Wonder of wonders! Dr Theogene Rudasingwa has a conscience! Presumably he has a soul, too, and is capable of remorse. He must be bending under a heavy weight of unusual humility.
I hear gasps of disbelief. Surely not he, many of you exclaim. The fellow has never heard of humility. He can only be burdened by a huge weight of arrogance and conceit, you hasten to correct. And as for a conscience and soul, why, he must have lost them at birth.
I don’t know whether you are right or not. In any case there are others better qualified to talk about matters of the soul. I only want to tell you what I heard him say on radio last week.
Dr Rudasingwa gave an interview on WEBZ radio of the University of Loyola in the United States. In it he tried to justify his attacks on the government of Rwanda, and in particular President Paul Kagame.
He attempted to explain his reasons for ganging up with outlaws, allying with a terrorist organisation and trucking with a man of many identities – conman, financier of terrorism, self-proclaimed hero and many more.
His reasons for these strange connections (maybe they are actually natural) are that for a long time he has been having a crisis of conscience. Gasp. He has to clear his chest of past misdeeds. Oh, he is penitent!
I waited to hear him list the sins and say, ‘mea culpa”. I expected him to ask pardon for fleecing unsuspecting refugees when he was still an undergraduate.
And surely he was bound to mention unofficial earnings from his time as Director of Cabinet in the Office of the President.
Or, if for some reason he had forgotten these (probably they were too insignificant for him to recall), he would certainly remember the many times he was advised to keep on the straight and narrow path.
He said none of these. Perhaps, I thought, they were not grave enough to prick his conscience and were not deserving of confession. More gasps and protests.
So I waited for weightier sins that had caused a crisis of conscience in the good doctor for which he was seeking pardon and absolution. None came. Incidentally, has he ever practiced medicine?
When it came it was not a confession, but a mere chest-thumping. He was never wrong; he can never be wrong. It is only others who commit horrible mistakes.
In fact he is a saint. St. Rudasingwa1 In his own heaven, perhaps, where he is also god, for that is what he craves.
So who is to blame for Rudasingwa’s fall from grace, his lack of conscience, deceptions and illusions of grandeur? Why, it cannot be any other except President Paul Kagame. Passing the buck is one of the saintly qualities of our man. The President has his plate full leading Rwanda out of poverty to prosperity.
The whole world knows that he has worked wonders. But that he also has time to deconstruct individuals and turn them into unconscionable liars – well, that is a new one.
The new Rudasingwa, with a rediscovered conscience, can only express his new-found integrity by tying his fate tom that of the FDLR, whose known attributes include massacres of civilians, mass rape of women of all ages and children, and pillaging and looting.
The fact that in the last two years alone more than 10,000 rebels and their dependants have dissociated from the terrorist organisation and returned home is lost on him.
This figure does not even include other returning refugees. Who does Rudasingwa then say he is fighting for?
One sin, he confessed – that he has been leading a double life of deception. Now, that was not an earth-shaking revelation. It was only confirmation of what is common knowledge – that Rudasingwa has never been an honest man in his entire life.
This admission is an unwitting warning to his new-found friends and allies that he is a most unreliable character. When he turns against them with revelations of having seen the light, they shouldn’t say they were not warned.
And so claims that he wants to reinvent himself should not be taken seriously. He won’t change. Take this, for example. More than 90% of his CV that he proudly waves around is made up of his record of service in the government of Rwanda. This is the same government on which he heaps so much abuse.
Yet his professional and managerial experience that forms the basis of his “expertise” and credentials of leadership is tied to this service.
If the government in which he served is flawed, surely he must share the blame. And if he had a conscience that told him that he was in a den of lions, he would have resigned and denounced it immediately. He did neither. He was part of that government for ten years.
He has been out of it for six years. It is only recently that it dawned on him that he was part of a dictatorship.
What we have been seeing lately are not the actions of a conscience-stricken man. They are more evidence of a cold, calculating individual with no moral scruples. One thing he has in plenty, though – the gift of the gab.