Sweden has fallen for prey to an old fashioned hoodwink

Yesterday, instead of sending us a Valentine’s Day card, extolling our mutual friendship,  I learnt that the Swedish government sent us Evode Mudaheranwa, First Consular in Rwanda’s embassy in Stockholm. While we love having our citizens back, plus I’m sure he missed Kigali’s sunny weather, I must say I was disappointed in the Swedish government when I heard the reason why.  According to a Washington Post story, Mr. Mudaheranwa, was expelled from the icy Nordic nation because he was engaged in “refugee espionage” (this according to an unnamed source in the Swedish foreign ministry who talked to their correspondent).

The Washington Post story stated that officials from the Swedish foreign ministry declined to comment on the expulsion, but then continued to say that Sweden is home to a small community of Rwandans, “some of whom run blogs and online newspapers that are critical of Rwandan President Paul Kagame”. Well, I know something about this ‘small’ community because a lot of them are members of the journalistic fraternity. People like McDowell Kalisa, Nelson Gatsimbazi and Jean Bosco Gasasira are people I either know personally, or through my work. I will not enter the debate on whether they deserved ‘asylum’ or whether their publications or statements really matter to the average ‘muturage’, but I must wonder why Rwanda would need to spy on them. It simply doesn’t make sense to waste resources on them.

Maybe people more knowledgeable than I in international diplomatic practices can correct me, but I don’t think that meeting your nationals can be termed ‘espionage’. While it might seem strange for non- Rwandans for diplomats to regularly meet and socialize with their national, anyone who knows Rwandan diplomatic practice realizes this is how they conduct their work. This isnt something that should be treated with suspicion, it should rather be emulated instead by everyone else.

Throw in the fact that these fellows aren’t exactly nuclear scientists’ gone rogue, and I come to the conclusion that this incident is akin to the Jonathan Musonera/ Rene Mugenzi- Met Police incident in London last year.

Back then, a totally unknown fellow (who I learnt through the ensuring media furor was a member of the Rwanda National Congress (RNC), headed by Gahima, Karegeya, Rudasingwa and Nyamwasa) was warned by the London Metropolitan Police (Scotland Yard) that it had information that his life was in danger because of Rwandan ‘assassin teams’. Never mind that no one was arrested or the fact that this ‘politician’ was someone very few people had heard of. I found it interesting just how quickly the story was killed in the British political arena and although it was pushed quite hard by some sections of the British press, it died a natural death there as well. At the end, Scotland Yard ended up with an egg on its face, in my humble opinion, and the RNC got a bit of airtime. Oh, and Mr. Musonera and Mr. Mugenzi got their Andy Warhol ‘fifteen minutes of fame’.

I’ve always believed that the whole ‘London incident’ was a Machiavellian ploy by the RNC fellows to put the Government of Rwanda on the defensive. But what they failed to understand was that Rwanda-UK ties wouldn’t be severed through lies and intrigue. They were stronger and deeper than that.  I feel the same way about the Swedish tiff.

At the end of the day, very few people really care about what our nationals are doing in Sweden. Whether they oppose or support the Government, life continues here in Rwanda. Every day, people are climbing out of poverty and illiteracy; that is what we really care about. How we shall raise per capita income from an average of $500 to $1,000 as quickly as possible. This is NOT a case of espionage my dear Swedish friends; it’s a storm in a teacup, brewed in the kitchens of disgruntled politicians. Just you wait and see.


4 thoughts on “Sweden has fallen for prey to an old fashioned hoodwink

  1. Hello Mr Sam, Hope you are doing well, I just passed through you opinion, nice you are trying, by the way you said you know me, totaly wrong, if to know somebody is just to meet you three or two times, there you are wrong. Second I was not part of investigators who followed MR Evode and his acomplises, It was SAPO the Swedish Secret Police. So blame those who were sent to represent Rwandans ( Not a Click of People) to do dirty jobs.
    By the way, its not only SAPO, we were not in Nairobi Kenya in 1996 when a Rwandan Diplomat Lt Mugabo Frank was caught with smoking 22 calibre after shooting Mr Seth Sendashonga ex Minister. We wewre not in Nairobi Kenya when General Jack Nziza was given three days to leave Kenyan soil coz of espionage and dirt jobs.
    Then We were not in London UK the year 1999 when UK expelled DR LT COLONEL Zach Nsenga, after being reported by his wife of abusing her, phyisically and emotinaly. For you information he cant be accepted to represent Rwanda in any EU country..
    Again we we are not in Washington, USA 2007, When The US expelled The notorious GACINYA RUGUMYA ( 72 Hours) after cought doing the same dirty things to some Rwandans refugee in States.
    Then there is another fool called John Ngarambe who get cought with a married woman in Entebbe, later the madia in Uganda called him DICKLOMAT instead DIPLOMAT. So please try to talk sense.So blame the so called Rwandan Representatives abroad, my be the dont know why the are sent there. It wasn’t us, I WAS THEM
    By the way I dont use to write opinion like you, Always I do investigative stories, I want to read an investigative story from you soon, thats when I’ll allow you to enter the World of Reporters.

    • Hello McDowell,
      If you look at my blog, you will notice that I said I knew some people either personally, OR through my work. And maybe you dont remember me, but i certainly remember YOU. Again, if you refer to the Washington Post article which i quote, you see that it says that Sweden is the bastion of various Rwandan exiled journalists. Plus, you were quoted by Ann Garrison in one of her reports talking about the case involving Gasasira. Cheers mate

      • Yes I was quoted by Ann Garrison, Did she quote me on Evode Mudaherwana’s Case or she quote me on Gasasira’s missing? I do remember you very well, but for sure I dont know you. Let me ask you do you real know my back ground? Robert Sebufirira and Manu they know me very well not you, may be you know Gasasira and Nelson, not me at all. By the way if can get you number will be nice.

      • Ariko,
        You are interesting. You know very well that the Evode case has everything to do with the Gasasira fiasco. About knowing you or not, I cannot keep going in circles. Ask Robert or Manu if I know them. I do. We might not be best friends but I wouldnt be lying if I said i knew them both personally or professionally. This article wasnt a case study of you, I didnt abuse you, so i must ask, ‘why are you taking it so personally”? You are an exiled journalist, right? Yes. Are you in Sweden? Yes. What then did i write that was inaccurate?

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