When Rwandans are busy doing the job they love most, that of building their country, the least they want to see is some feeble effort at diverting their attention to engage them in some cheap debate. Ssemujju Ibrahim Nganda, a columnist with ‘The Weekly Observer’ of Uganda, is at it again this time giving Rwandans the lip that they have lost their legendary courtesy. And that is not all; he goes beyond that to accuse them of distorting their own history!
Surely to assert that Rwandans have ever shown disrespect to President Yoweri K. Museveni and failed to appreciate the role that he played in the liberation of their country is to peddle a blatant lie. Why else have they just decorated him with the highest honour of their land? Personally, however, I think the biggest insult to Rwandans is to assert that they do not recognise Maj. Gen. Fred Rwigema as their first commander! Does Semujju say this knowing that the late Major General lies in Heroes’ Corner as their most decorated hero?
If Ssemujju wants to be useful to anybody, I think he would do better to concentrate on teaching his two sons, Ssemujju II and Ssemujju III (even ‘I’ if there is any!) that limping will not improve their lot, even if their father has lately taken to it! He may want to advise his Ugandan leaders not to call anybody “nani” or not to wear wide-brimmed hats after their boss, but Ssemujju does service to nobody when he accuses the Rwandan Patriotic Front/Army (RPF/A) of cheating history, which history he hardly has any knowledge of.
When the Rwandan leadership has demonstrated its aversion to a return to the media bickering that risked tearing their sisterhood cord at one time, by reining in their overenthusiastic journalists, the least anybody who loves the two countries would want is to rock the boat. Ssemujju slights Gen. James Kabarebe for stating that apart from President Paul Kagame “….There was nobody else to re-organise soldiers after the October 2 1990 setback….” I can’t say I was there, but I am reliably informed that RPA had truly been all but routed save for the arrival of Kagame to meticulously set about re-organising them into a fighting force once again.
If Ssemujju believes what he says and that “History must be told truthfully with all honesty even if it makes you inferior”, then there it is and the burden is on him to identify who it makes inferior. That anybody can be angered by being reminded that at one time they were young is too laughable to even consider seriously. I think Rwandans know best their history and how they corrected it and Semujju has no business teaching them whom to copy to rewrite it. Rwandans know best how their courageous sons and daughters fell on the battlefield and revising the facts can only be an exercise in self-amusement.
Well-wishers on both sides of the border can only laud the excellent relations existing again between the two sister-nations. They should treat these distractions by Ssemijju and ilk with the contempt they deserve.