Appearing soon in a theatre next-door: yet another highly suspenseful episode in the extremely hilarious series, “Honest-to-goodness Conduct From Now On”. The exact nature of jokes in the new episode, we can only conjecture.
Luckily, our guessing task is made that more effortless by the cinema-house’s never-failing inadvertent leaks.
The other day, the leak came in the form of a “well-known innocent” citizen crossing the border of a neighbouring “younger-brother/sister country”. After violently resisting efforts by security officers to identify him in case he was on a nefarious mission, he was sacrificed.
The slight revelation of the rib-cracker in the making came when we saw that that “well-known innocent citizen” was an unknown drug-smuggling quantity, who used a ‘panya’ route to enter the “younger-sister country”.
Unknown because when one of the comedy-theatre’s groups of expert sleuths, who know their every citizen the way they do every hole inside their pockets (no tongue in cheek!), could not place their “well-known citizen” when they saw his body. Typical of discordant work methods.
In quick succession, the leak was followed by another of their parliament praying government to issue a travel advisory to its citizens to avoid ever visiting that “younger-brother country”. You cannot help wondering if all their citizens are smugglers, but that’s neither here nor there!
Anyway, the funny twist opens to you when you remember that the government of the “younger-sister country” had issued a similar advisory. In contrast, however, the advisory was to protect its citizens from the unclassified dungeons and safe-houses, the comedy’s euphemism for torture chambers, into which they were disappearing.
The even bigger twist will yet be when you recall the theatrical show of “magnanimity” that invited the media outlets of the globe. The “magnanimity”? The “merciful” release of nine veritably innocent citizens of the “younger-brother country”, Rwanda, by the neighbouring “comedy-theatre” country, Uganda.
The hollowed Minister for Foreign Affairs himself had laid aside all the duties on his heavy schedule to perform the “generous” act, with the Rwandan High Commissioner summoned to be by his side.
Unaccustomed to such melodramatic little absurdities, our hapless High Commissioner (HC) duly obeyed diplomatic etiquette to stand there and will his eyes not to blink, as they bore the blinding camera flashes. I doubt he could hear the Foreign Affairs minister as he droned on about reciprocation and opening of the border between the countries.
A let down, if ever there was one. Nothing about the rest of the nearly 200 innocent prisoners, nothing about stopping the facilitation and training of terrorists against Rwanda, nothing about anything.
And our HC betrayed this feeling as he kept being distracted by the murmured concerns of our citizens, still being held hostage by that drama. “But they can’t find their little possessions, their money, their….,” he kept repeating, forgetting the world cameras trained on him.
Until he was roused into saying something into the world’s microphones: “This is a step in the right direction. But it’s only a step,” and couching the sharp ‘call’ in diplomatic sweet-nothings, before again turning to the concerns of victimised innocent souls, after hugs all round.
The ‘call’ was taken up by all Rwandans, high and low, on social media but I am sure they had all seen too much negativity result from such high-sounding diplomatic mumbo jumbo to believe in that “step”. And, indeed, it hasn’t taken long for their fears to be borne out.
So, it’s back to some dubious smugglers sneaking into Rwanda, ostensibly testing the ground before they are followed by sponsored terrorists to come spill Rwandans’ blood. It’s back to pulling the wool over the diplomatic world’s face, with inconsequential little lies about travel advisories over Rwanda posing danger to Ugandans.
It’s the jokes again, coming in thick and fast.
Pray, President Museveni, what are these extravagant comic antics in the service of?
Because if they sound and appear hilarious to Rwandans, it’s because all know that they can never come to anything. And, don’t deceive yourself, it’s nowhere near the case of the English “Once bitten, twice shy.” It’s the case of the Rwandan “Once bitten, the biter regrets for ever!”
You know your History well, as everybody appreciates, and that adage is not lost on you.
You can lull your Ugandan “grandchildren” (your words, not mine!) – all of your aging government officials and some ordinary Ugandans, apparently all of your print media, too – into sleep with trinkets of envelopes of money but, please, do that and stick to that.
Then you can take your cassava-Irish-potato katogo breakfast, feed lies to your stomach for lunch and dinner and live a long, ruling life. Rwandans will wish you all the best because that’s the way to go; live and let live. Forget about being master over neighbouring little dominions.
For collaboration on equal terms, as she has always been known to be, Rwanda is open arms.
Otherwise, if this series of comic antics is intended to fill Rwandans with mirth, it’s fallen flat on its nose. Yet how Rwandans would cherish Ugandans as cooperation-partner buddies.
Well, maybe after “African visionary” Museveni. Meanwhile, adiós, amigos!
The views expressed in this article are of the author.