By David Himbara
The Chronicles describes itself as a news organization committed to “its original policy of investing in investigative and interpretive journalism” dedicated to “serving the citizens’ right to know the truth about what is done or not done in their name.” But, suddenly, The Chronicles is sounding like propaganda machine for the ruling regime. Take for example The Chronicles’ review of Michela Wrong’s book, Do Not Disturb, which is one of the most comprehensive studies of General Paul Kagame’s murderous rule over the past 27 years. The review of Michela’s work leaves no doubt as to how low the newspaper has sunk. The Chronicles’ review is titled “Michela Wrong’s Love Affair With Patrick Karegeya Is All Over Her Book’s Pages.” The Chronicles reduces the voluminous 576-page study of the violence unleashed on the people of Rwanda in and outside the country to sex. Then there is the case of Paul Rusesabagina. According to The Chronicles, “Rusesabagina brought himself to Kigali. It is a situation of when a house owner lets the rat walk up to the trap with the allure of that piece. Rusesabagina was gullible. He has nobody to blame, but himself. President Paul Kagame cannot be held responsible for the mess that people like Rusesabagina get themselves into. He has a job to do, a difficult one to say the least, and that is to deliver service to his electorate.”
How did The Chronicles degenerate from investigative journalism to a propaganda tool? The paper’s degeneration has to do with what befell its founder, Dr. Christopher Kayumba. The regime has ruined him, beginning with his mysterious arrest at Kigali International Airport in December 2019 as he was about to board an aircraft for an overseas trip. After spending a year in prison, Kayumba launched his Rwandese Platform for Democracy (RPD) after which he was arrested on trumped charges. Kayumba’s life remains in danger, after he went on a hunger strike to protest the injustice unleashed on him. The Chronicles’ abandonment of its investigative journalism roots couldn’t have happened at a worse time. Rather than defend Kayumba’s rights and similar cases, The Chronicles has joined Kayumba’s jailer. Stay tuned.