President Kagame’s announcement of soon-to-be Rwanda railway took me back to 1896!

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Why 1896? That is the year Kanjogera consolidated her power having conspired to murder the newly-installed ruler Rutarindwa who was burnt alive with his entire family and followers.

But the year 1896 has greater significance in the broader East Africa. That is when the building of the original 600-mile length of Uganda-Kenya Railway begun, linking the interior to the coast .

Enter Kagame, who happens to be a nephew of Kanjogera.

Whether Kagame is aware or not, when he announced the Rwandan railway on his recent rallies, we are two years short of celebrating the 120th year since the arrival of the railway in East Africa. Sadly, we are also two years short of commemorating the rise of Kanjogera and the mass murder she unleashed from 1896 onwards.

This raises a question: will Kagame be remembered for bringing a railroad to Rwanda, or for mass murder like his grand aunt Kanjogera? One thing is for sure….no one, not even Kagame can hide from history. For those unable to speculate the answer, history will in due course confirm Kagame’s legacy.

Dr David Himbara

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