Mutsinzi was sentenced to life imprisonment for killing people during the 1994 genocide against Tutsi.
During a Gacaca hearing, he was later sentenced to 19 years in prison, and after serving six years of the sentenced years, he was pardoned and released from prison.
This was of course good news to him, but his biggest worry was how he was to integrate in society.
“When you are sentenced to life imprisonment, it feels like you have been thrown in a lake. But while I was in prison, I kept having hope that I would eventually be released. After serving 6 years, I was released. I couldn’t believe it,” he recalls.
He was to be released and go back home. But where was home? How was he to live with the very people he had had their loved ones murdered?
“I was starting another journey but I was afraid. How was I to live with others?”
But with courage, he accepted what was to happen and wrapped himself in the community. “I reached out to survivors, asking for forgiveness. This didn’t come easy for them but they finally accepted me and welcomed me in society. They even signed documents to prove it. I gave myself peace, I was happy for the second chance.”
Life has since moved on for Mutsinzi, “I even started a family. It’s later I joined Mvura Nkuvure. During the training, we had good teachers who helped us gain back our hope for life, I no longer see myself as a prisoner, my focus now is on the life ahead, imvune zose zarakize mu mutima (All the pain I had in my heart is healed).”