News about Rwigara family’s tribulations caused by Rwandan authorities have recently been reported widely by a number of information outlets, particularly foreign. One case of injustice has seemingly overtaken others apparently unduly, considered the scale of oppression of the regime in place in Rwanda. However, its morality appears being overlooked by those following closely the Rwandan political scenery.
The case of harassment of the family by the Rwandan regime, to understand here president Paul Kagame and his inner circle seeking his properties and other assets, has a moral dimension worth exploring that many Rwandans have raised commenting on different articles on the issue. The case is not unique.
It is not the first time neither the last that this is happening to Rwandans. And as long as the Rwandan Patriotic Front is ruling, the practice will continue occurring because it is part of its trademark. In fact, the experience lived by that family might be applied across the country at different times and levels of people who at a given period supported RPF, but fall in disgrace sometime after.
From the early period of the RPF struggle to gain power in Rwanda, there are Rwandans who, for their own reasons backed the rebel group, financially and through other means (disloyalty to the incumbent regime of Habyarimana, offering manpower to RPF fighting forces, etc). All that support enabled the rebellion to get victory in July 1994. Today it could be rightly said that there is no doubt that RPF could have hardly got where it is without them.
Throughout the years, RPF has evolved to become a terrorist organisation with practices significantly atrocious and sophisticated in refinement so much so that the historical mafia looks as an unfinished model of criminality in comparison. The italian mafia, however powerful it was, never had a country, a government, embassies, an army, and other aspects that a normal national entity holds, but RPF does.
Back to Rwigara case and its morality considerations. As many know, RPF didn’t wait to disappoint a good number of its supporters. The story of Tutsi from Burundi who sent their children to the battle-field to fight in RPF ranks but learnt instead about their deliberate killing by those from Uganda, and Paul Kagame in the lead, is widely known in the milieu.
The apparent motive of the massive assassinations of those Tutsi from Burundi was that they were more educated and could, once victory won, – and it was feared -, become the most suited leaders of the group. Hence, in the context of the rebel movement, therefore being educated became a dangerous treat for those with not broad formal education, but them too seeking positions of leadership. President Paul Kagame falling in the non highly educated category, and then being a non-elected but feared leader of the rebellion, made sure that the danger was removed.
Once victory was theirs, and everything was for grab, greed took over in president Kagame and close inner circle. Power and whatever goes with it became monopolised in his hands. He started assassinating those who had put him on the throne. The lucky ones managed to escape into exile. The list is too long to name some few individuals because it wouldn’t be fair on those left out.
While RPF killing machine eliminated those its leader considered as threats to his power and or unsatisfiable thirst of wealth, it didn’t stop from having supporters. Once dispossessed of the things that sometimes themselves had taken away unduly from others, guided as well by their own greed, they would hang on the little the great master hadn’t yet shown interest in. But as time went by, he would eventually come after everything they had, even more ruthlessly than initially.
All the time they had lent support to president Kagame, that had provided him with more forces to do more harm to others. This meaning they had been accomplices of his numerous crimes today documented by many international organisations and reported about by global media outlets like BBC 2 in Rwanda Untold Story.
The moral issue highlighted here about the supporters of Kagame and his criminal organisation RPF is this: once they were on the oppressive side, they seem comfortable in their role because they ate on the master’s table; when things turned ugly for them and they became the targets of the killing machine they had sharpened, they cried out sometime to those they contributed to their oppression previously.
The lesson from these cases in the Rwandan contest is, for anyone still supportive of president Paul Kagame and his RPF oppressive structures, to distance themselves from them as soon as possible. It is never too late to seek and see the light. And for the victims to forgive those who yesterday were their oppressors, otherwise they won’t be different from them, whatever the means at their disposal to express their disgust or oppression towards them.