Condescending attitude isn’t what Rwandans expect from relations with the West

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Condescending attitude isn't what Rwandans expect from relations with the West
Condescending attitude isn't what Rwandans expect from relations with the West

Africa-PressRwanda. It’s been decades since European colonialism ended in Africa; however, its pathology and mentality is still so pervasive, transmitted from one generation to the next, as those who once colonized the continent seek to impose their will on the African people.

It’s a mindset characterized by superiority complex and white privilege, whereby former colonizers continue to believe they know better, than our own leaders, what is good for us and won’t hesitate to tell them what to do.

Pretending to be friends and allies, they pursue an agenda designed to perpetuate their dominance, with irrational demands disguised as advice. And then it is a matter of time before they start to actively interfere in our affairs, telling us who our leaders should be and how we should be governed.

They display a sense of benevolence, with a sacred duty to act as custodians of universal values.

For many years now, Rwanda has had more than its share of this unsolicited intrusion, which by all accounts doesn’t seem to be abating anytime soon.

When some of the prominent individuals who have been presenting themselves to Western countries as political activists, opposed to the government of Rwanda, were prosecuted and convicted for some serious crimes, which have ranged from the case involving Ismail Mbonigaba who was, in October 2018, convicted by a Canadian court of sexual assault on children and sent to prison for 32 months, to Rene Mugenzi who was, two months ago, handed a 27-month prison sentence for stealing hundreds of thousands of pounds from a Church in the United Kingdom (UK), few people in Rwanda, and indeed the diaspora, were surprised.

By the time the law in the host countries caught up with them, they had preyed on vulnerable members of Rwandan communities, leaving in their wake countless victims of extortion and blackmail, where they particularly targeted asylum seekers.

Through manipulation and quite often complicity of the media, they position themselves as political as well as human rights activists, whose lives are purportedly under threat from the government of Rwanda.

When Mugenzi first appeared in court, charged with theft, he sought to employ the ploy he had often used to promote false allegations against Rwanda, in an attempt to keep the media in the UK from reporting on the charges he stood accused of.

Even as a suspect on trial, Mugenzi was confident he could still game the British system to hide the truth about his crimes from the public.

He filed an application seeking a court order to ban the news media in the UK from covering the story, claiming the publicity would reveal his identity and other details which would endanger his life.

Initially, he was granted the anonymity he applied for, until a newspaper in Norfolk exposed it as a scam Mugenzi had orchestrated for a long time, prompting the court to rescind it.

At the hearing, the magistrate ruled that Mugenzi’s purported fears for his life “were not well-founded and had no reliable support”.

The allegations dismissed by the court are the same Mugenzi and his fellow Rwanda National Congress (RNC) members in the UK and elsewhere have been peddling.

It should be recalled that the RNC is a terrorist organization which has, on multiple innocent people.

The most striking thing, however, is that even after a judge in the UK found accusations against Rwanda baseless, some European governments somehow think that the government of Rwanda should address whatever falsehoods these groups are going to put out there.

It is very condescending and preposterous for these governments to think that they are going to relate to Rwanda by way of demands and petitions that are against the interests of the Rwandan people.

The RNC leaders, including Mugenzi and Australia-based Noel Zihabamwe, quoted in a recent BBC article, by Andrew Harding, have figured out that making such hostile accusations against Rwanda, not only help promote their smear campaign but also furthers their personal profiles.

They have, over the years, abused asylum application mechanisms, through malicious and tailored narratives, falsely claiming to be fleeing political persecution.

They have counselled and coached Rwandans simply seeking a new life in the West to allege political victimization by the government back home, in order to be granted residence.

In many instances, countries in the West have rejected such unfounded claims against Rwanda and there are numerous cases where the claimants were deported after their allegations were found to be fabrications and have been peacefully going about their businesses in the country.

Nonetheless, those determined to live in the West devise other ways as their script and nationality keep changing, depending on which country is making the headlines for violence and instability and it won’t come as a surprise if some of them soon turn up in the West claiming to be fleeing the war in the Tigray region of Ethiopia.

Still the deceptive and false claims of persecution that have long been part of the smear campaign against Rwanda, have worked for some, including criminals.

It is strategy that has helped numerous fugitives who planned and carried out the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi to be granted asylum in the West. In October when Rene Mugenzi was beginning his prison term in the UK, authorities in the Netherlands, in the same week arrested his father Joseph Mugenzi on charges related to crimes of genocide.

Many jurisdictions in Europe have tried and convicted genocide criminals on their territories, while others have sent them here to be tried by Rwandan courts, yet the governments making ridiculous demands on Rwanda have neither tried a single genocide suspect in their countries, nor sent here anyone among them, to be tried by the jurisdiction where they committed the crimes.

Their identities, as well as involvement in the genocide have been widely covered by the news media all over Europe, but these particular states have ignored the demands by genocide survivors, for justice.

Before Joseph Mugenzi was arrested, he was spending his time working hard to portray the government of Rwanda as repressive, similar to the propaganda his son Rene Mugenzi – now a convict himself – and his RNC and Forces Démocratiques de Libération du Rwanda (FDLR) associates have been spreading.

It’s incomprehensible as to why certain European countries, for whatever agenda, would want to entertain lies which have evidently been debunked by their own courts.

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