By Robert Rutoma
A frequent Internet presence that’s one amongst a who-is-who list of anti-Rwanda bloviators, Charles Kambanda, has for long desperately tried to nail down a name as a “Rwandan human rights defender” in the US. But the problem with him is that the first time he had some power over people – back when the University of Rwanda made the mistake of hiring him as a lecturer – he revealed himself to be a real Bokassa. In other words the individual that spends time slinging mud at Kigali, alleging “human rights abuses”, is himself a first class abuser of the rights of others.
Those that are familiar with Kambanda only on the Internet – where his persona is well established as a denier of the 94 Genocide Against the Tutsi, and as an apologist of those that perpetrated it – may not be so familiar with his background in academia in Rwanda.
Information this website has unearthed shows that Charles Kambanda took advantage of the post genocide reconstruction period in Rwanda to gain entry into the University as a lecturer. “He was wily and deceptive, and called himself ‘a PhD holder’ although there were no clear records of his post-secondary education.” But, according to UNR sources in those days there was a serious shortage of staff, and the administration hired him on good faith.
But it wasn’t long before the fellow’s true colors revealed themselves: first as a conman (he in fact never was a Rwandan, it was discovered) in addition to his dubious “PhD”, and he was a sex pest – all students of UNR at the time will tell you that. But soon another unsavory side the man’s character would reveal itself: he was a man that harbored genocide ideology.
It was while a lecturer at Butare that the tyrant revealed himself. Former students tell how he blackmailed young female students, demanding sex for good grades. “The girls were in terror of him, but unfortunately the university administration seemed unaware,” a former student tells us. Many of his former students, both male and female, recounted to this website how Kambanda would give girls failing grades and it would be obvious because they had turned down his advances.
And woe betide a male student he perceived as competition for girls! So the boys too lived in terror of “the Burundian dictator”, as they called him.
This nickname came about after it was discovered Charles Kambanda was born in Sembabule District in Uganda, but not to Rwandan parents. His father, Deo Kambanda was a Burundian laborer that had migrated to Uganda, and married Kambanda’s mother who was a Ugandan. Kambanda is said to have studied in Ugandan Seminary schools in Wakiso, Uganda, and Katale Parish. He is said to have conned his way to the Lusaka Diocese, Zambia, before coming to Rwanda where he then joined the National University of Rwanda in 1995 as a lecturer in law, business and philosophy.
But his behavior, and his suspect academic credentials after 12 years landed him into trouble. He had numerous run-ins with the university administration, and security institutions were investigating him for genocide ideology. Kambanda saw the writing on the wall, and left Rwanda in 2009 for the US, to claim asylum. He joined an organization called the Carter Foundation, which soon dismissed him, owing to his “shoddy and sneaky background.”
He managed to hoodwink others, however. Kambanda is one of those individuals from Africa that make a living deceiving citizens, or governments of the West by adopting the mantle of rights activists. This category of people may operate out of a need to fleece money from their hosts, or have political goals to achieve – in Kambanda’s case the restoration of a genocide ideology that has been defeated in Rwanda.
His Facebook posts, or his interviews and opinions on many forums of promoters of genocide ideology expose an image of a violent extremist. Genocide researcher Tom Ndahiro describes Kambanda’s outpourings as “straight out of Kangura Magazine” (the notorious Genocide era hate publication).
To coincide with the 20th commemoration of the Genocide Against the Tutsi in 2014 for instance, Kambanda granted an interview to a fellow negationist; a notorious American woman, Ann Garrison. In their echo-chamber conversation Kambanda stated that the massacres of the Tutsi “weren’t genocide ‘but rather a military tactic!’ The Hutu were eliminating the Tutsi because they didn’t want the Tutsi to support their fellow Tutsis who were fighting the government,” remarked Kambanda.
Word like these are why researchers are comparing Kambanda to Hassan Ngeze.
From New York City, Kambanda continues to run his anti-Rwanda campaign, and genocide negationist agenda. In these activities he has joined forces with terror groups like RNC, FDLR, FNL and Rudi-Urunana.
Kambanda long ago came out as an overt supporter of these groups, bashing Rwanda on his social media platforms.
As they say, birds of a feather flock together.