The real speech Rudasingwa should have read inside his heart

Fellow countrymen, I stand with open arms, mindful of where our country has come from, cognizant of the strides we have made and remorseful of all terrible things I have done lately, including the shame of betrayal.

Fellow countrymen,

I stand with open arms, mindful of where our country has come from, cognizant of the strides we have made and remorseful of all terrible things I have done lately, including the shame of betrayal.

Everything that I will attempt to say to you today will be from my heart and not from a premeditated script. But I would pray that you will somehow feel the anguish, the pain, and the melancholy in my words.

I have always -- every single time that I have stood to speak, sidestepped the truth. I do not plan in any way to whitewash my sin. I do not call it a mistake, mendacity; I call it a series of sinful acts.

First, I sincerely apologize for my immeasurable degree of arrogance that has characterized me for all these years.  While I served in the high profile positions, the RPF accorded me, I was often too conceited---lost in a world of my own. The callous character of my nature partly distanced me from friends and put me at logger-heads with my colleagues, even as far as the old days of our liberation struggle.

Unlike what I have alleged in the past, I did not run away from my country due to limited freedoms or due to what I have regrettably called the repressive regime of my former mentor. No, my selfish acts, my long hand, my high appetite for what was not mine, put me in this situation.

I betrayed the trust, the confidence--- especially the moment I connived with a private Construction Company renovating the President’s office, to rob the state coffers. 

I of course knew the high-handiness with which President Kagame handled swindlers. The moment this incident came to his attention, I knew this was my turning point.
Countrymen and women;

I have no one but myself to blame. I do not lay the fault or the blame of the wrongs at anyone else’s feet. For no one is to blame but Theogene Rudasingwa. I take the responsibility. I take the blame. I take the fault.

Today, I’m coming to terms with the direction I have taken lately. To be honest, my conscience tells me that this route seems to be taking me to a dark-hollow-tunnel. How on earth could I say, that “because of repeated trauma we have inflicted on each other, we have become the sick nation, with a chronically sick people that desperately need healing at home and abroad.”

Why would I choose to ignore the tremendous progress that my fellow country men and women have attained especially in the area of unity and reconciliation? I dream of the smiles, the hugs of our beautiful lot, tilling the undulating hills of our nation and working jointly as one for their common good.

I’m mindful of innovative approaches guided by our culture such as Ubudehe, Imihigo, umushyikirano, Ubunzi, Girinka, Gacaca that continue to bring hope and a sense of pride to millions of our people.

No, Rwandans are not a sick people. They are a lot looking to the future with pride.

For years, they yearned for an all inclusive education system. They have not only gotten one, but today’s enrollment figures speak volumes.

Take an example; Primary school enrolment stands at 97 percent for boys and 98 percent for girls according to the United Nations’ Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Secondary enrolment stands at over 92 per cent as of last year. Since independence, Rwanda had only 1,800 university graduates. Today, public and private universities boast of a combined population of 57,000.

For years, Rwandans were thirsty for a functioning health system. Mutuelle de-sante has not only seen 96 percent of Rwandans access affordable health care, but key health indicators such as infant mortality and maternal mortality have reduced significantly, by almost 60 percent.

Fellow countrymen, from the inner part of my heart, am astonished by the level of agricultural transformation in our country. Where hunger had become a chronic phenomenon, food is in abundance, partly the reason as to why per-capita incomes have risen from $230 to $560 in a short spell of five years.

For the lies I have peddled, I want to say to each of you, simply and directly: I am deeply sorry for my irresponsible and selfish behavior.

I urge my brothers who have followed my path to take a deep breath and reflect on the unpatriotic acts we have indulged in lately. True, we are liberators. But history will judge us harshly if we are the very people destroying and discrediting the achievements of our liberation struggle. 

I hope our brothers and sisters back home will have a forgiving heart to accommodate us once again. And like the biblical prodigal son, we come with an open heart, hoping to be accepted back.

Unfortunately, for lack of space and time, I beg to stop here as the memories of the breath-taking beauty of my country and the clean boulevards of City Kigali occupy my mind.

I remain your remorseful brother for life! 

 akaeus@yahoo.com

 

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