Self-appointed definers of Rwanda’s destiny still at it

“I went to Rwanda to participate in several volunteer projects and to do research work not affiliated with the election,” confesses Gaja Pellegrini to ‘France 24’. So, does the good lady participate in those volunteer projects and does she do her research?

“I went to Rwanda to participate in several volunteer projects and to do research work not affiliated with the election,” confesses Gaja Pellegrini to ‘France 24’. So, does the good lady participate in those volunteer projects and does she do her research?

No, she sees better to “research” on how we Rwandans “were gripped by fear” in the run-up to this month’s election. The miracles these volunteers/ researchers are able to perform! How did she see that fear?

“I listen[ed] to the words of Ms C., an American woman living in Rwanda doing volunteer work…” So, she relies on the wizardry of another volunteer. She will not mention her name, probably because they, too, are both “gripped by fear”. But fear of what?

You see, “Rwanda is run by a one-party system the RPF…, which is mainly comprised of Tutsis.” I am not making up anything; these are her words, seriously. She is talking about this Rwanda that we see, you and I, today!

Sometimes you can’t help laughing out loud when you read through reports filed by some of these foreign reporters/researchers. Pellegrini’s expert-volunteer has never heard of the other nine parties that exist in Rwanda.
No wonder, then, that in her entire report Pellegrini does not mention any party except RPF.

I suppose it is also her expert-volunteer who told her that none of “the veritable opposition parties were allowed to run”. Presumably, referring to those political parties that are aspiring for registration.

But, how are parties that are not yet registered more “veritable” than parties that have been in existence for close to twenty years, like PSD and PL? That reasoning is not Pellegrini’s concern, of course, because her duty is to “volunteer” information on how RPF is suffocating opposition.

It is a wonder, but also she does not forget to assign ethnic groups to even political parties. At my age and as a Rwandan, I doubt there are many Rwandans who can tell a Muhutu from a Mututsi better than I. And yet, in all the RPF congresses I have attended, and they are not few, I cannot tell which ethnic group dominated in any of the meetings, even if I cared.

What I know is that in an electorate of about five million people, RPF counts a membership of more than three quarters. That, then, would put the Tutsi ethnic group at a majority in Rwanda, confounding her own statistics of the country being “85% Hutu, 14% Tutsi and 1% Twa”. Wherever they get the statistics from!

But it can be more amazing. These “volunteers” are not only able to get these statistics but can also tell which Rwandan is Twa, Tutsi or Hutu. They can tell which political party is Hutu-dominated, Tutsi-dominated or Twa-dominated. In fact, they can even tell which party is dominated by “Tutsis who were formerly exiled to Uganda”.

Since these statistics do not exist here in Rwanda, why do they bother coming to this country at all? But then again, that is the only way they can give their reports the stamp of authenticity. What boggles the mind is that reputable media houses actually accept to swallow their recycled misinformation without cross-checking.

That Pellegrini can report that there is a return of militias and machetes in Rwanda and ‘France 24’ reproduces the report faithfully is testimony to the little care they give to the country. Everybody knows that the election and the campaign leading to it were markedly peaceful but is that the report that the “volunteer” gives?

No, she was told “the militia travelled around the countryside forcefully rounding up villagers” to go voting. She was in Rwanda but still relies on reports only.

So, that assumes that the villagers were forced to vote for the winning candidate. In an enclosed booth, an invisible hand forced them to vote for that candidate.

In the Diaspora, where President Kagame garnered a 96% win, I wonder who was there to whip them into voting for him.

If you think that the said allegations are the most bizarre, however, you haven’t heard half of them. It was reported to Pellegrini that “a man’s face was cut with a knife for failing to cheer when campaigners for President Kagame passed.” Was she told exactly where and when, or who slashed the man’s face? No, her “volunteer” job is to give the reports to ‘France 24’ and have them reproduced.

And she wouldn’t be worth her volunteering job if she didn’t show her benevolent hand in this unfortunate country. So, she caps her report with how she “worked with child orphans of the genocide” because there is “a lot of positive value to heal the pain and anguish of unspeakable traumas”. Any problem with that?

Yes, of course, the work should not be “left solely in the hands of foreign individuals and organisations.” The Rwandan people, in Rwanda and in the Diaspora, and the Rwandan government have come out in full force to build homes, orphanages, schools and care for these kids and now the lady is mourning about how she is solely overburdened with that huge responsibility.

And that is not all. The “hope for the future can only be effective when basic needs are met and there is a lot of work to be done,” she groans. “A truly democratic election did not take place….but the most important question….is: are we turning our heads again?”

Ha! As if you would. Lady, ask Alain Juppé: if the French government had turned its head, French soldiers wouldn’t have killed so many Rwandans.

Truly, the carelessness and arrogance of these do-gooders are beyond belief!

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