If you live on planet earth, you have probably heard of one of the longest running TV Show on American Television, the Simpsons. It is an Animated Adult Sitcom centered on small family living a fiction city of Springfield. The family father, Homer Simpson is a dysfunctional father in every sense. The wife, Merge, is the person who holds the family together. Lisa, their second born, is the genius in the family who overachieves scientifically and although she loves his crazier brother, Bart, they never get along. Bart is in every sense, a dysfunctional brother who enjoys nothing fruitful in his life. The family has a toddler, Maggie who cannot speak but is intelligent enough to know what is going on.
The reason why I title amateurish article “Ndi Umunyarwanda Simpsonized” is because I saw the picture below and noticed a very strong similarities of what is going on with our current Ndi Umunyarwanda program. The picture depicts Homer trying to reconcile Bart and Lisa after they had fought. Lisa and Bart, as siblings, always fight but their fights are made worse by the fact that Bart is a less intellectual, stupid and lazy brother to Lisa who is the scientific genius who always sees sense in everything and intellectually disciplines everyone at home.
This is not the metaphor I wanted to bring about but the metaphor is that their chief reconciler, Homer, is not fit to reconcile the siblings. Homer is the culprit of everything wrong with the family from Bart upbringing to everything the family goes through. He loves and works hard but some of his decisions have always put the livelihood of the family in jeopardy and danger. HE MAY FORCE BART AND LISA TO SHAKE HANDS BUT HE IS BY NO MEANS THE EXAMPLE THE FAMILY HOPED TO HAVE. He is by no means a father who uses his maturity and intelligence to make decisions. Homer has always acted with carelessness and brutality. Him reconciling his children does not have effect because they know he is the most dysfunctional spirit in the family.He is known to choke Bart everytime Bart plays a prank on him. He chokes his own sons at many occasions! How can the son learn to say sorry when a father as brutal as Homer is the head of the family? That is why the family has never behaved in a normal way. Wasn’t it for Merge and Lisa, the family would be in ruin.
So, what does this have to do with Ndi Umunyarwanda? Well, everything! Ndi umunyarwanda is a great program. Those who know something about our hateful and merciless past had to speak up. We have to tell each other where the devils that tore us apart came from, how they came to be in us and we will then be able to live true reconciliation because we will know what each and everyone knows, did and asked mercy for and will receive mercy for. Of course, the criminal will have to face the law! Mercy and pardon does not take away the fact that the criminals face the law. The fact is that our human given ethnicities killed each other to degree. For now, what we know “officially” is the Hutu dominated persecution of the Tutsi that culminated into what we call the Rwandan Genocide or the Genocide of the Tutsi if you reside in Rwanda (to be debated on too….how did it change?). And those who committed the genocide or know something about it have to come out, face the law and face us to tell us what happened. If they are too big of men to ask for mercy, they have to do it and the victims who are able to say “we give you mercy” will be welcome to do so to our good. The country can move on peacefully if we learn to leave with each other peacefully. This is a fact! The genocide was committed. Those who see it differently can tell us but we have seen it, survived it and went through it. What triggered it is a debatable long story but the fact of the matter is that it occurred.
However, there are other killings that have never been officially talked about until now and if we are talking as Rwandans, someone will have to come out and tell us what the “hell” went on. We have heard of Kibeho refugee camp. I am not sure but General Fred Ibingira pops up a lot when you search for this killing. Has he spoken a day about this? The same Fred Ibingira pops up (I am sorry, I do not know the man, I just see him in the papers and research done on this killings) when the Catholics bishops and priests killing in Gakurazo is search in Google! Can he shed a light on it? Can the overall commander of the RPA then say sorry to the orphans of those Rwandans who perished there? I mean, they may have been of a different Ethnic than me or you but the matter is that they were Rwandans. They may have not died a horrible slow death as the Tutsi but they died. Can someone tell us more on this? Can someone do like Makuza and say I knew this and I am sorry. By the way, all the leadership members who have come out to apologize for what they did, knew or could not influence did not really do much. How can Makuza really cry and say Sorry for things we all know he never did. We want the big hitters to come out to say Sorry.
We want the person who Shot Habyarimana to say Sorry to do it. Habyarimana was no saint! No doubt about it. But he deserved to rot in jail not burn in “ciel” from which he was shot. We all not feel sorry for him but his assassination was not the way the law was to handle him. So, it is an assassination at the end of the day too!
But also, how can we talk about Ndi Umunyarwanda when there so many parents who gave up their kids to go to join the RPA and these kids have been killed one by one until today and no word on their death or disappearance until today. If you ever read any book or article published by a former member of the RPA who, of course is not longer with the Front, you will realize that many sons of our country died not because of any particular crime but maybe because they were against an agenda or were tired to follow an agenda. These are our brothers and sisters too. Someone knew something about those officers who died mysteriously. What about what happened to Seth Sendashonga in Kenya? Can somebody come out on that one? We know it was sanctioned from Kigali. It would take very little kid to conclude that after looking at available evidence. Major Cyiza and many more who are both Hutus and Tutsis. At the time, Rwandans have to realize that the killings are definitely not discriminatory. The genocide took many Tutsis and we have all to be ashamed and bear that for the rest of our lives. We have also to realize that moderate Hutus who were opposed to extremists then died. But then, the war on Abacengezi in 1998 supposedly took so many who lived in the Northern part of the country. We cannot ignore forever the findings of much international organization and even more so recently the United Nations. Congo has so many secret and if Ndi Umunyarwanda is to achieve anything, someone has to come out and tell us exactly what happened.
Not that I am a big fan of Twagiramungu, I believe his views on having something called “Rukokoma” where Rwandans would sit on a table and get every skeleton out of the closet and tell each other the truth is the way to go! Ndi umunyarwanda should be as such. Do not send Murekezi, Kanimba and Makuza to lead by example in saying sorry to minimal or nonexistent shame they hold on their past. Heavy Hitters are the ones to lead by example. From Village Urugwiro to a village somewhere, people have to come out and say it the way it occurred. Interestingly more so, Kagame has to come out and explain quite a lot to Rwandans. If Kagame himself cannot lead by example, him asking as to tell each other the truth will definitely be exactly like Homer Simpson asking Lisa and Bart to not fight anymore and reconcile peacefully when Homer himself choke Bart Simpson to death almost every day(every Episode!).
So Homers, come out and preach the love, pardon you want the Barts and Lisa of Rwanda to live by. That is leading by example. What is being done right now is lying by example and shame on those who are believing the lies.