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Respect Ingabire’s death; do not exploit it for nefarious gain

The death by gunshot of one Charles Ingabire has been in some foreign media for a few days.

Charles Ingabire, according to some news reports, was a jour­nalist highly critical of President Kagame.

When we learnt of this man’s death and tried to recall whether there has ever been a journalist in Rwanda called Charles Ingabire, we drew a blank. Apparently other local journalists had no idea who Ingabire was. The local staffer of Reuters, Themistocle Hakizimana for instance, called The Rwanda Focus a couple of days after Ingabire’s death last Wednesday, asking whether we knew who the man was.

We know of any number of Rwandan journalists that we can describe as virulently critical of Kagame – Nelson Gatsimbazi, Fidel Gakire, Bos­co Gasasira, Bonaventure Bizumuremyi, Charles Kabonero, and others. Some of these journalists live in Kigali and go about their business of manufacturing fictitious stories that will turn them into heroes. Others have achieved their objective of becoming darlings of international hu­man and media rights groups, and left the country to get political asylum in much wealthier countries than Rwanda. Others, most notably Charles Kabonero, are and have been living in Kampala and making a lot of mon­ey from NGOs supposedly championing human and media rights. But, until recently, no one had ever heard of Charles Ingabire, never mind that media in some neighbouring countries are running amok describing how this alleged scribe was a thorn in the side of Kigali.

But of course there is a cottage industry out there of individuals and groups whose mission is to demonize the Kigali administration at each and every opportunity, and they wouldn’t let the death of someone like Ingabire go without exploiting it to the maximum, to drive their narrative of a Rwanda that few of us who live in it know. It is a Rwanda of supposed repression, and gross abuse of human rights and alleged lack of media freedoms and every horrible situation you can think of. Any honest per­son that has ever visited Rwanda longer than a week would tell you this is an entirely fictitious Rwanda. Not that anyone claims we live in some Valhalla, but which society lacks its own problems?

The death of any person in the circumstances the poor man Ingabire, whoever he was, met his end is always cause for suspicion. Who shot this person, and why? If it were the Rwandan government responsible, what interest would it have in the death of a totally obscure person – an alleged journalist that not a single person in a Rwandan media house knew?

The decent thing for the yammering jackals raising their cacophony about how Kigali supposedly is behind the deceased’s death would be to just shut up and not cause further distress to his family. Let the Ugandan authorities investigate the killing, and after they have come up with their reports, at least talk from a little bit of informed perspective.

But jackals cannot be decent, so they will go on yammering even when they have not the flimsiest evidence to back what they yammer about.

Posted by on Dec 5 2011. Filed under Editorial. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

6 Comments for “Respect Ingabire’s death; do not exploit it for nefarious gain”

  1. “But jackals cannot be decent, so they will go on yammering even when they have not the flimsiest evidence to back what they yammer about.”

    Perhaps Rwanda Focus could do with some of its own advice. Seemed to be “yammering” a lot in this editorial. Now let’s see if you’ll have the decency to publish this comment!

  2. Let the opposition respects the death of this young man ! Let the police completes its investigation ! Time now is for sorrow not speculation ! Please respect the dead !

  3. They wrote: The Silent Funeral of an Exiled Journalist, Tom Rhodes

    Any leader who comes across the two article is left in wondering whether the two articles are talking about the same Ingabire charles. I think it is high time that we let the leaders be the judge. below are a few comparison between the two articles from different sources. I would want to believe that your mentioning names like Charlesd Kabonero directly and insinuating that they are minting money from NGO’s is uncalled for and does not go well with responsible journalism. I do not know know Kabonero nor do I need to know him to smell arat between you two. I have listened to you several times on the “Hard talk show” on one of the local stations and I think you personalize urguments and in this article you seem to have gone a little further and in your article you seem to be doing exactly against the same topic of not exploiting Ingabire’s death for nefarious gains.

    1.You write
    When we learnt of this man’s death and tried to recall whether there has ever been a journalist in Rwanda called Charles Ingabire, we drew a blank. Apparently other local journalists had no idea who Ingabire was. The local staffer of Reuters, Themistocle Hakizimana for instance, called The Rwanda Focus a couple of days after Ingabire’s death last Wednesday, asking whether we knew who the man was.

    They write

    It is certainly too early to point fingers at anyone for the murder. The online journalist hardly practiced journalism while in Rwanda, except for a brief period at Umuco, a newspaper banned in 2008. Once Ingabire left Rwanda in 2007, he worked briefly for another publication, Umuvugizi (which has also periodically been banned), before he launched Inyenyeri News. The website appeared to be well read both inside and outside Rwanda, local journalists told me

    You write.
    Others, most notably Charles Kabonero, are and have been living in Kampala and making a lot of money from NGOs supposedly championing human and media rights. But, until recently, no one had ever heard of Charles Ingabire, never mind that media in some neighbouring countries are running amok describing how this alleged scribe was a thorn in the side of Kigali.

    They write

    The quiet, quick funeral is indicative of the trials and tribulations exiled Rwandan journalists face. Some media columnists claim their colleagues fled Rwanda in order to “get rich from international NGOs” or to get “quick resettlement” to a Western country. Nothing could be further from the truth. In all the cases of Rwandan exiled journalists I have encountered, the journalists have left with heavy hearts and light pockets, to live a destitute existence in a neighboring country. For those who apply for resettlement, the arduous process takes years. Worse, none of them feel safe even after they have settled outside Rwanda. Many of the mourners at Ingabire’s funeral told Bagala they lived in the outskirts of Kampala and feared the city center because of the heavy presence of agents there

    Regards,

    Manzi

  4. @Manzi,
    And your point is?

    Is Tom Rhodes an authority on this subject? Does he possess information that you and I and every Tom, Dick and Harry does not? Probably even less than them if they are Rwandan Tom, Dick or Harry. And when you say “Any leader who comes across the two articles …” you presumably mean “readers” rather than those who have followers.

  5. @Manzi,
    And your point …?
    The leader by The Rwanda Focus merely advises that people await the outcome of the police investigations before polluting the public arena with their totally unsubstantiated suspicions. Accusing any party of a crime with nary a shred of proof is the preserve of fiction writers and unhinged conspiracy nuts rather than serious commentators. As for the incessant broken-record fact-free vituperations of the likes of the RSF against Rwanda, all it does is to discredit them even more. And when you link to an article such as that of this Tom Rhodes, could you please let us know why you believe he is an authority on this subject. In what way are his views in this case superior to even the least informed Rwandan Tom, Dick or Harry?
    Finally, don’t you mean “reader” instead of “leader”?

  6. @Manzi to whom are you addressing your comment? Sounds like you are addressing the comment to a specific individual yet the above article is an editorial by The Rwanda Focus. Get educated first before you embarrass yourself.

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