NOW that electioneering dust has settled, Rwandans should get down to the nuts and bolts of the business of building their nation. There is no time to waste on the niceties of explaining themselves to a world that has chosen a life of dribbling indecisive argument and engaging in abstracted banter.
The progress realised in the last 16 years must be built upon to meet the targets that Rwandans have set themselves. Their chosen candidate, President Kagame, has pledged to multiply the gains sevenfold and that may sound like promising manna from Heaven.
That manna, however, is attainable, going by the experience of the past. Rwandans only need to rise to the occasion and start the task of fulfilling their targets. The targets are in all facets of the life of their country: security, unity, education, health, agriculture, justice, economy, infrastructure, technology, tourism, foreign relations, et al. They are many and seven years are few.
The tasks above necessarily involve the tough but achievable task of uniting and reconciling all Rwandans, without exception: whatever stature, nose, occupation or shade of opinion. Let no one ever be deceived that there are Rwandans who are condemned to be hateful of their own, who cannot bend to the cause of good.
Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza can and will bend.
One of of the Rwandan ancestor royal sages gave the mantra not so long ago: “Aho kwica Gitera, wakwishe ikibimutera?” Crudely translated: “Why kill the messenger?” If Ingabire can accept to be a ‘suicide bomber’, it’s because she is acting as a messenger of an assemblage that is united around a wrong cause. Rwandans know this and can only slight her on distracting them from their chosen course.
They know that, given time, the likes of Rusesabagina, member of that assemblage, will be compelled to bend, forced by the rock-hard evidence of good. However fiercely Twagiramungu may spit at the “development, roads and buildings” in Rwanda after these past 16 years, he cannot help caring – and bending.
In their hearts of hearts, these assemblage members know that their extremist, exclusionist and génocidaire Parmehutu ideology is not sustainable today and that it has crumbled for good. Whether they care or not, development fosters democracy, and Rwanda today cannot but be on the way of democracy, being on one of development.
They know that security for all, equal opportunity, efficient service provision, poverty reduction, eradication of corruption, empowerment of all, regional integration, name it, cannot co-exist with repression, autocracy, free-speech suppression or whatever else they like picking from the mouths of foreign ‘experts’.
And if Ingabire and the assemblage of genocide deniers behind her can bend, so can the egocentric ‘quadriumvirate’ of Kayumba, Karegeya, Rudasingwa and Gahima, who have recently lent themselves to noisy cacophony. For info, the above is their order of self-presentation. Why the elder Bamu….-son presents himself last, when the aversion of the two sons to a gun may have been nearly equal, search me!
Still, to the credit of the foursome, at least, unlike Twagiramungu and ilk, they acknowledge that “Rwanda’s recovery from the ravages of war and genocide.…is….a rare success story in post-conflict reconstruction”. They acknowledge “Rwanda’s economic growth, security situation and cleanliness….orderliness”.
That’s why they must be sounding hollow even to their own ears when they later plunge into acrimonious accusations. You cannot praise “The Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF)” for its “many achievements” in which you were an active and valued participant and then turn round to pour cold water on it, and convince yourself.
Indeed, you’d be a ridiculous simpleton if you didn’t take pride in having been an active member in an RPF that “re-established law and order, restored essential social services, repatriated and resettled millions of refugees and internally displaced persons and established effective state institutions”.
And you’d be tinkering in outright lunacy if you were to allow yourself to so quickly forget the rare privilege you enjoyed – and so often abused by using it to throw your weight around – working near a “President Kagame [who] rightly deserves his share of credit for Rwanda’s progress in reconstruction” and development.
But these compatriots are not simpletons or lunatics; else they’d not have at one time earned Rwandans’ confidence. They know that Rwanda today represents a wholesome society of equal Rwandans.
If there had been “a small clique of Tutsi military officers and civilian cadres of RPF behind the scenes”, they’d have been unshakable permanent-members, since the very survival of that clique would have depended on them as fellow clique architects.
They didn’t see repression, one-man rule, RPF dominance, a government worse than the génocidaire Habyarimana regime, Hutu exclusion in power or whatever they quote from the book of foreign self-proclaimed ‘experts’. Such a system would not be accommodating these smiling faces of their families. In any case, they’d have rejected it and would not have waited for it to kick them out.
So, are they selling their souls because their ghosts are haunting them? The ghosts are many and furious: sowing division in the army; selling homeland; exposition of ‘red-coming’ and ‘container-imprisonment’ character and ‘judicial-repression’ on Rwandans and naked bank fraudulence, consecutively.
Prodigal Rwandans all, without exception, your defaults notwithstanding, it’s all in the family. When you finally come to your senses and bend, Rwandans will be waiting with open arms.
“N’ibyaye iki-----” Even a cow cares for its calf, however malformed the calf!