By Jackson Mutabazi
Ugandan intelligence services-sponsored websites whose main job is to smear Rwanda were yesterday, 8 October, publishing the propaganda lie du jour, that Kigali had “deported an American pastor because he had ‘challenged the regime’ over ‘illegal closure of his radio and church in the country.’”
One of the most notable of these anti-Rwanda troll sites, Commandpost, run by the corrupt Bob Atwine who gets money from CMI through Sarah Kagingo, was breathlessly embellishing the story with falsehoods about the reasons for the deportation of the Evangelical pastor, Gregg Schoof.
Commandpost, in true Ugandan propaganda trolls fashion, went ahead to quote all the incendiary things Schoof was saying with not the slightest attempt at telling the other side of the story. It quoted a press statement, verbatim, that the American had issued saying the Rwandan Government “had taken a stand against God with its heathen practices!”
The statement, published by Commandpost, also with no attempt at giving some context, further rants: “Christian Radio Illegally closed, 7,000 churches illegally closed, condoms are promoted to children in schools, which promotes filth!”
Commandpost runs verbatim all the American fundamentalist Christian’s charges against his Rwandan hosts, such as criticism of “teaching evolution in schools”, and “easing of restrictions on abortion”, culminating in the question: “is this government trying to send people to hell?”
Commandpost, like all the anti-Rwanda Ugandan media is only too happy to jump at every opportunity to slander the Rwanda.
If they were more careful, they would never publish something like this. The hypocrisy of these Ugandan Military Intelligence, CMI-sponsored trolls is breathtaking. “They have the audacity to publish deranged accusations by some foreigner, who clearly has his ideologies to promote, with no examination of his motives?”, an astonished reader in Kigali asked.
“Every sane person will see that Rwanda acted within the law in stopping, and deporting a madman that is here to challenge the national education system; to challenge the national family planning policy; and to promote misogyny with crazy claims that women are evil, prostitutes, jezebels and the like!” said another observer.
On the other hand, another asked, what level of hell would Ugandan regime operatives go to, when one imagines all the extra-judicial killings of innocent Ugandans: people like the Kibalamas (a vanished People Power activist), the Ziggy Wines, the Ssebulimes, the Afande Kirumiras, the Yasin Kawumas, and so many others whose orphans and widows live in incurable sorrow?
Another question in fact is, what kind of living hell has Museveni-regime agents Kandiho, CK Asiimwe, Bagyenda, Mushambo, and so many others turned Uganda into, with their “safe houses” where they torture multitudes of illegally arrested citizens?
The anti-Rwanda tools of Kampala will never tell their audience that things in Kigali are done strictly by the letter, and spirit of the law and the case of Gregg Schoof was no different when the events surrounding the man’s deportation are examined.
Schoof was arrested this Monday over disturbing the public order, near the Amahoro Stadium. Commandpost did not tell its readers that Schoof’s radio station, “Amazing Grace” had no license to operate in Rwanda.
Last year in January it aired a sermon by one Pastor Nicholas Niyibikora which basically described women as “the source of all sin”, and that “they were responsible for the fall of kingdoms.” The discriminatory sermon drew widespread condemnation from rights groups, including Pro-Femmes Twese Hamwe and the National Commission for Human Rights.
Moreover it wasn’t the first time that the radio had broadcast such appalling sermons. Rwandan media regulatory authorities couldn’t stand around doing nothing as a media organ sowed such Taliban-like extremist and discriminatory messages in the country, said an official of the Media High Council.
So when the Association of Rwandan Female Journalists (ARFEM) filed a complaint against Amazing Grace for defamation, on 6 February 2018 with the Rwanda Media Commission, “the latter took it with all the seriousness it deserved.” It was against that background that the RMC Ethics Committee decided to suspend the operations of Amazing Grace, according to the Commission’s Chairman, Cleophas Barore.
“But to see these so called Commandpost or whatever distorting things just to slander Rwanda, its beyond shameful,” commented a media official.
“Schoof isn’t above the law; he had to abide by the law, or the law had to take its course whatever Kampala peddlers of misinformation say!, he added.
Speaking on the deportation of the American, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Olivier Nduhungirehe said it in fact was “long overdue”, because “he had disregarded decisions made by courts and institutions.” Nduhungirehe added: “It had become too much!
“Deportation was the only solution at this point. Schoof broke the law, holding an illegal gathering and attempting to incite the masses, hiding behind Christianity to make all sorts of allegations.”