Regional media should wake up to these machinations

WHEN YOU observe what’s happening, not to, but about Rwanda, you cannot help but wonder what’s going on. The most trivial issue is elevated to the level of most consequential happening. 
Pan Butamire
Pan Butamire

WHEN YOU observe what’s happening, not to, but about Rwanda, you cannot help but wonder what’s going on. The most trivial issue is elevated to the level of most consequential happening. 

An individual who has never positively served society, when they claim to have been stopped from saving Rwandans, is turned into instant hero. A trifling lie is turned into significant truth.  

What’s unfortunate about all this is not that individuals and issues that ordinarily are not newsworthy are given major exposure by Rwanda’s traditional enemies. Rather, it’s that the regional media is hoodwinked into unquestioningly accepting them as credible news.

Due to Rwanda’s history, hardly any day passes without a national returning from exile. Many have returned and are still returning, especially from D.R. Congo, bearing stories of escape from the watch of FDLR – the terrorist group that’s christened a “rebel group” because it’s Rwandan – or denouncing rebellion.

Others come from foreign capitals on realising that their crimes are not attracting retribution, after all, or to seek pardon. Yet none of them is considered news.

Mr. Evode Uwizeyimana is in this category. It’s not that he is not important; every individual is important to Rwanda and they should be accorded their due respect. It’s that, going by why he has been in the news, no one would have expected his name to feature in the headlines of the regional news outlets.

Given his own admission to being paid to malign the name of his country, everyone would have expected his story to appear in a cartoon strip or among amusement trivialities of the back pages.

How is it, then, that his story is regional headline news for all the wrong reasons? 

To Rwandans, yes, it’s a big story. It vindicates their own story that these compatriots in self-imposed exile are disgruntled elements who fell afoul of their government because they could not account for their misdeeds. 

 However, to be accepted in exile, you have to have a story to sell, which calls for fabricating one when there is none. 

It’s easy to see through a fabrication, though, especially when you are a powerful country with reputable media institutions, like France, the UK or USA.

It only suffices to infiltrate the country of origin of those “persecuted political agitators” with your deep-pocketed media and non-governmental organisations (NGO). And, in any case, they are well represented in every nook and cranny of Rwanda.

Of course, this is only necessary if you are dealing with a country that does not wear her heart on her sleeve. When it comes to transparency, this country is known to be a plain page.

Why, then, do respectable media institutions like BBC, VOA and RFI (French) highlight stories like those Uwizeyimana used to trade and give such individuals and their stories star status?

Every comment is never objective news unless such “experts” give it the stamp of authority. People plucked from obscurity in exile are put on air or other media spaces to tear down whatever Rwandans are building and the “experts” are called to give the thumbs up. Only we didn’t know that some are even paid for their “authoritative expertise”.

This is how unknown figures are promoted as stalwart opposition party presidents, even before Rwandans know who they are. Remember how, as an example, a Ms Ingabire hit the BBC, VOA scene and then came breathing fire, swearing to pull génocidaires out of prison or else?

This is how every single, unfortunate death of a Rwandan anywhere on the globe is confirmed to be by Rwanda’s hand. Now we can expect even vandalism cases like this week’s in South Africa to be called the work of Rwandan “vandalism squads”. 

It’s how, when M23 is defeated, all other 40-and-some rebels are given free rein to maim, murder, rape and ravage, leaving poor innocent Congolese as good as forgotten. 

Why, in the name of sanity, what’s going on? 

But perhaps the answer lies in a little incident that took place in Germany last Wednesday. The report was buried in news aired by Deutch Velle: “Germany Returns Herero and Nama Skulls to Namibia”. When you remember what befell the Herero and Nama people of Namibia at the turn of the 20th century, things begin to fall in place. 

The Genocide against Batutsi that closed the 20th century and the foreign forces involved. The authors of the genocides before and in-between those of Herero, Batutsi. In the Americas, the Asias. Algeria, Zone Turquoise, on. It looks like cupboards are bursting with skeletons that must be pushed back at all costs. 

Much as the citizens of these powerful countries are ready to forcefully bend their governments towards reason, the governments cannot allow any thus affected third-world country to hold their deserved moral high-ground. There is a cutthroat campaign to use any means, always foul, to permanently hold countries like Rwanda under the thumb. 

That way, no one will point a finger at those powers that be. 

Our regional media should avoid falling in the trap of these machinations. Those games belong to the bully boys.

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