They are back, guns blazing, those champion rights-abuser busters! Those fellows that never tire in their fight for the defence of our rights, whenever a big event is here! Only, poor fellows, they never seem to ever get right that little thing about what Rwandans take for rights-defence. Here, rights-protection means ensuring that none lacks in: – Proper nutrition; good clothing; decent shelter; swift healthcare; education for all; 24-hour security of person and property; platform for self-expression and assembly (as a pillar among others); transparency and accountability at all levels; access to all government officials; a whole host of others. And that’s not all: making sure these are improving all the time. Most of which rights, if these so-called rights-defenders did any introspection, they’d be hard pressed to find in their ‘advanced’ backyards where, more often than not, colour and creed define who gets attention in the protection of their rights – those who have them. You would therefore think their concern would be themselves first but no, so abundant is their magnanimity! Or, maybe, no government is getting credible reason to pick up the reward tab? So, say what you want, rights busybodies, because we know you are seized in a malingering electoral fever. If I got my doctor friend correct, a malingering disorder is the purposeful feigning of a physical or psychological sickness with the goal of getting a reward but where, in some cases, the affected problem can actually end fatally for the feigners. And I add: .....with the rewards left as the monopoly of surviving fellow feigners! Don’t you think in this country we’ve had more than our fair share of pretenders to our rights protection, even when they knew not how we got them? Without favouring any of them with a mention, you remember those that claimed to roam the globe without concern for borders and yet seemingly confined themselves only inside our borders. These and bizarrely comical others all seem to have fallen by the wayside. But there were also those avowed to watching every human on this earth and yet seemed to have no eyes except ones borrowed from exiled Rwandans, the latter whose eyes can never see but what’s inside their own hearts. And those that fought for amnesty for all; amnesty which, here, we never saw. These are attempting a feeble come-back, forgetting they never got anywhere in the first place. Now, though, they have to try; the times demand it. Remember, it’s election time. Because if these Rwandans are too cultured to indulge in mudslinging one another as citizens, journalists, rights organisations or politicians, who can pass such a chance to show the world that Rwanda brooks no freedom to self-expression? Why, there might be a buck to pick from their cash-strapped governments. As for material to pick on, there are many outlandish assertions to be recycled: dictatorship, killings, no freedom of speech, no political space, the dirty lot. May they have happy hunting! But they sure know the reasons for the demise of their malingering mates. Because when together they failed to unearth any mud that could stick on Rwanda and convince their sponsors, they came off as false prophets of doom. They may persist but they learnt a lesson from that, knowing how they started with big ambitions, sure that nobody could see through their ‘foolproof’ designs. And did they start a long time ago, or did they! They had sniffed out a rumour of a few Rwandans in Uganda trying to join others to together craft a plan to repair their unity. So they hatched up a grandiose doomsday plan that went thus: there was a “Hima Empire” forming that’d overrun the entire East and Central Africa and turn citizens into serfs. Whom it was supposed to involve and what its divisive effect would be, you understand. In fact, for that, the “Empire” rumour spawned a so-called republic that was supposed to embrace the same region: a “République du Soleil” that never saw the sun. However, when the “doomsday” came, it turned out to be a coming-together of Rwandans to overpower and stop a genocide overseen and guided by a superpower. From whence, Rwanda set off on the hard road to recovery and progress. Talk of “Hima Empire” had mysteriously vanished from all conversation! But not so fast, said the malingerers; there was another doomsday to predict. A “primitive kangaroo court” system was being set up whose “definite” result would be to target some Rwandans for revenge imprisonments and killings, shouted they to the eager anarchy-milking media for dissemination to the decision-makers of the West, just as they are doing today. The Gacaca court system came and was through with its work, having cleared millions of genocide cases and, in addition, reconciled Rwandans in less than ten years, at a minimal cost. Meanwhile, the UN ICTR in Arusha was still clumsily crawling through a trifle of dozens of cases, at colossal sums of dollars. Even in the case of the rescue and repatriation of Rwandans from D.R. Congo, where they were held hostage by a collection of génocidaires gathered together and armed by same superpower, efforts were made to brand it the genocide of the Congolese, generating derisive public laughter. Initiatives like Umuganda, Bye-bye Nyakatsi or Girinka and others were not spared, either. Initiatives which, to the chagrin of these layabouts, have gone beyond being the talk of the world to being touted as best practices to be emulated by many in the third world. Freedom-of-speech suppression in Rwanda? It’d be a fool who’d suppress rights they sacrificed so much to create. Lay down your smoking guns, rights-defending cowboys, you ain’t gonna fool no soul no more: your end is nigh!