GENOCIDE TRIALS : Venues distort and deny justice.

Recent news from the ICTR in Arusha has NOT been good, deeply worrying, if you ask me. Reversal of convictions and outright acquitals have to worry all of us.

What is next? Release all the genocidaires, and deny that genocide against Tutsi did NOT take place?

If you can slap the chief architect and mastermind of the genocide, BAGOSORA, with a mere 35-year sentence, reduced from life imprisonment, what message are you sending?

If Bagosora cannot be held to account, then Judas Iscariot must be pronounced innocent. Where will this end? More importantly, what is the agenda behind all this? Or should we take a close look at Judge Theodore Melon’s background and connections? Where there is smoke, there might be fire. You think?

More than a billion dollars has been spent in Arusha, and ONLY a score of convictions, and more acquitals. The reported malfeasance at ICTR should have forced the Security Council to ask uncomfortable questions and fix the system. But no, it is business as usual, as all sorts of actors build up retirement accounts at the expense of Rwandans that needlessly perished. I am told ICTR staff in Arusha, judges and all, enjoy lifestyles they never dreamt of in their countries.

It seems like a bad dream, that Bagosora has been treated with kid gloves — this unrepentant monster of a man who walked out of the Arusha peace talks and promised to unleash the apocalypse against the Tutsi. That he has a chance to ever spend another single day as a free man is not only repulsive but a mockery of justice.

In comparison, the GACACA system has tried over 100,000 people and dispensed justice, with limited resources. Most of those tried were average citizens. Those being tried in Arusha on the other hand, so-called BIG FISH, well financed and oiled, should also be tried in Rwanda where they commited the alleged crimes. Why separate the crime(s) from the scene — unless you are intent on diluting justice?

Genocidaires commited crimes against their own kith and kin, and they should be tried by a jury of their peers — NOT foreigners who have little or no interest, passion, or compassion in our plight, but see and treat the ICTR as a vehicle to enhance their resumes. Decency prohibits me to say more. And I won’t, now.

ARUSHA NEWS & ICTR : It all stinks up to high heaven.

How much more can a People take? When you think you have heard enough from the ICTR in Arusha, out comes more surprising, hurtful bad news.

Is the ICTR about to pronounce that there was no genocide?

In 1994, while Rwanda bled to death, the U.N. deliberated whether there was a genocide going on, never mind the evidence staring them in the eye. The CIA presented a report to President Bill Clinton, to the effect that what was happening in Rwanda met the criteria of a legal definition of genocide. The debate went on, ad nauseum, and in the course of 100 days, a million, plus, people perished.

To be fair, Bill Clinton has made an attempt at atonement. Too little, too late. He has to live with his conscience. I don’t buy his argument that he did NOT know. The CIA gave him a definitive report that genocide was underway. Otherwise, why did the American Embassy evacuate its employees, but abandoned the Rwandans that worked for them, well knowing they would surely be killed? And, all of them were killed.

Now, the ICTR has commutted BAGOSORA’s life sentence to 35 years. The architect, mastermind of the genocide against Tutsi, may, God forbid, live to be an octogernarian. I doubt it, and hope not.

In light of all this, in light of this ongoing insult to who we are, in light of the deniers and negationists of the genocide against Tutsi, do we have to take matters into out own hands to ensure that justice is done?

How long must we endure this ongoing negationism and hurtful decisions against the survivors of the Genocide?

This much I know, and believe, “NEVER AGAIN”, in our case, is a reality. It is NOT an empty phrase.

THE POPE’S RESIGNATION : A lesson to African Presidents.

Pope Benedict’s announced resignation (otherwise dubbed as abdication) to take effect February 28 due to old age and poor health should serve as a lesson to African presidents. He is 86.

Most people were taken unaware, even seasoned Vatican watchers, for this is a rare occasion that last happened almost 600 years ago. Benedict is therefore to be commended for this act of humility. At 86 and in poor health, he realized that he can no longer perform to the best of his ability. He may be remembered best for this simple act because he has otherwise not been a marverick spiritual leader.

Benedict’s selfless act not to cling on to power when he is no longer able to effectively serve his flock, intelectually and physically, ought to be a teachable moment for African presidents who are clinging to power, at all costs. Yet their positions affect their people in more dire ways than the Pope.

President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, 86, and in power since 1980 is from all appearances out of sorts and clueless. Zimbabweans are paying the price.

President Teodoro Nguema of Equatorial Guinea, 71, and in power for 34 years is another one who has over stayed. Way over stayed.

President Biya of Cameroon, 76, and in power for 31 years also proves the Benedictus theory: move on while you still have some of your marbles.

Hosni Mubaraak of Egypt, 82, was un-ceremoniously booted out of office two years ago, and has now been sentenced to life imprisonment for ordering the killing of more than 800 protesters against his regime. This surely is no way to end a career.

But Africa’s so-called “Big Men” turn a deaf ear.

POPE BENEDICT TO STEP DOWN: I had nothing to do with it!

The other day in this medium I expressed my strong views on the shortcomings of religion, and christianity in general. I stand by my position, until proven wrong.

This morning I woke up to the news that the Pope will step down February 28. Good news on two counts: Benedict has not been a good, effective spiritual leader of his flock. Secondly, I did not know he reads my blog!

Let the record also reflect that this Pope has failed the people of Rwanda by not condemning the role of the Catholic Church for their active and shameful criminal participation in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi. In fact, the Vatican’s conduct borders on criminality for their continued protection and support of the clergy who allegedly participated in the genocide, and are hiding behind the walls of the Vatican, and still wear their pastoral robes.

Whether you are believer or not, you cannot but question the lavish and princely style behind the ornate walls of the Vatican. Jesus would not recognise what goes on there, and might not even be welcome. I am serious, because we are told that the man from Palestine lived a simple and ordinary life. He certainly did not have a bulletproof Popemobile.

The Vatican’s pronouncement is that Benedict will “abdicate.” Say what? Only Kings abdicate. A man of God should simply give up his office.

Oh, yes. Benedict has also been been soft on the sexual crimes of the clergy against unsuspecting Altar Boys — a crime that has been a signature of the Catholic Church and has done irreparable damage, and cost the Vatican billions in legal sanctions.

I am willing to bet : the next Pope will not be a man of color. Watch.

CHRISTIANITY IN AFRICA : Much needs to be questioned.

At the risk of offending many, I have much to say about the negative effects of Christianity, but religion in particular, especially in Africa, and on us, Africans — but also, wherever Christianity has made landfall.

I know what many will say, this coming from a Bishop’s son. It is for this very reason I am compelled to make my private feelings public.

Much has been taken for granted. We have been cowed into submission, without really questioning the basis of Christianity as it was introduced to Africa. It never occurred to us that wherever colonialism went, so did Christianity, hand in hand.

In the words of Chief Crazy Horse, the famous Native American Chief: “They told us to close our eyes and recite the Lord’s Prayer, and when we opened them, our Land was gone.”

Wherever religion has spread, there has never been neither peace nor tranquility. Throughout the ages, many wars and battles were fought in the name of religion. And millions perished.

The Bible itself is full of nothing but punishment and damnation. Holy images always in white. The devil in black. What is the message there?

Has anybody ever wondered about the implications of christianizing Africa? It assumed that if we had never been colonized and christianized, we were headed for hell. An offensive and patronizing proposition.

Africans are by nature believers. We had our own beliefs that need not have been put down, demonized, degraded by our colonizers. The Prophet from Palestine had nothing over us. We sure did not have to assume so-called christian names. You strip a people of their identity ONLY to control them.

Apartheid in South Africa found its moral force in the Dutch Reformed Church. Look at the carnage and mayhem in Northern Ireland. Israelis and Palestinians are butchering each other daily in the name of religion over an alleged “promised land.” The Genocide against Tutsi in Rwanda in 1994 was orchestrated for the most part by the churches, not to mention the deafening silence of the Vatican about the role of its priests in the atrocities.

Tell me I am wrong to raise these questions.

ZIMBABWE : Tha Hangman is back.

Since 2005, the position of Hangman in Zimbabwe has been vacant. No takers. None. Finally, an official Hangman has been hired, and he is not Zimbabwean but from Malawi.

You can read all you want in this, but the real issue is the death penalty.

Amnesty International 2011 records show that 18 African countries abolished the death penalty. There are 25 countries that have the death penalty but have not used it. There are 11 others that “maintain the death penalty in both law and practice.”

Rwanda abolished the death penalty in 2007, and this has served well, especially in convincing countries which apprehend genocide suspects to extradite them.

I think the death penalty is barbaric, but that is one man’s opinion.

In 2011, there were these hangings in these countries: Egypt 1, Somalia 6, S.Sudan 7. In comparison, the U.S. put to death 43 people. Not a good record for the world’s biggest democracy.

Back to Zimbabwe, this poor forsaken country, once Africa’s breadbasket that is slowly but surely bleeding to a slow death. Robert Mugabe has been at the helm since 1980. And with wreckless abandon has turned his country into a beggar nation. A failed State, to be sure. And now, he has brought the Hangman back.

Those who refuse to learn from the lessons of history are bound to repeat them. On December 30, 2006, Saddam Hussein was hanged, and this macabre act was televised – live.

Will Harare take heed?

GENOCIDE SUSPECT MUNYENYEZI BACK IN COURT: Guilty by association, or birds of a feather?

Beatrice Munyenyezi, a Rwandan woman and resident of New Hampshire since 1998 whose immigration and extradition case ended up in a mistrial last year is back in court this week in Concord, New Hampshire for re-trial.

She was arrested in 2010 and charged with immigration fraud. She is also charged with playing an “active and enthusiastic” role in the 1994 genocide against Tutsi, along with her family. Her conviction would mean loss of her American citizenship, 10 years in prison, and potentially, deportation.

Munyenyezi must be assumed innocent until proven guilty. That is the law. But, her background and connections leave you wondering.

Munyenyezi’s husband, Arsene Shalom NTAHOBARI, a former leader of INTERAHAMWE was charged, tried and convicted of crimes against humanity at the ICTR in Arusha a few years ago and sentenced to life in prison.

Munyenyezi’s mother-in-law, former Minister in Habyarimana’s genocidal regime, Pauline NYIRAMASUHUKO, AKA, “Mother Genocide” was also sentenced to life imprisonment by the ICTR. Allegedly she was the mastermind of the group.

What is the likelihood that Munyenyezi, in concert with her husband and mother-in-law acted as partners in manning roadblocks in Butare to accomplish their criminal, murderous acts against Tutsi?

This sure seems like a family enterprise, but in all fairness, we must await the court verdict. But if it smells like manure, it usually is.

Of note : Before trial, Judge McAuliffe ordered both prosecution and defence lawyers NOT to mention the convictions of Munyenyezi’s husband and mother-in-law. Why?

Me thinks because birds of a feather flock together.