invented stories won’t kill Rwandan spirit

23 May

We are the most, perhaps the only, inventive species on our planet. Most inventions are really works of genius. Sometimes they have been stumbled upon. Other times they have been products of lengthy and dedicated inquiry. But by whatever route arrived at, inventions have resulted in better quality of life for the human race.

Where would we in the newspaper business and the public that reads them be without the ground breaking work of Johannes Gutenberg and the printing press? Today we speak of another more recent invention that has revolutionized our lives – the computer.

For most of our rural folk, the bicycle might well be the most revolutionary invention.

However, there are other inventions that are truly the work of diabolical minds. Their evil genius lies, not in the amount of common good they can have, but in the extent of destruction they can cause.

Take for example the very recent invention that Rwanda wants to eliminate two obscure, unimportant people living in London. A plot was invented, a story made and given to newspapers to spread, and now the world is awash with the invention. And because it has appeared in the mainstream media, many unsuspecting people are likely to believe it.

The more discerning ones, however, will notice that it is an invented story. It is also easy to tell who is behind it and their intentions.  But their invention is so ludicrous that it cannot stand and will certainly be of no use to anyone, even to the inventors.

Here is why. Supposing, for argument’s sake, that there are some people the Rwanda government deems dangerous to the security of the country, is killing them the best way to deal with them? Are there no diplomatic ways of handling the issue?

All the so-called opposition groups have been saying the UK Government is too cosy with Rwanda. It would surely follow that the Rwandan government would use its friendly ties with the British government to sort out the problem. Would they be so stupid as to do anything that would jeopardize that cosy relationship? And look at the price for endangering a valued relationship – two unknown people, never heard of before this story was invented and spread. It is just unbelievable that a government whose efficiency is acknowledged by friend and foe alike would want to eliminate nonentities and lose a valuable friend.

For quite a while now the gang of four who now go by a more respectable name – the Rwanda National Congress – and their allies in the FDU and a motley collection of other opportunists, conmen, swindlers and traitors, have been praying that the UK and other development partners withdraw their support to Rwanda. So far they have not had any success.

That prayer would be answered if it was made to appear that Rwanda has such a disregard for all diplomatic norms that it would  assassinate people on British soil, one of them a British citizen. Now you can see the reason for the invention.

It cannot be a coincidence that this made up story began to appear as all these groups were meeting in London to work out a common strategy to destabilise Rwanda. This invention must be one of their methods.

Nor is it new. It is part of a pattern that made its appearance last year. An obscure politician was found dead, probably killed by ordinary criminals, and the murder was transformed into a political killing and placed at the government’s door. Again it is an incredible conclusion because the person who was murdered was unknown in political circles – even within the so-called opposition. Even today, with all the media coverage that the story was given, few Rwandans know anything about Andrew Rwisereka.

The same narrative was evident in the shooting of Kayumba Nyamwasa in South Africa, with similar incredible happenings. The assassin apparently hired to kill the man had a faulty gun that could not fire more than one bullet. He then stood there stupefied until his intended victim got out of the car and wrestled him down. This is the stuff of movies where we are often invited to suspend disbelief. There were inventions in that story, too.

To date no direct link has been established between the shooting of Kayumba and the government of Rwanda. It will be the same with the London story. You can stretch imagination up to a point. Beyond that you lose credibility. That is sure to happen in this case.

The exiled groups have adopted this sort of narrative in which they paint the Rwandan Government in ugly colours because they cannot find fault with its policies. They have no argument against the clearly successful government programmes. Their only recourse is mudslinging, insults and fabrication. Surely signs of desperation, not the plans of a credible opposition.

Let me leave you with a more pleasant, and real, story that will clear the bitter taste of the invented story. The Junior Wasps (Under 17 football team) are playing a series of build up matches in Europe before they go to Mexico to take part in the Under 17 World Cup.

Listening to them sing Kinyarwanda songs at Tottenham where they played that club’s U18 team and got a 0-0 draw was heart warming and struck cords on my patriotic heart. I had to hold back tears. Over the weekend, the Junior Wasps beat an FC Cologne team 3-1 in \Germany.

What was the source of tearful joy? Seventeen years ago we were down and nearly out. Who would have imagined that there would be children born that year competing at the highest level of football? Yet here they were proudly Rwandan in Europe as they made preparations to represent us all at the World Cup.

For many of us our Under 17 football team represent the indestructible spirit of Rwandans.  There are the evidence of the road we have travelled. The dogged determination, the confidence, the patriotism are all pointers to where young people will take the country once the baton has been passed on to them – to greater success. I am not exaggerating.

We await the event itself. We will cheer them, albeit from afar and whatever the outcome, we can all celebrate this fact and symbol of Rwanda’s rebirth.

No amount of invented stories will change this fact.


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