There are certain constants in my life; rent, food bills and letters from irate readers of my bi-weekly column in this esteemed newspaper. And the most irate is surely Sandra Munyana; I’ve taken it for granted that if I write something slightly negative about Rudasingwa, Ingabire, Rusesabagina or others of their ilk I will receive an outraged email from her. I have absolutely no problem having weekly exchanges with her, but the conversation becomes especially difficult when she writes in a mish-mash of French, English and Kinyarwanda. But even the difficulties I have in communicating with her are nothing compared with some of the content of her emails.
Case in point: I assume you heard, and felt, the tremor that hit Kigali around 6:30am Monday morning. I woke up, quite startled but I wasn’t that surprised. Rwanda is at the furthest tip of the Western Rift Valley, an area that scientists know will suffer the effects of seismic activity. This has happened before and will surely happen again. That is an open and shut case isn’t it? Not according to Ms. Munyana. She sent me an email ‘explaining’ the great tremor. According to her, the tremor wasn’t caused by fault lines getting a bit too close to each other. No, the tremors were caused by construction workers building a bunker for President Kagame at State House. I tried to reason with her, telling her that it simply didn’t make sense but she called me, and I quote, ‘a child’. While I can blame Ms. Munyana’s lack of scientific know-how for her ‘theory’, I also believe that this disconnect is also a result of the self-imposed exile in Europe that they’ve chosen.
The environment that they’ve chosen to live in is one that is saturated by disgruntled politicians, genocide fugitives and simple criminals; not a healthy bunch by any measure. The demonization of the Rwandan government by these people is simply a tactic they’ve used before. While they presently call the leadership of Rwanda ‘assassins’, before their defeat at the hands of the RPF/A they called them ‘vampires’. So, actually they’ve toned down their language in some way. So while the language has changed, the lies haven’t. Sadly, some of my fellow citizens are heeding these lies, as they did during the madness of 1994.
Sandra Munyana and Co don’t surprise me. What does surprise me is when people I thought actually had some brains reveal that they don’t. The Metropolitan Police of London have a certain legend to them. ‘Scotland Yard’ is a name I learnt reading about the adventures of master detective Sherlock Holmes and his fathful sidekick, Dr. Watson. Through science and good work they always found the bad guys and saved the day.
Sadly, today’s Scotland Yard is a poor imitation of the one of legend. Their written warning to two Rwandans, Rene Mugenzi and Jonathan Musonera, about an ‘imminent threat’ to their lives from Rwandan government assassins is simply stupid. They are calling themselves ‘dissidents’ and that is their right. However, when they, and the British media, call themselves political opponents of Paul Kagame, they are simply deluded. Mugenzi told Al-Jazeera that “my movements have changed. I always have to go [out] with someone and when I’m moving around London, where I’m living, I have to look back if there is anyone following me”. Well, of course you should Mr. Mugenzi, you live in London, not Kigali; its not safe.
Foreign Minister, Louise Mushikiwabo put it best.
“Those allegations are far-fetched. The Rwandan government does not do business that way.” Mugenzi is not known in Rwanda. To think that president Kagame would feel threatened by an individual like that I think is really far-fetched.”
This is simply silly season. The Brits have been hoodwinked by this Rwandan Diaspora (the Sandra Munyanas’). They are really good liars, but you still should have known better. They’ve simply fed you a lot of bull. Sherlock Holmes would be spinning in his grave.