The seventh National Security Symposium (NSS) has concluded in Rwanda with renowned Pan-African lawyer, Professor P. L Otieno Lumumba challenging African countries to stop coping western forms of governance, democracy and justice.
In his view Prof. Lumumba suggested if Africans chose their own concepts of democracy, this would cut back on the western influence and dictation of what and how Africans should run their business.
Lumumba said that coming up with African driven ideas such as Rwanda’s Gacaca judicial system, as an example of homegrown solution to adopt in governance and as a model for dispute resolution in post conflict countries.
Gacaca are Rwandan traditional community courts at grassroots where the citizens directly tried local cases in the community.
The Gacaca system was introduced in 2001 as mode of a trying bulk of Genocide cases in the aftermath of 1994 genocide against Tutsi which claimed over a million lives.
About 1.9 million cases were filed under the Gacaca courts within ten years – a milestone achievement that would take about 100 years if they were filed under the conventional courts.
Lumumba compared the judicial results of the Arusha based International criminal tribunal (ICTR) and Gacaca court and found that Gacaca’s results were amazing.