3 June 2018

East Africa: Why I Hate Rwanda With a Passion

Photo: Daily Monitor
The love-hate relationship between Ugandans and Rwandans is passionate.
column

The love-hate relationship between Ugandans and Rwandans is passionate. We won't go into detail about that, but just so you know, I hate Rwanda. With a passion, I must add. See, I spent the last five years ebbing a breather in Kigali and all I got for that was...

Yes, Rwanda really sucks. Can you imagine Ugandans wouldn't give a damn if South Sudan signed a diaper deal with Donald Trump, but have spent weeks discussing this 'Visit Rwanda' sleeve deal with Arsenal? I mean, if Salva Kiir -- who loves Uganda like Paul Kagame loves Arsenal -- decides to book space on Museveni's mobile toilet, and they brand the sh... sorry, thing 'Visit South Sudan,' how will that affect the price of mukene in Nakasero Market?

Rwanda is bad. That tiny country has made my friend Jaluum Herberts Lwizza invest so much energy in trashing everything Rwanda and Kagame since the Arsenal deal.

The young entrepreneur is supposed to be dishing out ideas on how to start and run a business well, but has been so dedicated to trashing Kagame's running of the business called Rwanda that the other day he was on NBS Television and talking about stuff like "Even Kagame's so-called neat look is propaganda, the real Kagame dresses in tent-like oversized suits like his mentor".

He had then realised his offside remarks and corrected himself fast. The things Kagame and Rwanda are doing to Ugandans. I don't like Rwanda. Why on earth doesn't Kagame understand that African leaders are megalomaniacs by nature? They only want things big. Big belly, big shirts, big jackets and big cars. Kagame should leave those fitting suits for models and embrace the telly tubby suits that leaders like Museveni have patented.

While in Rwanda, one day I strayed into the side of Village Urugwiro. Two mean soldiers of the presidential guard approached me and asked to know why I was walking on a stretch without pavement. I told them I needed to flag a boda-boda. I explained that I was new in Rwanda. They gave me a quick ABC on using Kigali roads and asked me to use another lane.

I obliged but not without boiling inside like a faulty percolator. I was angry that these guys had not done what Ugandans believe they do for fun. Things like using a meat cleaver to lift me by the balls for straying into Urugwiro (oh, this is the president's office in Kigali) area. I expected them to take me to some dingy place with soundproof blood splattered rooms and induct me on the art and science of torture.

But those Kagame guards just redirected my footing and now I suffer the indignity of being called names when reminisce on these things. They should have given me such a fixer that Ugandans would be justified in disparaging Kagame and Rwanda. Why give Ugandans the excuse of authoritatively speculating on Rwanda by reading Daily Mail and The Sun UK instead of using a Ugandan for a first-hand account of how brutal the Kigali administration is?

And to Mr Kagame, I am willing to praise him to heaven and back if he can mete out his alleged legendary brutality on these people who won't spend an hour without rubbing it in our face that Rwanda is growing faster than Museveni's age. Kagame should order these people to either keep quiet or keep quiet. We have more pressing issues than discuss how Kagame posed with a celebrated lesbian and her wife.

Yes, it is possible to hate with a passion as long as you are hating Rwanda. The other day some Rwandan walked up to me and said I should mind my own business and not to stress over what happens across the south-western borders. He said I had run out of space on this page. Typical Rwandan!

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