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Michela Wrong’s Rwanda hatchet job

Wrong relied on  Kayumba Nyamwasa and many other enemies of Kagame to tell the Rwandan story.

During the cold war, the Americans, French, British, and Russians intervened in other countries using coups, civil wars, and targeted assassinations.

The Americans attempted to assassinate Castro 76 times yet he never sought to attack the USA, just to be independent of it. After 9/11, the America government adopted a policy of preemptive war to any threat anywhere. The American state has carried out coups, assassinations or sponsored civil wars and terrorist activities in Iraq, Syria, El Salvador, Guatemala, Cambodia, Angola, Mozambique Afghanistan, Pakistan, Grenada, Vietnam, Libya etc. Would Wrong accuse any U.S. president of being a violent psychopath because of this?

This is the problem I have with many Western scholars, journalists and diplomats. When something is done by their countries, they focus on the national policy that informs the decision, not the personality of the leader who made it. They can criticise the policy but rarely do they attribute it to some mental or psychological pathology of the leader.

When the same thing is done by an African leader, they ignore the circumstances that informed such a decision and accuse the individual leader of madness or psychopathy. I hate to use the word racism. But if this is not racism, what is it? Wrong quotes Keregyeya’s well-articulated explanation for Rwanda’s extraterritorial operations. Yet she ignores that explanation and presents such policy as the product of a Kagame’s psychopathy.

Wrong goes a notch higher. She claims Rwanda’s growth figures are distorted and that IMF does not respect them. All she needed to do is visit the IMF website or contact its Africa department. When highly respected world political leaders like Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, George Bush etc. religious leaders like Pastor Rick Warren or business leaders like Bill Gates and Howard Buffet or world renown academics like Michael Potter and Paul Farmer hail Kagame, Wrong claims it is because of guilt about the genocide or ignorance of basic facts about Rwanda.

Yet across the globe, celebrities from Hollywood, leaders of China and India, leaders of other African nations, the world’s leading sports stars, authors, prelates and intellectuals all marvel at the achievements of Rwanda under Kagame’s leadership. Many Africans I take to Rwanda are awed by its transformation. To Wrong all these people are stupid to buy Kagame’s propaganda, ignorant or guilty. Jesus! Only one person in the world, with a small army of human rights Taliban, and whose source of information are enemies of Kagame, knows the truths about that country – and that is Michela Wrong.

By abandoning journalistic principles of truths and accuracy, fairness and balance, Wrong relied on Karegyeya, Kayumba Nyamwasa and many other enemies of Kagame to tell the Rwandan story. In the process, she denied her readers basic facts about Kagame and post genocide Rwanda.

On so many issues – from how Karegyeya and Kayumba fell out with Kagame, their claims that they asked for retirement, on the issue of the exploitation of Congolese resources, on the issue of Karegyeya’s daughter’s visit to Kampala and getting a Ugandan passport, on how Kayumba went to study in the UK in 2001, on the killing of Seth Sendashonga, on the election of Kagame as chairman of RPF, Wrong reproduces fabrications, distortions and outright lies.

Wrong even claims that it is Karegyeya who advised Kagame to “sponsor” my newspaper, The Independent, when the facts were in front of her. Karegyeya fell out with Kagame in 2004 when I was employed by Daily Monitor with no plans of establishing my own newspaper. I left Monitor in 2006 to go to Stanford University and returned in 2007. I resigned from Monitor in August of that year and The Independent was born in December 2007, after Karegyeya had escaped from Rwanda to exile.

Space does not allow a detailed demonstration of the lies and distortions she indulges in. I reserve that for another article. In all, Wrong’s `Do Not Disturb’ is not a work of journalism but a propaganda hatchet job no Western publisher would have entertained about a Western country. She did it because she knew she was writing about Africa where Western publishers do not care about the factual veracity of the work.

This is not to say that Wrong is wrong in every claim she makes against Kagame or that the Rwandan president is without weaknesses. Rather, anyone who knows Kagame and Rwanda would agree that his many weaknesses pale into insignificance when set side by side with his contribution to Rwanda’s reconstruction of genocide to sustained growth.

At the funeral of Africa’s political and intellectual giant, Kwame Nkrumah, one of our continent’s greatest revolutionaries, the great Amilcar Cabral, reminded us of two African proverbs which Rwandans should note. First is that no man’s hand, however big, can be used to cover the sky. No number of books by anyone can be used to hide the gigantic achievements of post genocide Rwanda under Kagame’s leadership. Second, that those who try to spit at the sky end up spitting in their own faces. In trying to tarnish the name of Kagame, Wrong has soiled her own reputation.

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amwenda@independent.co.ug 

9 comments

  1. This is a good introduction.
    You have raised all the questions to which we seek answers.
    In a court of law, this would be called reasonable doubt.
    But if you are going to fully acquit your client, you are going to have to be the fictional Perry Mason and not the modern miracle workers our lawyers today purport themselves to be. I am a rational reader (a rarity on this website) but I am also a voraciously hungry seeker of knowledge.
    I look forward to the rest of this….. this.

  2. JUST DO NOT BELIEVE KAGAME KAGAME STORIES RWANDA STORIES STORIES DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY LINKED TO RWANDA …….. THESE TRAGEDIES AND KILLINGS OF YESTERDAY TODAY AND TOMORROW
    ARE WERE AND STILL ARE ABOUT THE SCATTERINGS AND PLUNDERINGS OF AFRICA NATIONS

  3. I have not seen this specific book but another book by the same Wrong is very compelling. I think it is called
    Ordinary Miracles The book delves into the failing of the African dream in a number of sampled African countries. Now that she has delved into the murky history of genocide Rwanda, the first thing M9 does is to rush and neutralize this bad press. I think at this time in M9 journalist career, stories related to murder intrigue and politics, very few of his readers believe a word of what he says.Am certain that every single death of Rwandans for what ever reason makes humanity cringe.the ‘ the genocide taught them nothing’ and today they move allover the world blaming everyone except themselves for this tragedy. If what ms Wrong writes is a pack of Falsehood’s, then nobody need read their book but am certain this piece has increase the sales of that book. If you read and of her books then you are oready hooked . I hope nobody bans the book
    Thank you

  4. Andrew Mwenda really has no integrity at all. It is funny how you can be so critical of Museveni, and be right about it sometimes, yet you do mental gymnastics to suck up to PK.
    As a Rwandan we all know what Michela Wrong writes about is true. Stop trying to do damage control for your masters. You can fool some of the people for sometime but you can’t fool everyone all the time.

  5. There is a lot of truth in what Wrong is saying,infact she is like Mwenda, sometimes even Him shows his inner feelings in his articles…So he can punch holes in Wrong’s piece but not enough to discredt it.

  6. Tunku Abdul Rahman

    I am reading the last chapter and boy, is the book good! I recommend it to everyone who wants to know how the Great Lakes region got into the mess it was thrown into from 1990 to date!

  7. Ssempijja Stephen

    I got this from that book ‘ Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me

  8. Andrew Andrew Andrew! You remind me of my self. I got a Ph.D. six years ago and consider myself brilliant and an intellectual yet to my disappointment, I have published only two peer review papers and alas I am realizing that maybe I am not as brilliant as I thought I was, because even some of my own students have published more copiously. …and here is where I part ways with you…recognizing that my limitations.
    But you Andrew, are very quick to criticize a brilliant piece of work ( which I read and is based on truth) simply because you are kowtowing to Kagame. Write your own version of the story and that would be the best indictment of Michaela Wrong. But of course you will not. Because as I have discovered as an aspiring writer, it is easier to criticize other peoples work to make yourself look brilliant than create your own!

  9. At this rate of lying about liars (in form), AM must be a Munyarwanda.

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