What was sad about Brussels’ demonstrations early this month was not that Rwandan refugees should show an unwillingness to return to their country when their President invites them. It is known that there are those who, for having been involved in the crimes of 1994 and for other reasons, cannot dare face their compatriots.
What was sad was that Congolese nationals resident in Brussels should be duped into joining them. These Congolese should know that those few Rwandan refugees who were demonstrating are sympathisers of the Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR). This is the organization that has wreaked havoc on the innocent souls of eastern D.R. Congo.
Unfortunately, what is even more pitiable is that a Congolese from one part of the country may not necessarily feel a connection with a fellow Congolese from another. Otherwise, how can one explain how a normal human being can be in cahoots with supporters of an organisation that has visited untold misery on countrymen/women? Raping, killing, maiming and pillaging at will.
It has been said that they were paid by Rusesabagina to brazen out that winter cold and demonstrate, even risking injury in tussles with police, which injuries a number of them sustained, but for how much can a man sell his soul? Rusesabagina is the same man contributing to the financing of FDLR.
Rusesabagina will be remembered for selling the false story that he saved the wretched refugees of 1994, holed up in Mille Collines Hotel. From there, Hollywood picked on the story to portray him as a hero and earned him a name. He has used that name to advantage by setting up a charity organisation in the name of Rwandan orphans and is milking dollars of sympathy from unsuspecting American citizens.
Those are the dollars he is doling out to FDLR and the Congolese who are ready to be bought so that they can beef up the trifling number of Rwandan refugees in demonstrations. Going by the achievement of his effort (or none thereof!), however, Rusesabagina will need to hoodwink more citizens of rich countries and dupe more self-confessed ‘asylum-seekers’ from the third world.
Even then, he should be contented that, as a “former chief-of-a-hotel”, at least he has been an inspiration to a fellow asylum-seeking “former chief-of-staff”. Seeing as his second idol (the first being Victoire Ingabire) has succeeded in conning an unsuspecting audience, Théogène Rudasingwa has similarly set up a charity, that he avers is based in Tanzania and instils “strategic thinking into all underprivileged pupils and students”.
Please don’t check out the physical presence of that charity, just stick to its virtual presence. However, it seems to be shying away from there too, now that he has pronounced himself co-founder of a political organisation. A political “congress” whose creation seems to have flopped as all the invited “heavy weights” in exile did not turn up.
How could they, when they were busy setting up their own? Even those who had set up their own earlier were busy transforming them into better sounding ones — better sounding for at least the next few days, before another sprucing-up. So, like the other almost-dozen “political organisations”, his Rwanda National Congress has managed to garner a membership of less-than-a-dozen, even that having been boosted by his fellow members of ‘Gang-Of-Four’ (him plus Kayumba, Karegeya and Gahima)!
So, lucky Rwandans, these gangs of one (Twagiramungu with his perennial call for the famous ‘Rukokoma’/‘Grand Debat’), two, three, the lot, are singing to high heaven how they are going to deliver manna from heaven. They are not only going to tear open Rwandans’ gagged mouths but also their political space and blindfolds.
Then Rwandans will see that Girinka programme is only in Kigali, 95% health insurance, free 9-year basic education, Gisenyi, Bukamba, Gatuna, Rusumo, Gasenyi, Akanyaru, Cyangugu, Kibuye paved road-connections with Kigali – all in Kigali! They will see that this country-wide network of broadband is only in Kigali.
Brothers and sisters, Rwandans all, in Brussels your president was extending open arms as a message from fellow Rwandans. The message: come home or stay where you are, not as a refugee but as a ‘state-full’ Rwandan, and help other Rwandans in the gargantuan task of building a Rwanda that is good for all Rwandans. Considering the internecine strife of yesteryears, the task is monumental, but face it together.
You may be ‘Intwari’(brave) like Emmanuel Habyarimana, Rukokoma (the great debate) and his Rwandan Dream Initiative like Faustin Twagiramungu or “skilled in visioning and the development of initiatives, systems and processes that produce positive political, social and economic results” like Théogène Rudasingwa but your results will be zero if you do not ‘vision’ with all Rwandans, for Rwanda.
As a certain Kenyan lawyer said, quoting Prof James MacGregor Burns, “transformational leadership occurs when one or more persons engage with others in such a way that leaders and followers raise one another to a higher level of motivation and morality.” As the lawyer notes, Rwandans have such a leadership. It is upon all of them to work hard together so as to realise the common and clear vision they have set for their country.
Such leadership does not “have sacred cows” and discordant voices will not redeem anybody any time soon.