Of pangas, cadres and hired guns

(This article is inspired by a close friend who survived the Ruwandan
genocide – Q.N Rutagwera. One day in 1998, at the height of the Sierraleon conflict she commented…)

“In Sierraleon, before the panga soldiers chop off your hand, they ask you, long sleeve, or short sleeve?…in Ruwanda, when they came for us with pangas, they asked us, ‘Hutu (opposition) or Tutsi (ruling party)?’
Other’s just judged us by the long nose (Tutsi) or flat nose (Hutu) method, and you were dead or alive. They looked at my nose, and they almost chopped me, but dad paid them 10,000 U.S Dollars to take us across the border, through Congo, and into Zambia (the land of peace).”

Land of peace it was, but not now! Here we are in Zambia, with PF thugs weilding pangas, running amock in the streets unchecked, hacking land owners, hounding every one who stands in their lawless ways with impunity.
How long shall it be before they knock on our doors and ask us, “PF or HH?”

But of course, we delude ourselves into believing that that is a very remote possibility, we think if we leave them alone, they will leave us alone (the Jews thought Hitler would leave them alone), in the end they were killed in their millions. A whole raced almost wiped out
while the world watched and prayed.

But that is Germany 65 years ago we say, I mean, we are a peaceable Christian nation boasting 50 years of peace (if we make it to 24th October).
As Laura Miti put it, ‘we think it can’t happen here, that’s them.’

God forbid, that we should experience the likes of Ruwanda. So being a Sunday, let’s do the only thing we’re good at as a Christian nation – hoping and praying.

“Trust one who has been through it, otherwise you will be a sitting duck for calamity. For though experience is a teacher, it often punishes before giving the lesson, and few ever survive the punishment to learn from it.” – VIRGIL, Roma poet and philosopher


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