When Even Good News Is Bad News -Latest From Rwanda

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From our homeland, we learn two latest and unrelated developments. 1) Senior military officers have been promoted including Brig Gen Joseph Nzabamwita who is the new Intelligence chief; and Diane Gashumba is the new minister for gender and family promotion. 2) A new water treatment plant to address water crisis in Kigali was inaugurated.

These two developments are good news — promotion and water for the masses are good things indeed.

But wait. Let us closely examine the two unrelated events for a larger picture. First, the appointment of Nzabamwita and Gashumba — or more precisely, the individuals they replaced. Nzabamwita replaced General Karenzi Karake, while Gashumba replaced Minister Oda Gasinzigwa.

General Karenzi Karake on his return from a London prison in 2015
General Karenzi Karake on his return from a London prison in 2015

The case of Karenzi Karake confirms that every one in Rwanda is a victim of a totalitarian state. In states of this type world-over, every one is a donkey to be used and dumped aside when it can no longer carry a heavy load. After serving as Commander of UN/AU forces in Darfur, Sudan, Karake was dumped and even placed under house arrest allegedly for sleeping with another military officer’s wife. When, shortly, Emmanuel Ndahiro was dumped as intelligence chief, Karake was recycled and temporarily held the post. And now Karake is dumped again.

The lesson? Let Nzabamwika not celebrate too much. He will at most last a couple years.

What of our friend Oda Gisinzigwa? The photograph below captured Gisinzigwa at her most infamous moment when the became “Judas Iscariot.”

Oda sells her colleagues for some silver coins
Oda sells her colleagues for some silver coins

Judas Iscariot was, according to the Bible, one of 12 disciples of Jesus Christ. Judas was, late, to notoriously become known for betrayal of Jesus for mere thirty silver coins. Judas name, since then, is synonymous with betrayal. There are various accounts of how Judas died — but the traditional version maintains that he hanged himself following the betrayal.

For poor Oda, she sold and sealed the fate of her RPF colleagues — including Rose Kabuye, Mary Baine, Immaculée Uwanyirigira, and Anne Gahongayire. As with other people who play the Judas role, Oda has met a miserable end. She, too, has been dumped.

Back to the water story.

King Paul looking at the dirty Nyabarongo water as he inaugurates a new water plant for Kigali
King Paul looking at the dirty Nyabarongo water as he inaugurates a new water plant for Kigali

According to The New Times, the new water plant inaugurated by Kagame has “doubled the production of clean water for the city of Kigali by providing an additional 25,000 cubic meters (m3)/day.”

Wonderful! But what about the rest of the country? What about the fact that Kigali itself poisons Rwanda’s water system by dumping raw sewage in Nyabugogo/Nyabarongo water system? What about the steadily dying Nyabarongo from soil erosion, sand mining, mineral mining, and poor agricultural practices?

The disastrous state of River Nyabarongo
The disastrous state of River Nyabarongo

The regime of King Paul has no answer to these bigger issues — it rather bury its head in the sand.

By David Himbara

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