Gerald Gahima was “central to the rebuilding of Rwanda’s justice system in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide, first as the chief of staff to the Rwandan Minister of Justice from 1996-1999, and subsequently as the country’s Attorney General from 1999-2003.” He has just written a book called Transitional Justice in Rwanda: Accountability for Atrocity and was interviewed tonight by Jennifer Fierberg. She asked him his opinion of the Anglican Church in Rwanda regarding reconciliation, and this is what he said:
OK I have very strong opinions about the Anglican Church 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.
The interview is here, and his comments come at 2:03 in to the interview.
These are strong words: “the chief apologist of the RPF.” And they are spoken by someone who was on the inside of the Kagame regime. Anglican leaders in the West need to take a long look at their allies, and listen to voices like Gahima’s.