Granted, the BBC for decades has put to use its immense resources to provide access to news and information to millions of people concerning the political, social and economic outlook of the world- and Africa. The media organisation has also provided a platform for people to debate affairs and issues affecting their respective societies with the aim of bringing about positive results in communities.
They have been able to do this best by starting vernacular programmes targeting specific communities in order to allow inclusive debates. This is how the Kinyarwanda-Kirundi programmes came into creation after 1994.
However, much as this was a good initiative, the BBC management failed to realise the inherent potential damage arising from the difficult situation especially in Rwanda. They miserably failed to read the situation so that they could mitigate the eventualities of the programme proving to be counterproductive and instead of being a forum for social change through enlightenment and productive debate, became a platform for propagating discord and divisionism.
What we are experiencing now are consequences of a reckless and indifferent BBC editorial board. The BBC Great Lakes department especially is crawling with people who are in one way or another connected to Rwanda’s painful past.
If you spoke Kinyarwanda or Kirundi, you were good enough to be among the staff that initiated the programme. That is how even genocide suspects and people who had fled Rwanda after the genocide due to various reasons found themselves on the BBC programme as journalists, editors and commentators.
These Kinyarwanda-Kirundi unprofessional ‘journalists’ were in real sense a clique of political infiltrators who were breaching the BBC value of impartiality to promote their genocide agenda, hiding behind freedom of expression and media freedom.
For the last 20 years, complaints by Rwandans fell on deaf ears, and these self styled journalists took advantage of this ignorance to continue sowing seeds of divisionism, hatred and genocide ideology in the entire region by giving a voice to genocide perpetrators and deniers, hostile political opponents of the RPF leadership and others who had scores to settle with them. And boy! Has the RPF endured some venomous bashing over the years meted out by an arm they cannot retaliate against!
All this was presented to the BBC management over time by well meaning Rwandans but no action was taken to remedy the situation. This at best reflects the attitude most people in the West have towards Africa and Africans – They don’t take Africans serious.
Had the BBC management had any foresight to realise that in a situation like that of post Rwanda, extra caution needed to be taken to allow natural healing, I am sure the BBC would have made a far much better contribution to the rebuilding of this country. By so doing, they would have employed professionals who would have ensured impartiality in all undertakings of the Great Lakes programme and we would not have reached this unpleasant stage.
Their indifference has only served to progressively embolden the genocide perpetrators by giving them a platform as genuine political stakeholders in Rwanda and prepared fertile ground for the next stage of genocide – its denial. The creation of Invo N’nvano was no doubt another well thought out plan by the now established clique of masqueraders to expand the propagation of genocide ideology by providing voice to genocide deniers and agents of the genocide regime disguised as ‘free thinkers’, ‘political and human rights activists and others. The appointment of Ali Yussuf Mugenzi as the head of this programme was not by coincidence, as he has been the able culprit steward of negationists for decades.
The author is a political commentator.