Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa served as the Secretary General of Rwanda’s ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), as Ambassador of Rwanda to the United States, and as President Paul Kagame’s Director of Cabinet (Chief of Staff). He has authored a book about Rwanda called Healing A Nation: A Testimony: Waging And Winning A Peaceful Revolution To Unite And Heal A Broken Rwanda. He defected when he could not take the continual killing of Rwandans by Kagame. He has put his life on the line and testified about Kagame and his role in shooting down the plane of Pres. Habyarimana. He is a devout Roman Catholic and calls what he is doing a confession of his guilt to God and to Rwandans.
I spoke to Dr. Rudasingwa about the Anglican Church in Rwanda and asked him how it relates to the oppressive Kagame regime. He told me that after 1994, the goal of the RPF was to make the international community feel guilty for what happened – the “you did nothing” narrative. He said that Kagame has co-opted evangelical churches, such as the Anglicans, as tools of his own corruption. He specifically mentioned Bishops Rucyahana and Kolini and how they talk to “unsuspecting Americans” with their narrative. He mentioned that Kolini was the head of the National Commission for the Fight Against HIV/AIDS and how Rucyahana is now the head of National Unity and Reconciliation Commission (NURC), government positions that not just anyone gets.
Rudasingwa told me that Bishop Kolini was “very pro Tutsi” and that we (meaning Kagame’s inner circle) considered him to be “one of us.”
He says that the bishops could not operate without the RPFs’ permission and that the RPF likely decides on who is a bishop, where they serve, etc. I asked Rudasingwa how to explain that Archbishop Rwaje, a Hutu, is Archbishop. He said that Kagame allows these kinds of things as PR moves, more or less. He said that some of the bishops are good men who are afraid, but he went on to say that there is no excuse for silence or neutrality in the face of the evil occurring in Rwanda.
The Anglican Church in Rwanda, one cannot even say it has been compromised by the State, it has basically made itself an arm of the State. It has…you remember what the, the role that the Catholic Church had during the Colonial period and the time of the monarchy? How the Catholic Church was very close to the State and how this continued even during the post-independence period? The Anglican Church has basically taken the role of the Catholic Church as being the chief apologist of the RPF and that has taken away a lot of the credibility that the Church should have and because of this the …I don’t think the Anglican Church would be a viable, a useful contributor to the process of reconciliation in Rwanda because it has taken sides.
Evidence keeps piling up and all we hear is silence.
|Bishop Rucyahana and General Caesar Kayizari, former Chief of Staff of Rwanda Defence Forces