REFLECTIONS:Boodhounds Sans Frontières, where are you?

It is a wonder that those self-appointed, literal watch-dogs of free speech are not yet up in arms and baying for the blood of the Rwandan government! What I know is that they are somewhere growling and will soon pounce.

It is a wonder that those self-appointed, literal watch-dogs of free speech are not yet up in arms and baying for the blood of the Rwandan government! What I know is that they are somewhere growling and will soon pounce.

You see, I’ve been reading the story of two local scribes, and an accomplice, who are in detention. You know how something without borders always springs up when ‘journalist’ and ‘prison’ are mentioned in connection with Rwanda.

So, what happened that ‘Réporters Sans Frontières’ is not yet reaching for the neck of the Rwandan leadership? The arraignment of these ink slingers may have nothing to do with government, but then the ‘dogs’ are not interested in the facts of what happened.

Facts which I personally would like to know. The sketchy story doing the rounds is that there is a love triangle, if not rectangle, that went horribly sour. It would seem some fat-cat magistrate was reaping where he never sowed.

After abandoning his rightful kitten, the tomcat was getting cosy with a harem of two queen-cats that were not at all excited at sharing his magnanimity and expressed it physically. And this was threatening to spill over into the media.

This is where everything turns hazy, and no one seems to know for sure if the scriveners smelt a pecuniary whiff or the tomcat baited them with the help of the keepers of the law.

Whatever it is, we should all let the courts go to work.
With the hope that the former scenario, that of a pecuniary whiff, is not the case. Unfortunately, it is a possibility, much as I would not apportion blame. How many times have we heard our penmen and women pronounce themselves faithful to the truth and express the wish to be rewarded for this objectivity?

The audacity of it! Our government is supposed to bribe these journalists so that they can say things as they are. Much as this sounds like rolling in cow dung, many word slingers, both local and foreign, are not ashamed to stoop that low. 

And when the truth-for-cash camp is overpopulated, others seek out another dung-heap in which to roll that should be called lie-for-life. This is a scantly-populated camp owing to the fact that the most bizarre lie is the jewel earner.

That is how some ‘atom’ journalists metamorphose.  Don’t get me wrong, I am not referring to ‘Atome’, that hilariously humorous youngster from Belgium.

Speaking of whom, where does the young chap get all that stuff from?

No, I am talking about self-styled scribes whose size is as atomic as their analytical effort is myopic. So they will sing to high heaven how the Rwandan leadership is a Nazi replica of the Hitler era, if not a génocidaire copy of the Habyarimana time.

Then they will criss-cross the mugger-less and spotlessly clean streets of Kigali, board their favourite ‘Twegerane’ that will do the most tranquil rounds of the country and finally report to a Western embassy: “My life is threatened!”

If the absurdity of the comparisons were not dismissed by everybody for the rubbish that it is, people would sit down and weep. Think of the photos of multitudes of lines of fleshless bones of Jews inching their terminal way into the gas chambers.

Then think of the meticulous lists of all Batutsi in Rwanda and their intended accomplishment that came to be: over a million rotting bodies of Rwandans that littered the roads, forests, rivers and lakes. Think of the heaps of bodies that were in churches, in mass graves, pits, houses and wherever the people were found hiding.

Surely, don’t such comparisons call the sanity of their author in question? Rwandans are truly a patient lot, for I see no other community that can tolerate a writer who so blatantly goes about twisting a knife in their still-festering wound, and yet be free to flaunt his pint-sized self around the streets of Kigali.

Fortunately, the bad-apple scribes of Rwanda who extort money from the innocent -- even if sometimes not so innocent -- public and those who peddle lies for a sympathetic economic profit are only a handful.

The hard-working, straight majority are doing an honest job of serving their people and we are truly appreciative and hope that your lot will be uplifted. We know that the watch-dogs won’t glance at what you write, but who gives a hoot what their wagging tails want?