intelligent person, and was successful at every business he decided to do.
Mr Rwisereka’s family confirms that they “for sure know that he was killed for political reasons and for that we will always seek justice for our father no matter how long it takes; but for now we are giving the benefit of the doubt to the government of Rwanda to do something about it. Someone or some people in that government decided they were above the constitution and killed him for no clear reason.”
“Yes, we are accusing some individuals in the government of Rwanda for being behind his assassination”, says Jean Luc. “Now it is up to the government of Rwanda with the help of the UN to shed some light on what happened to our father, open an independent investigation to find those who are behind him. With the help of a third party the Rwandan government will be clearing its name as well and the impartiality of the investigation will be accepted”.
So far the Government of Rwanda has proven to be unreliable, dishonest as some of their own comments about our father’s death were very disturbing.
“Our father is someone who spoke his mind. As long as he knew he was in the right, you could not shut him up, regardless of whom he was talking to or talking about. He had no illegal businesses as some are trying to portray him. We’ll keep on calling to whoever cares to listen for justice, we spoke sometime ago to HRW and they requested on our behalf an independent autopsy and investigation.”
Mr. Rwisereka died as he began a new chapter in his life to fight for his right as a Rwandan, the right of his children to be free to come and go to Rwanda without fear of persecution, the right of a common Rwandan to get justice and call Rwanda his or her country proudly.
Today his family express how proud they are “that he was part of this big movement of change which started in Rwanda and we can already see that the world is beginning to understand why people like him are fighting for their rights and they are not just some hooligans like it was speculated by some politicians. So, for this reason, we and the rest of all of us, Rwandans, should make sure that his memory is not forgotten. It has not been easy dealing with this situation but we’re doing the best we can to move on with our lives, including finding justice for him.” concludes Jean Luc Havugwa Rwisereka.