I am trying very hard to understand the arguments of the globally renowned Professor Yash Pal Ghai. My impromptu response to his article was “is that all that he discovered after spending so much money in airfares and hotels”?
He could have obtained the same “research results” from a cyber café in River Road (Nairobi) at zero dollars because this negative stuff has been circulating around the Net for years.
The only new thing that Professor Ghai has added to these generalised allegations and is the weight of his global credentials-which is a rather ill-advised strategy because Professor Ghai has now joined the same dishonoured category as Judge Bruguière.
His motivation is very simple-to create a whiff of impropriety that may delay or lock out Rwanda from the Commonwealth Club. Defence lawyer practice this strategy all the time on behalf of their clients.
They do not have to prove anything tangible as long as they infer contrary possibilities in favour of their clients.
Ghai unfortunately has forgotten that he is now acting for the prosecution.
Therefore he is bound to strictly observe the two basic laws of adducing credible evidence (particularly on an international platform):
a) One must provide absolute proof and actual witnesses to support the allegations.
That is why criminal proceedings take so long -because every piece of allegation must be sifted and corroborated. It is not enough for Professor Ghai to infer that “his Kigali sources” are afraid and must therefore speak in the whispers of anonymity.
b) One must listen objectively to both sides of story before making any conclusions.
Therefore instead of playing convenient middleman, Professor Ghai should be encouraging direct communication between “his Kigali sources” and the government hierarchy- because this direct dialogue is important to the tangible improvement of the governance process.
Finally, Professor Ghai needs to come back to Rwanda anonymously; come in from the east through the refugee rehabilitation centres.
He should visit the local urugwagwa speakeasies in Huye and participate in the umunganda’s in Nyamata. He needs to plant bananas and harvest the coffee.
He should learn the language and pick up the hidden nuances. This kind of knowledge is not gleaned at diplomatic cocktails. You have to really meet the people.