Rwanda: RPF led armed struggle was all but liberation
by Dr Jean-Baptiste Mberabahizi – UDF-Inkingi Support Committee.
Thursday July 1, 2010, pro-RPF government outlet “The New Times” has published a story by Edmund Kagire under the title “Liberation struggle in 6th phase-Ombudsman” He was quoting RPF chief ideologue Tito Rutaremara who is engaged in one of his favourite hobby: revolutionary talk as a tool to mask RPF’s counter-revolutionary character.
The title and the content of this piece of paper is one of the very many so-called revolutionary statements this man and his anti-people boss Paul Kagame have been serving to unaware progressive people in Africa and the World as whole. This has lasted quite a long time. These liars can’t keep on lying and get away with it unchallenged anymore.
The author affirms that Tito Rutaremara said that “while many would think that the Liberation struggle ended on July 4, 1994 when the forces of Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) brought an end to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, the revolution is now in its 6th and, most probably, final phase”
He further adds that “the idea was to liberate Rwandans from the bad leadership at the time and all the ills that went with it such as ethnic divisions, poverty, ignorance and concentration of power into the hands of a group of people”.
These two statements summarize admirably the emptiness and bankruptcy of the RPF as far as Rwandan revolution is concerned in general and Tito Rutaremara’s in particular.
First of all, as every one has noticed that Rutaremara is incapable of defining clearly the character of the RPF led so-called revolution. Secondly, the fact that he places the beginning of this so-called revolution “as far back as 1978 when a clique of people sat and developed the idea of the struggle” shows that he confounds the planning, preparation and launching of an armed struggle for power, what the RPF founders did indeed, with revolution. What took place in Rwanda is simply an armed struggle for power opposing different factions of the Rwandan petty bourgeois, each of which mobilized support from sections of the Rwandan masses for his cause through ethnic lines.
In 1994, Tutsi petty bourgeois supremacists took power militarily from Hutu petty bourgeois populists in the context of post cold-war Western powers’ rivalries. There was no change as far as the character of the class in power is concerned. So, one can’t talk about revolution or liberation in that process.
Rutaremara confirms this when he says that they were liberating Rwandans from “the bad leadership”. In a society, revolution is not about good or bad leadership. Revolution is about a fundamental shift of power from a class to another class in society.
For example, in the 1950’s, Rwandan peasants and petty bourgeois allied and overthrew the Rwandan aristocracy. In the process, Rwanda passed from a feudal and colonial mode of production to a pre-capitalist and neo-colonial mode of production.
What Rutaremara can’t confess to the general public and what makes him being so embroiled in empty rhetoric about revolution is the fact that he actively took part in the counter-revolutionary movement that tried unsuccessfully to reverse the process in the 1960’s. And of course, he hides the fact that the group he refers to as those who “started the revolution” in 1978 is actually “RANU” which was an outfit made of sympathizers or remnants of the counter-revolutionary UNAR of the 1960’s, a kind of avatar. This outfit regrouped all of those who supported the old Tutsi feudal class that engaged itself in collaboration with the German and the Belgian colonialists to oppress and exploit the Rwandan masses for seventy years.
That’s why Tito Rutaremara can’t acknowledge the true character of the RPF so-called “revolutionary” struggle.
Now, coming to the character and content of the Rwandan revolution, in the neo-colonial period that started on July 1, 1962 when Rwanda gained formal independence from the Belgian colonialists, although it was both partial and badly managed because of the weaknesses of its leaders at the time, the journey from monarchism and colonialism to democracy and independence, started as back as the 1950s and the 1890s respectively.
In fact, the national revolution started in the 1890’s when Rwandans resisted militarily against Belgian colonialists in Shangi, former Cyangugu prefecture under the leadership of Bisangwa bya Rugombituri who eventually was killed in that fight. As for the democratic revolution, it started in the 1950s. By then, Rwandans needed to be liberated from both feudalism and colonialism.
That these two processes were split is not a matter of discussion. That the leaders of the democratic revolution were ideologically and politically weak and failed to correctly direct revolutionary violence against the aristocrats as a leading social class and not against individual Tutsi feudalists or even ordinary Tutsis is not a matter of controversy either.
But this can’t change the fact that the revolution was on track since those days. The question is how the national and democratic revolution is going to be achieved and who’s going to lead it.
When the RPF took up arms for power in the 1990s, what Rwandans had and still have to sort out is whether Rwandan pre-industrial society will move to the industrial society and develop their productive forces under the leadership of Tutsi neo-colonial supremacists or Hutu neo-colonial populists or if they will do so under the leadership of true Rwandan revolutionaries in the context of globalization of capitalism and Western powers’ rivalries in the Great Lakes region and in Africa as a whole.
This is the problem Rwanda faces now. That Kagame and Rutaremara’s RPF are definitely not in position to lead that process is now obvious. Not only what they are engaged in since 1978 is not a revolution, it’s even worse. They are engaged in a counter-revolutionary process whatever phase it may be moving to.
And their rhetoric about revolution or liberation can’t do much to reverse that state of things. As a counter-revolutionary force, the RPF can’t turn itself into a revolutionary movement by the will of the Holly Spirit or by the grace of the gospel preached by these two chief impostors.