The bigotry, hatred and propaganda against the MDC and its President is very regrettable
By Lloyd Damba
Kangura – many older readers in the Sunday Express will recall that this was a newspaper in Rwanda founded in 1990 by Hassan Ngeze and financed by Felicien Kabuga.
Kangura in Kinyarwanda means – Wake others Up – or simply put – Wake Up.
The newspaper was known for spreading Hutu Superiority and anti Tutsi Propaganda.
As if that was not enough, Felicien Kabuga went on to set the Radio RTLM (Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines).
The station went on recruit talented journalists such as George Henri Yvon Joseph Ruggiu and Kantano Habimana.
Felicien Kabuga was a close ally of former late Rwandan dictator and Hutu strongman Juvenal Habyarimana and his extremist Akuza. The Akuza was then an informal group of Hutu extremists.
Those who worked also in the Radio and Newspapers were Hutu extremists – journalist who believed in Hutu supremacy and the extermination of the Tutsi minority.
For them to succeed in their plans they had to have an audience and they played beautiful music and had the best videos. Videos of youth dancing holding machetes mimicking the chopping of innocent people.
This led to the formation of the Impazamugambi and the Interahamwe Youth Militias as a show of Kangura or Waking up of the Hutu dominance and willpower to dominate all political and ethnic space in Rwanda.
Radio RTLM with its journalist such as Kantano Habimana ratcheted up their propaganda of hate language, slurs and bigotry, and engendering ethnic and class hatred.
Kantana was a very talented eloquent and articulate orator who could speak through the Radio as if the people were right in front of him. He studied his journalism in the Soviet Union and worked for several newspapers in Rwanda before he was identified by Radio RTLM to run their hate propaganda against the Tutsi and moderate Hutus.
He covered his evilness with a sense of humour – those who knew him personally said this about him.
A few days before the Rwandan Genocide in 1994, Hassan Ngeze wrote “Let whatever is smouldering erupt, blood will be poured, at such a time a lot of blood will be poured” – in his Newspaper Kangura. So the Interahamwe and Impazamugambi were woken up.
A few days letter Kantano Habimana started to encourage the Interahamwe militias. (Interahamwe meaning “those who work together, stand together, fight together, attack together).
He ordered them through RTLM to set up roadblocks to identify the – Inyenzi – the cockroaches and exterminate them. That is how the Interahamwe militia was unleashed by popular journalists running popular radio, newspapers and magazines.
The Tutsi men, women, and children were no longer safe and never equal to the Hutus but cockroaches who just had to be exterminated. All of a sudden they were stateless, vulnerable, and sitting targets of a well-oiled machinery, run by a cruel and sadistic team of journalists who turned their professions into weapons of class hatred and ethnic divisions and the death of more than 800 000 innocent unarmed civilians.
All this was done for the love of monopolising State, Political and Ethnic Power.
Kantana Habimana would announce the exact locations and names and number plates of alleged Tutsis and their sympathisers encouraging the Interahamwe to murder them.
He even gave advice to listeners on how to identify a sell-out and a cockroach, saying that an individual’s height, physical appearance, skin tone can tell you that the person is a Tutsi.
He instructed listeners to “look at their long small pointed nose and then break it”.
Phrases such as; “cut down the tall trees”, referring to Tutsis because of their height and “go to work the graves are not yet full” were printed in Kangura and its magazines and beamed on RTLM by Ngeze and Kantana.
The youth could be seen moving around and spending their time with portable radios awaiting their new instructions and targets.
Fast forward to today and turn back to Zimbabwe, the departure of President Robert Mugabe of Zanu-PF and the death of the much-loved opposition MDC leader Morgan Tsvangirai brought about new challenges and new opportunist individuals.
The MDC in its upheavals to settle the leadership disputes is facing a very serious and real threat of genocidal journalists who have decided to cast their lots with Nelson Chamisa so that he can monopolise all opposition space in Zimbabwe – thereby creating a monolithic opposition dictatorship.
Senator Douglas Mwonzora – who has been saying the biblical verse of Isaiah chapter 1 verse 18 – “Come let us reason together” – has been vilified and Twitter and WhatsApp has now been turned into a tool to dehumanise him.
The ideology is to diabolise him, polarise the nation and make sure that Nelson who abrogated and overthrew the MDC Constitution and usurped power at Morgan Tsvangirai’ s funeral – is unchallenged in all opposition spheres.
Pedzisai Ruhanya and many celebrated journalists are now full-time employed at Operation Destroy Douglas Mwonzora.
Several times they have called him Mutengesi the very same way the Tutsis were called Inyenzis and moderate Hutus were called sellouts for sympathising with Tutsis by respected journalists in Rwanda.
They have even produced a picture of him besides that of Bishop Abel Muzorewa, the Prime Minister of Zimbabwe Rhodesia calling him Mwonzorewa.
The older generation knows what happened to those that were associated to Muzorewa’s party UANC before and after Independence. They were beaten and sometimes killed and had their homes burnt in urban townships.
Is this not what Pedzisai Ruhanya, Daddy Hope, Alex Magaisa and Jonathan Moyo are advocating for in modern-day Zimbabwe against Sen Mwonzora and the party he leads.
If they are calling the MDC leader Sen Mwonzora A Muzorewa, then the next question to ask them is; who then is Robert Mugabe?
Kantana described the physical appearance of the Tutsis and as I mentioned above Sen Mwonzora’s pictures are circulated on social media along that’s Muzorewas telling people to see the similarities of the two even saying “look at his ancestor”.
The genocide we saw in Rwanda took 4 years to be planned and executed by professional journalists who had willing financiers in the name of Felicien Kabuga who had ties with a late dictator who had an appetite for total dominance. Is this not the same situation we have here in Zimbabwe.
Unfolding right before us.
Surely if these people get State power what will happen to Sen Mwonzora and those who sympathise with him.
Kantana called on the Interahamwe to cut the tall trees and these gentlemen have been threatening that Mwonzora will be dealt with and he will lose everything he has.
Is the mighty pen not leading the sword to kill here?
Twitter and WhatsApp are the new tools of the modern Kantanas, Ngezes and Joseph Ruggiu of our time.
Portable radios used by the Interahamwe militias have now been replaced by smartphones here in Zimbabwe to polarise and spread propaganda and hate against Sen Mwonzora.
The bigotry, hatred and propaganda against the MDC and its President by people who should be helping to avoid what happened in Rwanda in 1994 and in this country from 1982 to 1997 is very regrettable.
The time is now for Zimbabwe to start debating this agenda in place before you – do we really need to remain divided as a nation and do we need to have journalists using their skills to spread alarm hate and bigotry and engendering ethnic political divisions? Zvakawoma hazvo.
A case of the mighty pen leading the sword to kill or we need the politics of Rational Disputation for Zimbabwe to move forward and take its rightful place among nations.
Lloyd Damba is MDC Presidential Spokesperson. Contact him at 00263 77 280 5412
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