Cry oh Rwanda my beloved motherland! You are blessed among other nations; you are endowed with natural beauty and thousands of green hills, your daughters’ grace is fabled; and the bravery and gallantry of your sons are legendary.
But alas mother Rwanda, many, albeit not all have forsaken you. They are now wandering all over the world like sheep without a shepherd, and, instead of singing your well-deserved praise like loving children should, the ingrate are tarnishing your image abroad.
So, cry, my beloved motherland, and pray for them; and forgive them; for they know not what they are doing! The other day, I was dismayed not to say shocked, when I read an article written by a so-called Rwandan Canadian by the name of Augustin Baziramwabo, an old student at the University of Sherbrooke, Canada.
In the article that was published in a Canadian French Daily “Le Droit” in the national capital Ottawa, Baziramwabo was shamelessly calling President Kagame all names and hurling insults at him which, out of a sense of decency, I shall not mention herein.
Suffice it to say they (insults) derive from a warped mind, and they should therefore not cause anyone a sleepless night. Part of Baziramwabo’s article, albeit very old (2006), which was first published in the above Daily, went like this: “The recent visit of Rwandan president Paul Kagame, in Canada will have caused many concerns. The hope to see Canada refusing an entry visa to this man... slowly faded and then died. But this decision to grant Paul Kagame a visa of entry to Canada left many casualties behind. Just like the decision taken by the University of Sherbrooke to give him a decoration.”
What a distorted mind! Who, apart from Baziramwabo and his ilk’s twisted minds would fall to this kind of depraved propaganda?
The question or questions that many people ask, including myself, is: Who do Baziramwabo and ilk think they are in Canada?
Do they really believe they could block a person of Kagame’s stature from entering Canada by simply appending their signatures on a piece of paper? Why? Who are they?
Do they realize that they are second-class citizens and that their opinions are of no consequence as far as the Canadian authorities are concerned? What they should know is that Paul Kagame already belongs to the history of great men.
You see, what Baziramwabo and ilk should not pretend not know is that, Paul Kagame did not come to power through a coup d’état. He returned to Rwanda in 1990 as leader of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
Four years later, after the RPF/Army stopped the genocide, he was appointed Vice-President and Minister for Defence in the Government of National Unity.
In 2003, Paul Kagame won a landslide victory in Rwanda’s first-ever democratically contested multiparty elections, and thus became the first-ever democratically elected President of the Republic of Rwanda.
That very year, the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO), awarded him the 2003 Global Leadership Award. He received the award in recognition of his “commitment and tireless work to address crises, to foster understanding, unity, and peace to benefit all people.”
The YPO considered his role in reconciling the Tutsi and the Hutu differences in Rwanda and in developing a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a benchmark of great leadership, uncommon inspiration and remarkable achievement. The award was also in recognition of his role as leader in Rwanda’s transition to peace and democracy.
The UNDP, IMF and NEPAD (through the African Peer Review Mechanism) have also recognized the positive move of Rwanda under the leadership of Paul Kagame, in the pace of good governance.
Among his other many awards and recognitions since he came to power are: the African National Achievement Award given to him by the Africa–American Institute in recognition of the perseverance of Rwandans after the genocide.
According to the World Bank, in Africa, Rwanda is an example of broadening access to education; it is one of the leading African models on anti-corruption mechanisms and is increasingly becoming a research centre for post-conflict policies.
So you see, these achievements have frustrated people like Baziramwabo and their allies. The former might have played a role in the genocide then decided to run away and hide in Canada, while the latter are involved in propaganda that aims at shifting attention from the 1994 genocide.
They belong to a class of people such as Prof. P.Erlinder and Philip Reintjens, who aim at undermining the ICTR mission, which is supported by Canada.
Baziramwabo and ilk should leave President Kagame alone. His people have given him a seven-year mandate. As a famous author said of him, “He is unconventional. He doesn’t fit the mould of what Westerners expect of African leaders, nor is he anyone’s puppet.”
As for BAZIRAMWABO, his parents chose his name well, as no wonder it literally translates to “they detest their home.”