By: Rpf Gakwerere
On the 1st October 1990, in his last briefing at around 8:00 PM Rwanda time, Afende Fred Rwigema told the gathered troops that, “this is home, some of us came when we were young, some of you were born in diaspora, everything we have gone through it’s because of bad politics and leadership, we have picked up arms as our last option, we have tried any other options but failed. We don’t need power, only an identity, recognition and acceptance. Our main objective is to force them into negotiations but not to capture state power.”
Looking at the troops in their eyes, Afande Fred Rwigema continued by noting, “Rwandans love eating and enjoying on things we haven’t worked or sweated for, they are a jealous people (tugira ishyari ribi ritabaho), we are selfish (tugira kwikunda), we are greedy (tugira umururumba) and we are deceitful and treacherous (ababeshyi). And I hope we shall also fight these bad behaviours within ourselves and wider community as we fight this dictatorship.”
It was a 45 minutes of briefing, the General was saying the last good bye to his troops, he was saying the last good bye to those he thought were brothers, comrades in arms and country men.
The great general was saying bye to those that he had picked from the streets of Kampala, refugee camps, villages…etc, and gave them purpose. The general felt that it was possible that he would lose his life in war, but he didn’t expect to be executed in a cold blooded assassination by those that he regarded as his own.
On the next day, 2nd October 1990, he was assassinated by people he had done nothing wrong to them, assassinated by people he had given everything, assassinated by people he had grown up with, assassinated by those he referred as brothers and comrades.
With time, those who took the life of this innocent man and their descendants, his blood will be a curse to them, just watch the end of criminal Paul Kagame and his putschist cohorts.