In the Rwandan New Times Monday 5th April, 2010 analysis titled: “Genocide Deniers and their Agents” by Tom Ndahiro, many salvos and fabrications were written. It wrote: “One of the more interesting ones is to an article entitled: “Kagame must reconcile with Rwandans” by Nkwazi Mhango, purportedly a Tanzanian based in Canada. It went on: “This article was published by The African Executive in Nairobi, on the same day as Berwouts’s piece appeared. In it, Nkwazi accuses President Paul Kagame of “banking on genocide” as a pretext to thwart people with different ideas; and of “using genocide to threaten anybody, including the international community whom he blames for not preventing it.”

Maybe… just maybe Rwandan authorities are baffled as to why a Tanzanian can take his time to discuss things they’d not like be discussed in the way they were discussed. But they must understand that as a Tanzanian, I am a stakeholder thanks to Rwanda currently being admitted to the East Africa Union. Thus it becomes another major player leave alone crises in Rwanda producing refugees that seek refuge in Tanzania. Tanzania has suffered a great deal more from the influx of refugees. So as a stakeholder my voice adds up.

As a citizen of the region, I have all rights to discuss any issue regarding how things are going on. I once urged three founder members of EA not to admit Rwanda before the question of who actually committed genocide is answered. I also raised the issue of probing Ugandan and Rwandan strongmen for invading DRC before giving a nod to blood-tainted Rwanda as far as massacres and theft in DRC is concerned. To raise such a question does not mean I deny the occurrence of genocide in Rwanda. Such take is but myopic and megalomaniac.

The big sin Rwandan authorities commit is to wrongly and maliciously think that whoever opposes the way democracy is felled, is a genocide denier. If telling Rwanda the right thing to do is genocide denying, nobody will survive this machination-cum-purge.

Well, genocide did actually take place in Rwanda. But who committed it apart from Hutus that are wholesale convicted as a whole, even without hearing them? If RPF consisted of Tutsis fighting to bring down a Hutu-led government, it means they too committed the same against their adversaries. That’s why it becomes very difficult to exclude RPF in the whole crime. They too killed Hutus thanks to forming the government they were fighting to topple as once President Paul Kagame admitted when he was quizzed by Stephen Sackur of BBC HardTalk. On why he did not want to probe who brought down the presidential jet that killed two heads of state, Kagame said: “I pay no damn that Hyarimana is dead.”

Every peace lover would want to see Rwanda stabilize. But it cannot stabilize with all this vindication and lies of branding everybody a genocide denier. No way can one turn his face away from reality. There is development and some stability in Rwanda. I mentioned this in my article. But again in the same vein, there is lack of true democracy in Rwanda. I cannot make an apology for saying this. The political atmosphere in Rwanda is not as calm as the authorities and their paid media portray it. President Kagame does not entertain any opposition or opposite ideas.

His political mileage and gravitas largely depends on how he manipulatively uses genocide. This is what his opponents say. It was openly repeated by Kayumba Nyamwasa, the recent victim of this dirty-power game. Though a celebre as genocide is, it must not be used to arrest and fell democracy in the country. Kagame must understand and accept that there also are other Rwandans that can play great role in democratization and crewing Rwanda. This is but a constitutional right of every citizen.

Despite all repression, denial, manipulation and what not, Rwandans will nary keep mum when it comes to urge for a fair play in running their country and their affairs.

Without dwelling on the issues that have already been discussed, I must candidly and strongly refute allegations that I am a genocide denier. The dispute is not whether genocide was committed or otherwise. The dispute is the way it is maliciously and inanely used. Why didn’t the author say it that I appreciated the fact that there is development and some hope in Rwanda? Why are we allowing ourselves to be used to do politicians’ dirty laundry? What a shame!

Thirst for true democracy in Rwanda, even Uganda is nothing any person -despite untamed power he may wage- can regard as passing cloud so as to sweep under the carpet. True democracy is more a reality than a wish. It is unstoppable and its delay can succeed temporally but not for good. To tamp down all these controversies, Kigali must embark on true democracy the same way it did with development. Kigali must understand that the environment for one person to cling to power for long is long gone, thanks to the changing of political scenario of the world after the demise of former USSR. If there is true and conducive environment for true democracy will be seen. You cannot hide this.

Importantly, it should be appreciated that what geared me to write the said article was nothing but the fleeing of former chief of staff and ambassador to India Nyamwasa and what he had to say about the regime in Kigali.

In a nutshell, I must strongly insist that genocide took place in Rwanda in 1994 save that the true or all perpetrators of this heinous crime have nary been brought to justice thanks to dealing with an exparte case presented by another player-the current government of Rwanda.

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.

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