By David Himbara
Today, I looked at my copy of Sowing The Mustard Seed by President Yoweri Museveni. The parts of the book on his parents Mzee Amosi Kaguta and Maama Esteeri Kokundeka, and their struggles for a better life for their family are most touching. This is a story of an African family trying to survive in colonial Africa. And that is how we should remember Mzee Amosi Kaguta and Maama Esteeri Kokundeka — decent people who tried to raise their children in difficult social and economic conditions. Bless them.
Now, look at what just happened in our homeland — Rwanda. Never in my entire life have I seen something like this — General Paul Kagame’s newspapers trashed Museveni and Mzee Amosi Kaguta and Maama Esteeri Kokundeka. It is not worth repeating the trash the Kagame newspapers wrote.
What is extraordinary about the ugly things the newspapers wrote is that in our Rwandan culture, we respect folks who passed on. In the Rwandan culture my mother and father taught me, the fundamental principle of human dignity includes especially the departed ones. We respect them for who they were when they were alive. We respect them for having lived, breathed, and worked hard to raise families and communities. The standard trope is: de mortuis nil nisi bonum — “Of the dead say nothing but good”.
Kagame and his newspapers have no sense of Rwandan culture, or any culture for that matter. Kagame and his newspapers are an embarrassment to the people of Rwanda. This is the most disgraceful thing I have ever seen. Just when you think that Kagame has taken us flat-out to rock bottom emotionally, mentally, and spiritually, then this.
We reassure Museveni and Ugandans that Kagame and newspapers do not reflect Rwandan culture. Rwandans are decent people who respect the living and the dignity of the departed. Dear Lord, forgive Kagame and his people for they know not what they do.