Those in the world who shared our esteem for the institutions of Great Britain must be as puzzled as we are. What’s happening, with these turns and twists that increasingly seem to expose in them a lack of direction? Just recently, it has been the paragon of media reporting objectivity itself, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), which has shocked us, with its top management suddenly coming apart like a house of cards.
But then again, we in Rwanda had seen it coming. Remember the telltales?
First, this model of unbiased reporting, BBC, started a Kirundi/Kinyarwanda programme to assist the two scarred countries of Burundi and Rwanda in 1994, as said somewhere before. But, unknown to the well-intentioned managers of the institution, the programme was hijacked by sympathisers of the bygone Habyarimana policies of divisionism who turned it into a platform for genocide denial. Would it be that some groceries exchanged hands?
Then the thitherto highly respected London Metropolitan Police confessed impotence in the face of what they purported to be a squad of killers dispatched from a ‘fly-speck’ east African country. There were illusive killers in town, they assured London residents, and they possessed no capacity to detect or stop them.
We in Rwanda looked on in bemused disbelief! Whence, the affliction of this impotence?
And that was not all because, as we were still reeling under this incredulity, a popular tabloid was shut down. In the free world of Great Britain, they saw reason to rein in errant reporters who abused their media rights. Yet it was an act that they have always assured us is a crime that can only be committed in third world countries and for which the countries must be punished.
But it would seem that shutting one tabloid was not enough. There is still some housecleaning awaiting execution. For instance, why should an editor allow the use of abusive language in respectable reportage? For information, in a news report by a Martyn Brown last November 9th, he qualifies Rwanda as a ‘rogue’ state.
This because some moribund body labelling itself the UN (yet not talking for all the nations that it’s supposed to unite) sent a bunch of innocent souls – and some not so innocent – led by a known génocidaires-apologist, Steve Hege, who, instead of doing some sincere investigation, gathered hearsay and then presented – not reports but – leaks!
Whoever rushes to heap insult on a whole people in distant lands, shouldn’t it tell them something that a whole respectable (!) organisation should allow reports by its Group of ‘Experts’ to be leaked? Shouldn’t they begin to wonder if, maybe, the reports were intended to have no life after leakage? And that maybe, just maybe, it was feared, as a friend observes, that they would likely be dead on arrival?
Under normal circumstances, a Brown in some obscure office in the UK cannot be given the liberty to insult a sovereign state, calling it a ‘rogue’ state. You and I, we and our leadership, minding our business of together working hard to regain the dignity of a country that many have fought to deprive her of, no one would be allowed to dismiss us as a ‘rogue’ society.
Mr. Brown and the good reporters of the UK, what have the humble people of Rwanda done to court your insults, since they never asked your government to touch your earnings on their behalf, meagre as those earnings most probably are?
Mr. Brown, what would you feel if I were to stoop to your unclean low – God forbid! – and express my opinion of you in the language that so easily flows off your tongue? A language which, for the sake of dignified transparency, I must force upon my tongue. And express my opinion that you are probably a same-sex scr—– son of something that slithered in – hoping my editor spares me his severe axe! Luckily for me, though, that’s not foul language in Mr. Brown’s land as, there, it describes an honourable preoccupation.
But we should keep our thick skin on and avoid being tempted to engage in language that our venerable upbringing forbade, an upbringing that we are imparting on our youth. We must keep our head level and reason. If reputable media houses like ‘The Economist’ and ‘Daily Mail’ can allow their names to be dragged in the mud, engaging in abusive language, there must be a serious reason. As Nigerians say, a toad does not run in the daytime for nothing.
Maybe the economic crunch that’s ravaging Europe and North America has something to do with these troubled and scurried searches for a scapegoat. In which case, Rwanda’s mistake is being neighbour to the “granary of the world” that’s – you guessed it! – D.R. Congo. There is no doubt that to them this “tiny but militarily powerful country” appears to be influencing the effort of all neighbours in the Great Lakes region to find a lasting solution for DRC.
That solution would sure serve a death knell to the multinationals of the West, who are the true drivers of its media, charity, rights-activist – the horde – organisations. Their politicians, some of them true friends, are hostage to this monstrous syndicate and must toe the line and swim or rebel and sink. And so the fall of honourable men like Andrew Mitchel. The very survival of Western institutions is hanging in the balance. It’s a ruthless world out there!
However, the enterprise of scrounging on others has a life span. It’s not everlasting. While they are at it, these countries and their multitude of organisations should not forget, again as Nigerians say, to find out where the rain began to beat them. Then for the first time they can begin to earn an honest living.