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Acts of killings and violence committed against the Tutsis in 1973 in the communes of Buringa, Nyabikenke, Mushubati and Musambira in preparation of the Genocide in Gitarama Prefecture

As explained by the study conducted by the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG) on the history of the Genocide committed against the Tutsi in the former Gitarama Prefecture, perpetration of acts of killings and violence against the Tutsi begun in the end of February 1973.   The plot of the masterminds of these ignoble actions was to target all the Tutsi, starting from those in schools and different services. Top leaders of the PARMEHUTU party including president Kayibanda Grégoire himself incited their partisans to blaze and destroy the houses of the Tutsi as well as killing them.

 In the commune of Buringa, the Tutsis who were killed include Karuyonga Léonidas who was brother to Kagabo, Nkurikiyinka, Karerangabo and Nyamugari. Others include a man called Kakuze who was killed together with his mother, Gataramirwa from Rugwiza and Odette and her family among others. The notorious among those who committed the massacres include Murera Théogène, son of Nyirimpeta and Mukabushi, Makore and others. Apart from the killings, properties of the Tutsis were looted and their cows eaten.   

In the commune of Nyabikenke, the killings and acts of violence against the Tutsi were committed in march 1973. At the place called Kiyumba, the Tutsis were killed including Bidaharinka, Nyiramakomari, Bitukwa, Kayishunge, Gashugeri, Kabundi, Mukarugambwa and others. The killers took them to the Nyabarongo River and killed them. Among those involved in their killing are MP Muvunankiko Gérard, Niyonzima Maximilien and others.

In the commune of Mushubati, the Tutsis were killed and their houses set ablaze. In a letter dated 24/4/1973, the bourgoumestre of the Mushubati commune    Rwanyabugigira Melchior informed Prefect Karuta Tharcisse of Gitarama the status of the security. The letter indicates that 208 houses had been burned, 29 Tutsis killed while 1075 had fled. 

In the commune of Musambira before burning the houses of the Tutsis, their properties were taken out and doors removed. For the houses roofed with iron sheets or tiles, these were removed before putting the house on fire. Those involved in these acts were mostly partisans of PARMEHUTU party. Those killed include Gatsimbanyi, Rukatibumba, and Bisingira among others.

Among the notorious in these acts of killings and violence include Rucyaba Thaddée from Musumba and Nkeramihigo who collaborated with the students from Shyogwe. The students were in their school uniforms and were spearheaded by those two men mentioned above.

Some Tutsis sought refuge to the Kamonyi parish while others fled to the Musambira parish. They spent almost two weeks at those parishes, until MP Niyonzima Maximilien came to tell the Tutsis to go back to the ruins of their burned homes. After they had refused, bourgoumestre Simbizi of the Musambira commune came to see the Tutsis and assured them that peace had been restored and that they could return to their homes.