Last week Rwandans were shocked to learn of the death of a Rwandan, Charles Ingabire, at the hands of a gunman in the streets of Kampala, Uganda.
For all Rwandans, one life of a single Rwandan lost in mysterious circumstances is one life too many. That is why it was all grief when the death was reported. And that is why everybody is eagerly waiting for the outcome of the investigations that the government of Uganda is carrying out.
All are confident that the Ugandan government will establish the exact identity of the victim and the motive of the murder. And that the culprits will be brought to book. No one doubts the competence of Ugandan authorities and all, Ugandan, Rwandan and other interested parties, are sure that the truth shall be revealed.
But while everybody is thus engaged, the burst of a shrill voice breaks the silence: “Eureka! We have fingered the malefactor!” I beg your pardon? Says Human Rights Watch (HRW): “While it is too early to draw conclusions...” and then they go ahead and draw those conclusions! “The Rwandan government is...to blame, it...threatens, attacks...and...kills...government critics.”
The behaviour of HRW towards Rwanda these days is turning into a revolting kind of cannibal-feasting over a corpse. They seem to be lying in waiting, ready to jump up in celebration when they see a spurt of Rwandan blood. Sickening doesn’t even begin to describe their nature!
What kind are they, that while Rwandans are mourning one of their own, they should be jumping up in dizzying ululation? Everybody is still solemnly puzzling over the identity of a journalist by the names of Charles Ingabire, hitherto unknown to many, especially in Government. But not for HRW sombre moments. They must display their macabre dance and loud wailing in jubilation.
They cannot even think twice about waiting for the investigations to run their course. Or consider why that epitome of notoriety over alleged abuses on whoever is perceived to be a Rwandan journalist – you guessed right, Reporters Without Borders (RWB)! – has not yet raised a finger!
And, come to think of it, these nights-in-armour of self-proclaimed-Rwandan-journalist-defence (a mouthful!), RWB, why are they lying low? Is it that they are wise to something that HRW has not yet burnt its fingers over?
Being possessed of good memory, a gift that our offensive busy-bodies seem to have been strongly denied, we remember that, only a few weeks ago, RWB was fitfully jumping up and down, like locusts on a hot pan, because two (a third having been no case) innocent journalists had allegedly been thrown into prison by Government.
It turned out that of the two ‘innocent’ journalists, one was detained for drunk-driving, the other for theft! Today, RWB have got a bad case of narcolepsy (attack of deep sleep) over that! Else, how can they miss this ‘golden’ chance?
But that’s no reason to think that now they are out of our hair. We know that, like their Siamese twins – all the ill-intentioned advocacy and relief groups and, often, officials of their governments – they don’t learn and will only lie low for the dust of their blunders and failures of their machinations and manipulations to settle. Then they’ll rise again, sword hoisted high in the air, and cry to the world to pour more money in their exhausted vault, for they must fight the killer government of the tiny country of Rwanda.
Done with which, they will march to the bank, wearing the Cheshire cat smile. If it were not for that, they’d have learnt, for they have not been lacking in lessons.
We remember (for we have the memory...!) when they herded Rwandans into camps in their own country, in 1994, and called them IDPs (internally displaced persons). Government snatched its people out of their clutches and mixed them with their own and together they worked their land and began the steep ascent to a rebuilt country.
They packed their ‘gifts’ and carted everything into Zaîre (D.R. Congo today) and fed the Rwandans that the French had exported there and went on to lure others inside the country to join them. Ingrate that Government is, it did not allow them that chance and, instead, went there and snatched those back, too, to join their own in the uphill task of reconciling and working together to drag their country out of its ruins.
To-date, Rwandans are being castigated for teaching them that lesson. But our rights ‘watch-hounds’ are not lacking in creativity, either. So they looked inside the tiny country and – lo and behold! A primitive court system called Gasasa, of all names?
They sounded the war drums and ran around in headless-chicken circles for man and material to fight a new plague. When they paused for breath, Gacaca courts had cleared all hundreds of thousands of genocide cases, where the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda was still panting under the heavy weight of a few dozens. And then, another attack of narcolepsy!
Still, the avalanches of lessons notwithstanding, these rights defe...no, offenders are adamantly here, and myopic as ever. Lessons: cleanliness and order not only in Kigali; corruption all but dead; anti-nyakatsi beneficial to all; Ingabire deputy a génocidaire; some journalists only hoaxes; and on....
Now they’ve taken to contending with “Yes, development. But these rights, but those rights...” because that’s an area where tangible evidence is not necessary. No, rights offenders, but us no buts!