Much has been said about the tragedy, but as far as we are concerned our learned friend Counsel Toy Nzamwita was innocent. He paid the ultimate price for no crime whatsoever.
Speaking as a young brother to Toy, a learned friend but also a citizen, I must thank the magistrates in general; the Bar Associations of France and Burundi, which sent representatives to join their Rwandan colleagues in the ceremony of bidding goodbye to our departed learned friend; the Prosecution and the Justices at the Supreme Court this morning; Counsel Toy Nzamwita was sent off honorably!
The Bar Association has handled the matter with grandeur and pride thus far.
For their bold declaration in response to the police statement, and for the send off ceremony this morning.
All those steps would be mere ceremonies however, if they were not followed by concrete action, to ensure that:
- The culprit is presented before the courts of law, and duly punished for the crime of homicide;
- The truth on the circumstances leading to the untimely and unjust death of our colleague is made public;
- A substantive compensation is given to the bereaved family, the widowed wife and orphaned children;
- Government takes policy measures to ensure the less likelihood for similar actions in the city of Kigali in the future.
In other words; Justice must prevail!
In my opinion, it is not up to the widow to file a complaint. She is a vulnerable woman at the moment, unable to take on the security apparatus of the state. In order to ensure due process of the law, the Bar Association must take up its own responsibility and file a complaint in the name of Me. Toy’s family and indeed in its own name as an injured community; after all, Me. Toy was among the few 36 lawyers that founded the Bar Association after the Genocide against the Tutsi.
While a tragedy is communal, a crime is personal, and the agent who committed this crime should bear the criminal consequences individually. However the civil consequences should be born by the state. More importantly, the outcome of this case should serve as learning to lawyers, journalists, activists and the general public to feel secure and protected by the law, and to members of the security apparatus to know that between them and the public there is the law, and that each one of their actions must have consequences!
In concluding I would like once again to say that I am deeply humbled and proud of the Lawyers’ community for their solidarity. You all looked dashing in your gowns this morning at the Supreme Court; You made a statement that we are, after all a big, close family, where all serve the interest of one and one those of all.
Kende malamu grand Toy, sambelelaka biso na tata Nzambe, kala mingi te, tokomonana.