Once upon a time in his childhood, Dr. Leon Mugesera, now battling a case for alleged genocide crimes, sat in front of his grandfather with his siblings listening to the old man’s words of wisdom.
Typical of all the African elders, Mugesera’s grandfather would regularly treat his grandchild with abundant fairly tales, as part of the Rwandan folklore.
That day, as the old man talked, Thadeo Ngirabatware, Mugesera’s step brother, was also listening.
Ngirabatware recalls the old man saying that, “nobody should ever kill anyone.” He warned them that the spirits of the victim would later haunt you.
Ngirabatware knows Mugesera as a very bright child in school and indeed ended up becoming successful, despite the fact that no one in his family tasted the fruits of his success.
One of his brothers, (R.I.P) built a house so that whenever Mugesera returned home, he would find a place to stay. But Mugesera rarely visited his family and whenever he came home, he would not even socialize with his siblings, Ngirabatware says.
He would leave his car about 3km away and walk home. He would immediately return to Kigali, Ngirabatware recalls. Mugesera had no reasons to build any house for himself in his home village.
In fact, his brother told KTPress that Mugesera never bought anything for his parents, “not even a goat or a cow.”
Sometime in September 1992, Mugesera returned to the village to bury his sister-in-law. After the burial ceremony, Mugesera took off and has never set foot in his village again.
Later, his family had to plead to their mayor to ask Mugesera to return to the village and take care of his ailing mother.
They say Mugesera only sent his driver to pickup his mother from the village and to get treatment in Kigali.
Before the end of 1992, Mugesera fled the country and left his mother with his family in Kigali. The wife and children joined him in exile, abandoning the mother in the house.
A family friend learnt that Mugesera’s mother had been left alone and later drove her back to the village.
That is how the village came to know that Mugesera had fled country. His family had no clue where he was living until 2012 when he was deported from Canada.
KTPress has visited Mugesera’s home village, Muhororo, in Ngororero District (formerly Gisenyi prefecture).
Some family members of the 63 year old Mugesera, who is known for his notorious speech calling for the massive killing of Inyenzi (referring to Tutsi), are still alive and actually say they miss him.
“I miss him. It is sad we aren’t together,” says Ngirabatware, who paid for his school fees because “he was a very bright student in school.”
Who knows, maybe the family’s misery should be blamed on Mugesera’s failure to heed his grandfather’s wisdom?