There is this talk in the Newsroom, some boys who think that they really ‘liberated’ the country go around ‘assuring’ some of us that we don’t even know what the struggle was, of course apart from spelling the word itself.
I hear we came seated, the lucky ones in Rwandair and the less lucky ones in Jaguar while they came crawling under the bushes, with heavy ammunition on their backs.
While we (those who came recently) came seated comfortably reading John Grisham novels and once in a while pause to sip on a mineral water to wash down the biscuits, they (the liberators) went for days with nothing to eat, had no luxury to read a novel but instead were on a constant look out for the enemy or risk being shelled.
Well, the point is, that in other words we shouldn’t be here dilly-darling when we don’t even know the pain the men and women who fought in the struggle went through.
It’s quite amazing. Much as this is said as a joke at the work place (You find that none of those saying so even held a gun even once), I very well know a place where this ‘we fought’ attitude has been taken seriously and it is used against every other force, including the law that tries to come into the way of those that fought.
Thank God this is not the case here. The fact is, we do appreciate all those who participated in the struggle, we salute you soldiers and we will always remember you fallen comrades.
Before you start thinking whether I am a demobilised soldier or not, let me remind you that every struggle has unsung heroes just like me (Note to the Editor: Am not soliciting for a promotion or a payoff).
You see, unless you don’t know the place; my family and I back in Uganda lived in a place called Ngoma, Ntungamo District by the Rwandan border.
This is so close to the border. So at one point in the struggle, the gallant soldiers camped in the area, close to two months.
This is how I managed to contribute to the struggle. At this time, Rwandan families that were in the area agreed to supply combatants with food, milk, cow ghee and many other supplies to sustain them as they planned to move on.
As a young boy, my mum would wake up early, prepare a big saucepan of food and spice it with cow ghee as well as a five litre jerry can of milk which I would be required to carry to the barracks, about 4km away, every morning as I was going to school.
The routine went on and on. I remember sometimes my brothers who were also in the struggle would come home with quite a handful of other comrades and I would be required to fix a quick meal, even when I didn’t know how to peel matooke, until they marched on.
But at least I had given my Musanzu.
Now who says I never participated? Shame on you! Anyway, before you hit back, I’d like to congratulate all Rwandans for the progress made and the more to be made.
Long live Rwanda.