By David Himbara
Dear Kizito Mihigo, I have sad news. Nearly three months after you went to heaven, I discovered something that will no doubt disappoint you. Some of your followers rightly denounce the regime of General Paul Kagame but strangely praise the regime of General Juvenal Habyarimana. Dear Mihigo, this is appalling. The people who fall in this category have already forgotten what you told us in plain language. This is what you said:
“I was thrown in prison in April 2014 by the Tutsi totalitarian RPF regime, exactly twenty years after the death of my father murdered by the extremist Hutu regime of the MRND.”
Dear Mihigo, rest assured that not all is lost. There are some who follow you and detest all post-independence dictators in Rwanda, and look towards a more promising future when Rwanda will finally become free from dictatorship. I count myself in this group.
Rwandans who belong to this thinking fully recognize that each dictator in Rwanda came to power by brutally killing the reigning dictator. General Juvenal Habyarimana overthrew Gregoire Kayibanda, murdered his entire cabinet, and starved him to death. Kayibanda, the father of the Hutu revolution died in poverty under Habyarimana house arrest. Habyarimana himself was shot from the sky to pave the way for the next dictator. In its 58 years of independence, Rwanda has never experienced a peaceful transfer of power.
Further, Rwandans who belong to this thinking are fully aware that Rwandan dictators have two other similarities. They changed the constitution to remain in power. And while in power, each dictator won elections by nearly 100 percent in a system of one-party state.
Dear Mihigo, in conclusion, I say this to you – you have a way of forcing out the truth in the open. You always manage to challenge us to look into the mirror and take a hard look at our honest selves, taking time for introspection. You ask us to pose these hard questions to ourselves: Are we really committed to a democratic, united, and reconciled Rwanda free from dictatorships? Or do we use such rhetoric while in reality we hide in self-deception deeply embedded in tribal psychology?
Any Rwandan who claims to be a Mihigo follower would do well to look into the mirror for self-analysis. A quiet soul-searching can be extremely valuable – all of us Mihigo followers need to do this.
May God Bless Kizito Mihigo,
Your humble follower, David Himbara