Letter From Nyamirambo

Last week I listened to a most extraordinary exercise in intellectual and moral contortion by a one Dr Theogene RUDASINGWA.  Rudasingwa makes the implausible claim that he deserted the RPF because of a “crisis in conscience”.  Indeed!  My ears perked up, my mind went into overdrive, and I held my breath in expectation of Rudasingwa the man with a newly found moral probity.  I was sorely disappointed.

Last week I listened to a most extraordinary exercise in intellectual and moral contortion by a one Dr Theogene RUDASINGWA. 

Rudasingwa makes the implausible claim that he deserted the RPF because of a “crisis in conscience”. 

Indeed!  My ears perked up, my mind went into overdrive, and I held my breath in expectation of Rudasingwa the man with a newly found moral probity.  I was sorely disappointed.

To begin with, Rudasingwa says he had been forced to lie that Rwandan troops were not present in the DRC in 1995.  Then he makes the extraordinary confession that the people he was lying to, to wit the United States State Department Officials, were aware that Rwandan troops were in DRC at the time he was making the claims.

In a nut shell, Rudasingwa lied, the people he lied to lied that they believed him, and a bonanza of lies was celebrated by all and sundry.

 Now Rudasingwa has repented, Halleluiah! To my knowledge, the lieees (if Rudasingwa is the liar, surely his interlocutors must be the liees) have not yet repented. They are therefore destined for perdition!

But let us put the religious symbolism of Rudasingwa’s conversion to the truth aside for now. For a man who would be a Statesman, Rudasingwa brings political debate to a ridiculous low. So Rwanda was in the DRC in 1995. The Country chose to declare that presence at a specific time for strategic reasons.

Both the timing of the presence, the countries involved, the operational details, and the ultimate aims were kept a secret. To paraphrase Sir Winston Churchill, that other Statesman of a bygone era, the truth was so precious it was jealously guarded by a cocoon of disinformation. At the right time, declassified information about the DRC military operations was made public.

That was Statesmanship Mr. Rudasingwa. Ask your interlocutors in the USA. They will tell you the same. I am surprised you failed to grasp this basic fact. I am sure certain aspects of the DRC war remain classified. What is strange about that? A crisis of Conscience indeed! I suspect a crisis of competence in Statesmanship!

Then the claim that Rudasingwa lied to Human Rights Watch.  I believe Human Rights Watch is a great organization and I hope that under the new leadership, it will return to its core mission of promoting Human Rights. I also believe that alas, the Organization has gotten the story of the RPF totally wrong. Unfortunately, it is entrenched in its ideological position vis a vis Rwanda, that in the past, it has not wanted to be confused with the truth.  I have closely examined the allegations by Human Rights Watch and the responses by the Government of Rwanda at the time Rudasingwa was part of leadership. The allegations were specific, the Rwandan Government responses equally specific.

I challenge Dr Rudasingwa to prove that Rwanda’s specific responses were not accurate. What gets my ire most however, is when Rudasingwa, challenged about the need for accountability, makes the disingenuous claim that the RPF is responsible for abuses, President Kagame is responsible, but he himself, despite his position as Secretar
y General of the RPF, Director of Cabinet of President Kagame is not responsible .

You cannot have your cake and eat it too Rudasingwa. Either deliberate and pre meditated crimes were committed on your watch and you bear responsibility, or as I suspect, they were not and you are trying to tar the RPF with a brush borrowed from others for political gain. Incidentally, some of the responses by Rwanda to allegations by Human Rights Watch included the names of individual RDF Officers and men who had committed crimes during military operations and the punishments the justice system meted out to them.

I expect you know this and ignore it Rudasingwa. I therefore understand why you must have a crisis of conscience!

I am surprised and disappointed you have chosen the worn out politics of yesteryear. That you now are committed to a simplistic reductionist interpretation of the basic Rwandan political problem as a Hutu – Tutsi divide.  Your logic is circular Rudasingwa. 

The fact that it is you, who advocates this political dogma, is proof, if any were needed, that it is singularly untrue.  You and I know it is not, that political majorities are not and should not be fixed by immutable rigid social, ethnic, or religious identities.

That to do so inevitably leads to genocide as in Rwanda, or anarchy and mayhem as in places as different as Lebanon and Iraq, Kosovo as Gerald Gahima would tell you, or Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

Those places still struggle with the demons of politics based on rigid identities, despite massive resources poured into them by the International Community. Rwanda, with infinitely less resources is stable and prospering. The political path the RPF has taken is correct. As they say, the proof of the pudd
ing is in the eating. 

Paulo Freire, he of the pedagogy of the oppressed, and Frantz Fanon, that other hero of yours would die of embarrassment were they to hear your current political philosophy Dr Rudasingwa.

And then, the icing on the cake ,for those with a sweet tooth, or the coup de grace , for those of a more martial bent,  Dr Rudasingwa appeared on the show with ….Paul Rusesabagina’s Advisor.

I could hear the smirk in his voice when he said what Rudasingwa was saying today was a confirmation of what Rusesabagina has been saying for years.  You remember Paul Rusesabagina, the non Schindler of Rwanda? The man whose constructed narrative about his own role in the genocide is vociferously denied by those he purported to save, many of whom are still alive? 

The individual whose Foundation is owned by his immediate family and whose finances are totally opaque?  I have, in the past, challenged Rusesabagina to, in the interest of transparency, make public the finances of his organization and the genocide survivors he has supported. That Rudasingwa’s politics now dovetail with Ingabire and Rusesabagina’s should indeed be cause for a crisis of conscience. 

And then the proposed remedy. That the killing people should stop, that  Rwandans should have the courage to sit at the same table, and that an open Democratic process with checks and balances, Institutions and the rule of the law should be embarked on. Welcome to the RPF Agenda Dr Rudasingwa.

That is part of the platform that won the RPF an overwhelming majority during the last elections.

But tell me one thing.  What Government intent on exterminating its people, would invest in the return of all refugees, massively expand access to education, create a middle class, and invest in transforming a Country from an Agrarian to a knowledge based economy? These policies were anathema to Habyalimana and Pol Pot as you know.

What Government intent on stifling dissent and basic freedoms would invest in fibre optic connectivity to the most remote corner of the country, supply laptops to primary school children, introduce e Government, open up the airwaves, and actively court foreign owned newspapers and television stations to set up shop in the Country?

Why would a President intent on killing his people as you imply, make heavy investments in health, reducing mortality and morbidity across the board and raising life expectancy? Your claims wilt under the burden of evidence.

While Rudasingwa was having a crisis of conscience, Rwandans were listening to their first ever State of the Nation from their elected President.  As he is wont to do, dispassionately and accurately, President Kagame took a backward glance at the tabula rasa that was the Rwanda of yesterday, painted the picture of Rwanda today, and drew a clear line to the future.

As he said, where there is a will, resources will be found to attain the vision. And the will is there in abundance.

So, the Rwanda miracle continues. Yes, miracle Dr Rudasingwa, not a mirage!



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