Rusesabagina’s wrong to contest Commonwealth bid

Frustration leaves Paul Rusesabagina with no option but to rant and he is at it again. In his latest salvo, while appearing on last weekend’s BBC Kinyarwanda programme Imvo n’Imvano, he accused the Kigali government of human rights abuses.

Frustration leaves Paul Rusesabagina with no option but to rant and he is at it again. In his latest salvo, while appearing on last weekend’s BBC Kinyarwanda programme Imvo n’Imvano, he accused the Kigali government of human rights abuses.

It is on this basis that he is busy de-campaigning Rwanda’s bid to join the Commonwealth. He even insinuates that English was brought into the country by a small group of people.

After being overwhelmed by the speed with which countries are backing Rwanda’s bid, it’s foolhardy for him to begin this negative campaign. Perhaps it’s due to lack of knowledge of the situation on the ground.

My friend, who is a French speaker, admitted to me that much as he would be proud to speak French, he would defend the collective interests of the government to join the 53-member elite club, because the people who would gain a lot from the Commonwealth are the citizens.

As government officials have repeatedly pointed this out, the Commonwealth accounts for over 40 percent of the world trade.  You will, without doubt, find that it is among the most influential in global trade.

It is therefore wrong to insinuate that English is not popular because it was brought  into the country by a certain group of people.

This is akin to ethnic divisions, as Ambassador Gatete pointed out on the programme.

The national language, Kinyarwanda, represents the spirit of a united Rwanda after all, the alien languages not withstanding.

When you move across the country, you don’t sense the ethnic divisions that the self styled hero tends to perpetuate.  Rwandans are far united than Paul and his ilk, who seeks to divide them apart, would want the world to believe.

Seriously, citizens are proud of Rwanda. But, Rusesabagina is still caged in the chains of ethnic cleavages and genocide ideology that engulfed the country before it was reborn.

One should not create a nation you will be embarrassed of. You need to think of posterity.

Rwanda is a new nation where all citizens are treated equally not on the basis of ethnicity.

To many people, Rwandans have overcome ethnic prejudices and are working together for a common goal-with the conviction that united Rwanda can make bigger strides.

Commonwealth or Francophone club does not necessarily make Rwandans different from each other. But I believe being a member of the Commonwealth will make them achieve a lot. 

We can speak different alien languages but still live together in Imidugudu (community settlement).

One wonders why Rusesabagina wastes time claiming to be fighting for the rights of Rwandans in a country he has not visited for the last 15 years.  If he is a great advocate of human rights, how come he did not come out to condemn FDLR for recruiting Rwandan children in rebel activities and perpetuating hatred? 

Paul should not misinform the world over what Rwandans want. Rwandans support the use of English as an official language and medium of instruction in schools.

If they didn’t want it, Members of Parliament who are the people’s representatives would have opposed it.

jtasamba@gmail.com

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