The Tyrant is dead, long live tyranny

This Sunday was dominated by the world of sports beginning with the victory of perennial favourites, New Zealand’s All Blacks, over a spirited French side in the Rugby World Cup Final with a squeaky 8-7 score line.  This brought an end to the 24-year wait for a nation that consistently produces Rugby’s finest fifteen but has failed to win a World Cup since the inaugural competition in 1987.
Oscar Kabbatende
Oscar Kabbatende

This Sunday was dominated by the world of sports beginning with the victory of perennial favourites, New Zealand’s All Blacks, over a spirited French side in the Rugby World Cup Final with a squeaky 8-7 score line.

This brought an end to the 24-year wait for a nation that consistently produces Rugby’s finest fifteen but has failed to win a World Cup since the inaugural competition in 1987.

The symmetry between then and now is fascinating for lovers of Rugby World Cup history. Then like this year New Zealand hosted the competition with the semi-final and final fixtures featuring the same teams with the same outcomes. Coincidence, design or destiny?

The highly anticipated Manchester derby in the English Premiership eclipsed Rwanda’s biggest club grudge match between APR FC and Rayon Sport who were forced to postpone their meeting by a few hours or risking playing at empty stands.

Right there lies the reason why Rwanda will never be a successful football nation. We have decided to subordinate live local soccer for a more glamorous English version on satellite TV. The new people at FERWAFA have the challenge of raising the quality of local football to a level as captivating as the English Premiership, only then will they be able to draw from the full potential of the country’s football talent.

Mission impossible? Sure, but how else will we get to World Cup 2014 in Brazil if even our very own players are obsessing about the events in a foreign league? I have no idea how FERWAFA will achieve this but they should work towards this vision somehow. Call it Vision Vingt-Quartorze. 

While Sunday was interesting from a sporting point of view, last week’s big news came out of the city of Sirte in Libya. Last Thursday, the self-proclaimed “dean of the Arab rulers, the King of Kings of Africa and the imam of Muslims”, Brother Leader and Guide to the Revolution Colonel Muammar Gaddafi was captured by the rebels of the National Transitional Council [NTC] as they finally overcame loyalist resistance in the city.

He was embarrassingly discovered hiding in a storm drain having apparently taken inspiration from Saddam Hussein’s manual to evading capture. Unfortunately for him, his captors had been reading a different script, the one written by the partisans who captured Mussolini or the Romanian protestors who caught up with Ceacescu. 

Subsequent events have been the subject of controversy and unlikely explanation by the NTC [Fiction writers should Google their ‘crossfire’ story]. What is undisputed is that Gaddafi was captured alive, disarmed and a few moments later was dead with his corpse being dragged in the streets and getting pissed on by NTC fighters. It was as barbaric a spectacle as ever to be shown on international TV. Some have blamed the media for broadcasting these images but my concern is more with the uncivilised behaviour of the fighters not to mention the violation of the Geneva conventions on war.

For a movement that positions itself as the fighter for civil rights how could it justify the summary execution of an unarmed captive and the subsequent desecration of the former leader’s body? Even Saddam Hussein faced trial, however distasteful his execution was.

After the xenophobic attacks on African migrant workers, this is strike two for the NTC and with so many young Libyans, many previously unemployed; possessing arms not to mention the motley collection of tribal and regional allegiances there is cause to worry about Libya.

Doing away with Gaddafi was the turning point in the revolt but is the turn going to be for the better? Last Thursday will be remembered for the death of Gaddafi but the NTC’s democratic credentials went into coma on the same day. Let’s hope they may be revived. 

okabatende@gmail.com

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