“I have never seen a government capitulate so much”: Philemon Mateke

By Philemon Mateke, PhD

I just spoke with Mr. David Ngarambe, the father of the Kisoro boy killed by Rwandan security agents under the flimsy pretext of ‘Smuggling’ to share my personal condolences. Ngarambe, whose family I have known since he was born, is devastated. We hail from the same area.

To those in Kampala who, in the safety of your being faraway from the border are buying into the other side’s concocted conspiracies against me, ask the people of Kisoro/Kabale whose children are being killed everyday through freak border incidents and clandestine assassinations

The people facing these bullets are my constituents with whom we’ve worked together for decades to develop our district. I will speak for them even if their own gov’t won’t, out of its timidity of its neighbor, and desperation to ‘restore’ non-existent ‘good’ ‘relations’

I have never seen a government capitulate so much. You release people who have committed the highest crimes against our country in a bid to restore inexistent ‘relations’ and they respond by shooting more of your own people, and you run for the hills!

This time the victims are my own people and I won’t be quiet. The people of Kisoro were in crosshairs of Belgians, French and British from the 1800s to 1920 and we fought and survived. We are mountain people and we will survive this onslaught even if Kampala doesn’t defend us

As for their accusations against me, do not be fooled. It’s their art of deception. They have to create a strawman, a fictitious ‘enemy’ by concocting absurd racialised conspiracy theories against me to divert their own people’s attention away from their brutal dictatorship

If they accuse me of being ‘hateful’ simply because I am of a different racial identity, what reasons do they have against thousands of their Tutsi opponents, many of whom have been killed or hounded into exile, where they are being hunted by assassins across the world?

The people of Rwanda (whom I know will never be afforded the right to see/hear of this message) should know that I am not their enemy. None of their rulers’ accusations against me has an iota of truth in them. Their enemy is within. Don’t believe everything your rulers tell you.

As for my counterpart, Hon. Nduhungirehe, (who I believe is, at heart, a decent man), remember time will come when you will outlive your usefulness, and your current masters, like they’ve done to many of your predecessors, will get rid of you, and you will be lucky to live to tell the tale.