Saturday, February 20, 2010

Shameless Ngango Rukara and The New Times newspaper

Many Rwandans have a Western first name and a Kinyarwanda last name (family name). But Mr Ngango Rukara's both names are in Kinyarwanda. In general, this would have suggested that this is a patriotic individual, intent on preserving his roots and culture. But reading his article yesterday in The New Times newspaper, well-known to be an RPF government mouthpiece, proves otherwise. Mr Rukara's only goal in life seems to be to perpetuate the RPF political oppression of the Rwandan population by attacking tooth and nail anyone who dares aspire to a better Rwanda, where all Rwandans are treated as human beings as enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It appears that the only aspect of Rwandan culture and history that Rukara is eager to keep, is the ability to assassinate the character of any non-violent political opposition that presents an alternative path of human rights and justice for all in Rwanda. The average citizen in Rwanda has been oppressed by the RPF regime for many years as evidenced by numerous reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. The vigour with which Mr Rukara is attacking Mrs Ingabire, a new presidential candidate, obviously proves that Rukara is very happy with the way things are in Rwanda and will use his pen to protect the ruling dictatorial regime at any cost.

The main theme of Mr Rukara's article is that presidential candidate Victoire Umuhoza Ingabire either denies the 1994 genocide or claims that there were 2 genocides. Apparently, after all these years, Rukara still cannot distinguish between a genocide, war crimes, and crimes against humanity. A month ago, in a previous response to another New Times attack, Mrs Ingabire made it clear that "I would strongly like to set the record straight regarding the genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda. My position is still and has always been that the genocide against Tutsi took place in Rwanda and all criminals should be brought to book." This was after she had been criticized for saying that "For example, we are here honouring at this Memorial the Tutsi victims of the Genocide; there are also Hutu who were victims of crimes against humanity and war crimes, not remembered or honoured here. Hutus are also suffering. They are wondering when their time will come to remember their people. In order for us to get to that desirable reconciliation, we must be fair and compassionate towards every Rwandan’s suffering. It is imperative that for Tutsi survivors, Hutu who killed their relatives understand the crimes they committed and accept the legal consequences. It is also crucial that those who may have killed Hutus understand that they must be equally punished by the laws."

As for accusing Ingabire of being a member of the rebel group FDLR, Rukara is basing himself on the one paragraph below (the only paragraph out of a 58 page UN Group of Experts report):
"The Group confirmed that the FDLR military leaders are also in phone contact with diaspora members of the FDU-Inkingi political party in Belgium, including Jean-Baptiste Mberabahizi, and Naom Mukakinani, who is married to FDU-Inkingi politician Michel Niyibizi. The Group shows below that Victoire Ingabire, the president of FDU who is based in the Netherlands, has attended “Inter Rwandan dialogue” meetings with pro-FDLR participants (see paragraph 114)." (Source: As a champion of political dialogue as a solution to Rwanda's problems, Ingabire has the right to attend conferences where all points of views are represented. That does not automatically mean that she supports the opinions of every single individual who attends at the conference. Implying otherwise, as Mr Rukara does, is simply intellectual dishonesty, which needs to be shunned.

Rukara goes on to deride Ingabire for paying homage to the grave of the late Dominique Mbonyumutwa. He describes the late Mbonyumutwa as "an extremist politician" and one of the "founders of the Genocide ideology in Rwanda." Mbonyumutwa, who served as the first (provisional) President of Rwanda is well known for his work to end the monarchy, a monarchy during which a tiny group of elites had savagely enslaved the Rwandan population for hundreds of years. Somehow, Rukara sees the establishment of a Republic in Rwanda where a leader should be elected by the people instead of appointment by birth as "extremist" and a "Genocide ideology." Two hundred years ago, Rukara's opinion could have been mainstream anywhere in the world. But this twisted logic has no place in the world today.

For Mr Ngango Rukara's obvious disregard for facts and logic in his support for the continued oppression of the Rwandan population, he now joins the growing list of inductees to the Rwanda Hall of Shame.

The New Times' web site claims that its mission is "To help become an exemplary and constructive media house." It is not exemplary and it is not constructive to publish articles whose sole purpose is character assassination of a legitimate non-violent political opposition. There is nothing exemplary or constructive about an attempt to silence the voice of a legitimate peaceful opposition presidential candidate. By publishing such unfounded partisan rant from Mr Rukara without any editorial comment to distinguish fact from fiction, The New Times joins him into the Rwanda Hall of Shame.

Below is the complete article that earned Ngango Rukara and The New Times their (dis)honour of becoming part of the Rwanda Hall of Shame (

Rwanda: The Media Shouldn't Give Succour to Ingabire's Revisionist Rhetoric

By Ngango Rukara

The New Times

19 February 2010

The Media Shouldn’t Give Succour to Ingabire’s Revisionist Rhetoric
Last month, Victoire Ingabire earned herself the most vicious distinction for being the first and only person to publicly espouse a revisionist and Genocide denial position, in relation to the Genocide against the Tutsi, on the Rwandan territory.

Indeed the kind of extremist rhetoric she has been articulating in the last month is nothing new to the Rwandan public. The difference here is that Ingabire is rubbing salt in the wounds of the Genocide survivors, right at the scene of the crime.

On her arrival in Kigali after 16 years of self-imposed exile, the top item on her agenda was an immediate visit to the Gisozi Genocide Memorial Site where, standing on the graves of the victims – 250,000 of them – Victoire Ingabire went on to tell the world that there were two Genocides in Rwanda.

Diabolic as it is, make no mistake about, Ingabire has a fringe constituency, mainly in Europe and North America who subscribe to her revisionist line. However, before Ingabire did it at Gisozi, the revisionist forces had never had a voice in Rwanda or the East African region for that matter.

For the editorial management of a respectable regional publication – The East African – to choose to give space to a known revisionist and Genocide denier, simply boggles the mind. Indeed the newspaper could easily label our observations as sentimental or even emotional. Tell that to the United Nations.

Ingabire’s dossier is much deeper than the editors at Nation Media Group think. Her membership and active role in the upper echelons of FDLR are well documented.

Victoire Ingabire’s name features prominently on United Nation’s list among the top leaders and active fund-raisers of the FDLR, an organization included on the State Department’s list of terrorist groups.

It was only this week that a senior United States legislator recommended the publishing of the names of all FDLR leaders.

Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois, Deputy Senate Majority leader, made the declaration on his visit to Goma in North Kivu, in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Victoire Ingabire is already listed and has been exposed, as member of a terrorist organization FDLR, by none other than the United Nations itself. The question is: Why should a regional publication seek to give succour to such an individual?

The objectives and outcomes of the ideology that FDLR and Ingabire represent are not a remote concept. The Rwandan people, who were at the receiving end some sixteen years ago, still remember as if it happened yesterday.

Indeed, having declared “I do not waver on my genocide ideology” some readers gave her the benefit of the doubt, believing that maybe the quote was an error that Ms Ingabire would rectify.

It’s now coming to a week and we haven’t heard any correction to that effect. Clearly, Ingabire knew what she was talking about and she shouldn’t be second-guessed.

Reports that Ingabire’s interview with The East African was masterminded by some intelligence organizations within the region, with a long history of using journalists as agents and assets, if true, do not augur well for regional stability.

Apart from re-affirming what she describes as her “genocide ideology”, the interview was a joke calculated to introduce Victoire Ingabire to The East African readers.

Her tirades against such national institutions and programmes as Gacaca, unity and reconciliation, as well as gender equality cannot be dignified with a comment, given the fact that they have been recognized the world over, for the critical role they have played in the recovery and subsequent development of the country.

Victoire Ingabire is an individual frozen in time. Ever since she was initiated into the Parmehutu mindset and view society, which evolved into the Genocide ideology in Rwanda, her view of the world has remained static.

Her ideological roots are often betrayed by the kind of language that has characterized her declarations and news releases.

Since her return last month, Ingabire has been communicating to the public through inciting but coded messages, the same language that characterized the founders of the Genocide ideology in Rwanda, including Dominique Mbonyumutwa, one of her ideological ancestors and extremist politician whose grave Ingabire visited to pay homage, soon after she arrived in the country.

And her statements in English and French, vicious as they are, sound much more sanitized compared to her Kinyarwanda versions which are designed to incite the Rwandan public.

For those granting Victoire Ingabire the platform and media channels to articulate her views, her recent interview with The East African where she doesn’t mince her words about her unwavering commitment to her Genocide ideology, should serve as a wakeup call demonstrating that to certain Rwandan politicians, Genocide is an unfinished business.