By Mary Cyusa
Chaste Gahunde, an apprentice of the excommunicated priest Thomas Nahimana, is trying to make himself a name amongst self-described enemies of Rwanda – a country he left with Gacaca Courts on his heels. Gahunde has turned himself into a dependable interviewee on genocide negationist or revisionist platforms, where he narrates stories about how he supposedly “skipped death” many times while in Rwanda.
But little does his audience know that he had the best of everything in Rwanda, education, a job, and so on, and then threw it all away because of the guilt that was eating at him.
Gahunde has been on the run since 2005 after he was summoned by a Gacaca Court to answer to crimes of genocide that he is suspected of.
Those that know this man say his background is full of hate. He was taught to hate Tutsis since he was born, a former neighbor said.
Now living in France, Gahunde was born in 1980, at a place called Mabanza in Rubengera Sector, in Karongi District. He attended Mushubati Primary School, and later joined Petit Seminaire de Nyundo where he was until the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi.
“Although he was young, he participated in genocide,” a former neighbor in Karongi told this website. Many people that knew him still talk about that part of his background.
However, years after the Genocide, every time someone asked Gahunde about what was being said that he had killed people he denied it, saying he had an alibi. He likes to claim he “only concentrated on his studies.” After genocide, he fled to Zaire with many members of the Interahamwe militias and other genocide perpetrators after the RPF liberated the country.
Gahunde did come back to Rwanda after three years, and resumed his studies at Nkumba Seminary, completing in the option of Latin Sciences. Yet his background was never far behind.
Gahunde went to university on a government scholarship. He got a bachelor’s degree in education, majoring in geography and economics from the former Kigali Institute of Education (KIE).
In 2005, however, news from his hometown that Gahunde was that he was being sought for participating in the Genocide. After being summoned by Mushubati Gacaca Court, the man opted to flee to France where he rebranded himself a “Hutu Genocide survivor”.
“Why did he have to run away? I believe that if he was really innocent, he would have faced the allegations and been cleared,” our source in Nyamasheke said.
While in France Gahunde started to engage with the likes of Nahimana Thomas,who appointed him to all kinds of positions: secretary and PR of the “Ishema” (run by Nahimana and one of the many Europe-based anti-Rwanda groups). Then Nahimana appointed Gahunde “minister of information”. He has a blog where whoever wants to say negative things about Rwanda, about any Rwanda national program, or about the Genocide, they are received with open arms.
Hearing Gahunde speak with so much hate and anger in negationist interviews would make one feel pity for him. But only until they learn that he chose to backstab Rwanda, even when he received education on government expense, got a job, but chose to run away because of his own crimes.
Several youths, especially sons and daughters of major genocide perpetrators: major fugitives including former officers of the ex-FAR, are the main contributors to Gahunde’s blog.
Among the top stories on his blog one will find opinions on how “the Covid-19 preventive measures in Rwanda are failing, including the lockdown”, or that “Rwanda could see more than 3 million people killed by the end of May,” (They were talking of May this year, which ended before Rwanda had lost even one person to the novel Coronavirus). Gahunde’s blog referred to the lockdown as a “genocide plan”.
Those that know him say Gahunde’s mind is filled with a Hutu-Power ideology which he shares with his boss Nahimana in the wider scheme of all others like them“to remove” what they call “the Tutsi regime”. His affinity to terrorism, however, may cost him dearly as he too likely will find himself, like many others, being escorted from Europe to face justice back home in Rwanda.