By: Rpf Gakwerere
Today, October 25th, 2020, Assinapol Rwigara’s family, friends and well wishers will be holding a memorial service celebrating a father, a brother, a relative and a friend. They wil be celebrating the life of Mzee Assinapol Rwigara who was brutally assassinated on February 4th 2015.
Today, as children, family members and friends ponder through the life of Mzee Assinapol Rwigara, their thoughts will try to remember about his laughter, and they will come to a realisation that they remember everything as yesterday, and the sound of his laughter will echo their minds. They will remember. They will be I paralyzed with happiness, hope and belief.
As they close their eyes, trying to quiet the rest of the world, taking deep breath, they will see his smile. The gap in between his two front teeth.
As they look at the perfection in children’s smiles, they will be reminded of Assinapol Rwigara. American novelist, Theresa Eleanor Higgins noted, “I couldn’t hear your laugh. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t hear it. I tried, I really did. I feel like it’s not so much to ask that I just hear it once more. Just once.” Contrary, today, children, relatives and friends of Assinapol Rwigara will be hearing his laughter.
The funny thing about death: just how alive it really is. The way it can sneak up on you. Death slips into moments it should have no part in. Every grand moment is a reminder of the loss. The empty seat. The empty space. The hollow smile. Death should not be in the ceremony, but there it is, waving to us. We all don’t want Death to follow us. We want to remember those that we love, those that we cherish and those that were taken away from us by dictator Paul Kagame and his satanic regime.
Today, they will be rembering of his laughter, his huggings, his humanism, his charms, his love, kindness and his life. “Your love. we do not want to remember the Death,” they will deeply say.
For the children, since Assinapol Rwigara was brutally assassinated on February 4th, 2015, they have gone through his things. They have opened his suitcases. They have even picked up the bags that contains everything that he cherished, took them to the seating room to reflect on his life and memory.
As they look through their father’s cherished things, the mound of love around them. They will talk of him, go through different stories as memory comes to hit them. They will find everything is soothing. At that moment, they will be with him, in some way.
The children will be recounting the years they spent with him, cherishing all seconds. Telling their friends from the first day they got bicycle presents from their father to the day he was taken away from them by dictator Paul Kagame. They are always calling their father on each place they hit. “Did Dad see this?” They are seeing their father in faces of strangers. “We see you in so many faces,” they note to loved ones.
The children were mad at the first 6 months, following his brutal assassination. They wondered why him. They cursed the killers, groaning why? Why our dad? Our lovely and wonderful dad, why him? It never made sense to them. But it never will. They painfully learned that it is something they must accept, loss of a loved one.
They knew it was irrational, unfair, unjust and unGodly. But his words played on loop in their memory. “I will not let go. I will keep fighting. I will always protect you. I will be here to watch you grow up.” They all know that was a promise his body was capable of making, and they rose from their grief, pain and mourning to face the challenging Rwanda under the control of a satanic system.
These days, the children count how long their father Assinapol Rwigara has been gone in milestones. How their lands have been grabbed by dictator Paul Kagame, how they are living a life of threats and intimidation, how they were incarcerated and psychologically tortured, how their 4 star hotel was demolished and the land grabbed, how their relatives have faced all forms of injustices at the hands of the brutal regime, how their Tobacco factory was grabbed by the Kagame family, how their freedoms of movement have been restricted, how family friends and some relatives have betrayed them in favour of working for satan, how they have been humiliated through Paul Kagame’s media outlets.
With all these, they rise high, they crawl up, they are strengthened by the gospel, the smiling face of their father and they hear his encouragement
Below, a look at the case of the Rwigara family and the sequence of Kagame’s terror on them as written by Dr David Himbara.
1) Assinapol Rwigara, a successful businessman, took a risk and supported Kagame and RPF during the regime of General Juvenal Habyarimana.
2) Assinapol Rwigara remained a successful businessman during the Kagame regime investing in a hotel, real estate, and tobacco industry.
3) Assinapol Rwigara, like almost all other leading Rwandan businessmen, routinely fall out of Kagame’s favour. Some these businessmen flee Rwanda but Rwigara stayed in Rwanda.
4) Assinapol Rwigara dies in a mysterious automobile accident.
5) The Rwigara family asks Kagame to investigate Assinapol Rwigara’s mysterious death.
6) Kagame responds by demolishing Rwigara’s hotel in Kigali.
7) Diane Rwigara — Assinapol’s daughter — decides to run for the Rwandan presidency.
8) Kagame disqualifies Diane Rwigara from running for Rwandan presidency and locks the Rwigaras in their home.
9) Kagame throws Diane Rwigara and her mother Adeline Rwigara into prison.
10) Kagame auctions the Rwigaras’ last major asset, namely, their tobacco business.
The lesson from the tragedy of the Rwigaras is simple:
1. Kagame is a ruthless ruler who takes and saves lives as he wishes.
2. Kagame determines success and failure of every Rwandan.
3. Kagame determines what goes on in Rwanda, both in public and private spaces.
4. Kagame does not tolerate any independent expression of any kind from anybody. If you dare express even a mild criticism, Kagame will finish you either metaphorically or literally as in death.