Every cloud has a silver lining. For the people of Rwanda, the Coronavirus, disastrous as it is, has some positive aspects. Instead of being forced to listen political rhetoric by General Paul Kagame, Rwandans – Twa, Hutu, Tutsi – should reflect in their homes how to jump his poisonous ship.
The infamous date of April 6 has once again arrived. That is when in 1994 a power vacuum created by the killing of the Rwandan military ruler, General Juvénal Habyarimana unleashed the genocide against Tutsi in which over one million people perished. Side by side of this loss, the new would-be liberators led by General Paul Kagame massacred still unknown numbers of Hutu. Since 1994, a genocide commemoration takes place which revolves around the killings of Tutsi but is silent on other Rwandan killings.
The 2020 Genocide Commemoration is different because of the Coronavirus
The 2020 genocide commemoration in Rwanda will be different, however. The commemoration will be done indoors and by families locked inside their homes hiding from a new and different killer – Coronavirus and the disease it creates, Covid19. There will be no invitation of high dignitaries, celebrities and VIPs to watch genocide replays in stadiums. Tutsi families won’t visit the museums shelves to be with the bones of their relatives. There will be no accusing fingers pointing to members of the Hutu community that as a group, they had direct or indirect role in the genocide 26 years ago. In other words, this year all Rwandans – Twa, Hutu, and Tutsi will be at the same level, locked up in their homes.
Within confinement, Rwandans are either alone or with the roof mates, staying at home, and waiting for the epidemic deadly curve to be softened by frontline health fighters. Make no mistake, the Coronavirus has changed everything in Rwanda and globally. The world’s population of 7.8 billion people are confined in houses, wearing masks, gloves and eye glasses. We watch or read news without knowing what is true or false, distanced from beloved, not attending or burying relatives, friends and siblings. Religious ceremonies including baptisms, communion, weddings are cancelled until further notice. Economies are on hold as worldwide commerce shutters. Sports tournaments have been postponed, planes have been grounded, executive presidential jets garaged and while country borders are sealed.
Apocalypse? No. On the contrary, like often used expression “every cloud has a silver lining”, Coronavirus is provoking the human zeal to overcome the worst and nature the positive, including human survival. Researchers from all corners of the world are coming together to experiment diagnostic tools, analyse data and find the best treatment to COVID19. Russia, China and Cuba brought some of their expertise to Europe even USA as part of global solidarity. Former enemies are putting aside their differences in the quest for the bigger purpose of saving lives.
What of Rwanda? Does Coronavirus have a silver lining there too? Could it be that in this year genocide remembrance period, Rwandans could think deeper about the future? As they stay locked up in their homes, could see clearly identify the real disease infecting the whole Rwandan society, the region and even the entire African continent?
In fact, we Rwandans already knew the answer to these questions long before the Coronavirus struck in December 2019.
The time has come for distancing from Paul Kagame and his satanic regime and set on the new course towards a unified nation rich in the diversities of Twa, Hutu and Tutsi traditions. Even the diehard Kagame supporters deep down know that it is game-over. The only question that remains is when the diehards will jump the Kagame sinking ship. The Covid19 lockdown is a silver line – it gives the people of Rwanda to reflect on how to distance themselves from the Kagame virus-infected ship.