Our dear Jean,

jean_bigirimana_1You will notice that we are here together, between work colleagues. We chose not to bring in your family or your relatives, because we thought these words may sound like a funeral oration.

We went to see your family, your children are doing OK. Don Douglas was not there, he had gone to play football, he plays number 9 you know, he’s a striker. Timmy is also doing well and Gode tries to hold on. She still hopes you will come back.

You know, like her, we find ourselves dreaming that you are there, somewhere, and that you will come back to us. But, as would say one of those heralds, “I fear the worst”.

Jean, we were told that you were last spotted in Bugarama.

We climbed up the hills and down the valleys of Muramvya. We paced the buttresses of the Kibira and walked along the Mubarazi River.
And that is where we stumbled upon those two tortured bodies.
We don’t even formally know if you are one of those two citizens abandoned to the river.
Today, we keep asking ourselves all these questions
Jean, what did you do to disappear like this?
What did you do, for them not to give you the opportunity to explain yourself?
I can try and hard as I can to search for answers, I don’t find any.

In fact, and this is terrible, you were blamed for existing – since they made you disappear
Because if you had been blamed for any other wrongdoings, they would have charged you for it
In the end, however, your unexplained departure would have at least allowed us to sort through true friends. That is the only actual advantage in this misfortune.
During our quest, some helped us you know, they supported us – some discreetly, others publicly, others pretended to help us. Others even criticized us for looking for you, criticized us for being so desperate.
But many people, just anonymous citizens, risked their lives to speak to us, and they will continue to speak to us. It is thanks to them that we got to this damned place where we discovered those two bodies.

Our dear Jean, we are so helpless against those who have made others’ death their specialty.

They not only take away lives – they even take the bodies. They want to remove every trace.

Our dear Jean, today, we have filed a complaint against person unknown
Of course, it sounds pathetic, because those who took you away, or who are holding you somewhere, think they have won. They control our justice and they think they are the masters of the world.

Our dear Jean – all this pain and suffering will be brought against them. And you know, one day justice will prevail. It will be God’s justice. But we also strongly believe that, one day, it will also be the people’s tribunal.

Our dear Jean, so here we are. Here we are all gathered surrounding this picture of you that means that you will remain among us here.

You can see us now, dried eyes, but our hearts are heavy. We don’t want to cry now, because it means they would have won.

In our tradition, “real man’s tears run deep inside”
We don’t have the time to hate, and we will continue our work. If we stop, they would have won.
Today, we only have words. But words are stronger than death.
Jean, we promise you: they will not win!
There are Don Douglas and John Jimmy, through whom you continue to live
Your little boys will grow up, they will know the truth. It will take time, but we will discover it,
We will write your real story, how Daddy left when he was 37. We will.
Unlike those who took your life, your children will grow up proud to bear your name.
A predestined name: Bigirimana. Bigira-Imana.God disposes, indeed so.