Saturday, November 13, 2010

Kagame vs opposition: For how long will the ‘genocide ideology’ myth survive?

By Charles Kabonero
The Newsline
November 11, 2010

Photo: Rwandan prisoners in Kigali
"It is as if they have gathered there for a purpose, awaiting a meeting or an important announcement. In fact, they are just standing there because that is where they live." © 2008 Carina Tertsakian.


"Kagame readied himself with the ‘two tools’, the genocide and ‘genocide ideology’, weapons he knew he would unleash against all who would want to expose the dark side of things about Rwanda and his regime, prominent among them the former President Pasteur Bizumungu and until recently, Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire."
Recently, I was chatting with a friend who works with a leading Civil Society Organization in the Great Lakes region and she told me of a discussion she had with a certain western diplomat.

She said that the diplomat reasoned that many of those opposing Kagame’s regime, especially those abroad were either genocide suspects or genocide ideology propagators and that by advocating for the rights, the civil society was endangering its credibility. Sounds logical, doesn’t it?

But, a deep analysis of the goings-on in Kigali, especially Kagame’s leadership style and the much talked about oppression of his regime will bring you close to the fact that there is not an ounce of logic or reality in the diplomat’s reasoning. Not surprising, there could be many who think like the diplomat and they have all the airtime to publicize the gimmicks, but as reality sinks in, the dilemma fizzles.

So, what is the reality? Or, to be clear to the reader, what does the writer think about such insinuations. Well, ‘sharp’ as he is, after taking power Kagame knew that he would employ the 1994 genocide and the ‘genocide ideology’ as effective tools to tighten grip on power by silencing the majority Hutus in case they wanted to oppose him.

That, he did very well. And also considering that Kagame knew very well that under his command his forces had massacred Hutus (majority women and children), he knew that those macabre actions would return to haunt him one day. This has come to pass as evidenced in the recent UN Mapping Report.

So Kagame readied himself with the ‘two tools’, the genocide and ‘genocide ideology’, weapons he knew he would unleash against all who would want to expose the dark side of things about Rwanda and his regime, prominent among them the former President Pastuer Bizumungu and until recently, Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire.

It worked and over time Kagame has, with reasonable success, tried to hoodwink the international community and other people around the world that his Hutu critics are nothing more than mere genocide suspects and apologists, some of who flee, escaping the long arm of justice.

But this hoax was not to survive the test of time as the number of Tutsis fleeing his autocratic rule soon outnumbered the Hutus, in effect exposing the smear campaign he had waged against the Hutus. The leading independent media houses that Kagame shut down were almost all managed by Tutsis. And, one of the opposition parties whose members suffered persecution in Rwanda, is the Green Party which was founded and led by Tutsis. Its deputy President, Rwisereka Kagwa who was murdered early this year was a Tutsi. Was he a genocide apologist? Only Kagame knows. But again, against such background one of his best conjured tricks had burst.

So, challenged by the sudden downturn of events, the ‘crafty’ Kagame and his loyalists stepped up the ante, and now resorted to experimenting different smear campaigns against the Tutsi and Hutu critics.

He began spending heavily, employing diverse means of propagating stories about his successes in Rwanda, and also re-igniting the ‘genocide ideology ‘ myth, tricks that some, like the diplomat mentioned earlier in this article seems to have fallen for.

But most people did not fall for the trickery, reminding him time and again that the current leading critics against his autocratic rule are Tutsi comrades formerly in government, led by the former army-chief of staff, Gen. Nyamwasa Kayumba, his former close friend and spy guru, Patrick Karegeya, and the two brothers, Gerald Gahima and Dr. Theogene Rudansingwa .

These men fought against the genocide alongside Kagame, but have been courageous enough to expose his repressive rule and one wonders whether they have all of a sudden turned into genocide apologists. It beats logic. But, may be it doesn’t and Kagame still thinks he has the monopoly of confusing a few minds around. But again his actions beg the question: for how long, will Kagame thrive on preaching the Genocide and the mythical genocide ideology?

Well, your guess is as good mine.
The writer is the Editor-in-Chief of The Newsline.

Related Materials:

Rwanda: Against all odds, the High Court denies bail to Ms.Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza

Deo Mushayidi: Arise my People!

U.N. Report confirms Victoire Ingabire's position

DRC: Mapping human rights violations 1993-2003

RWANDA' S OTHER GENOCIDE

Exiled Rwandan Official Calls for Release of UN Report on Rwanda-led genocide in DR Congo

Rwandan Diaspora and Friends of Rwanda urge the US government to push hard on Paul Kagame and the UN Security Council

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