Tell us your story—briefly, who is “NISHIMWE RICHIE LIONEL?”
I am an intricate textbook-a piece that is very hard to crack. I see windows, not mirrors and as weird as it may appear. Basic ideas and conversations bore me-I want exceptional or slightly above extraordinary to say the least.
Nevertheless, my family hail from Rambura/Gasiza and Muramba(Western Province/Rwanda).
Actually, I am related to the infamous genocidaire, Theoneste Bagosora, from my mother’s side but as you can tell-I do not ascribe to his views.
My mother died (twenty) 20 years ago-leaving me as her only son. My father is still a Refugee for personal reasons which I respect but I always advise him to return to Rwanda like I did whenever I get the chance because there is no case against him back home in as far as Rwandan Criminal System is concerned.
I am a young Jurist. I possess an LLB and am currently doing an LLM in International Trade Law at only (twenty-three) 23 years. Isn’t that amazing to say the least? Kindly pardon my narcissistic approach to life by the way. R.I.P DR. MUZINGE RYARAHOZE THERESE-I miss you very much Dear Mother.
I hear that you were once a renowned critic of the current Rwandan Government but now, you are praising them. In all honesty-what suddenly changed your position?
You have got me on this one but since all of you want to know, I will try to elaborate what really transpired in the simplest terms. Firstly, I was forced into refuge by my parents for if it were my own decision-the moment things had stabilized back home, I were going to return because the life of a refugee has never benefitted me in any way whatsoever.
Furthermore, I was naïve in many of my past articles. As you can tell, I once denied the Genocide against Tutsi basing my argument on the biased opinions of disgraced Scholars such as Prof. Charles Kambanda, Prof. David Himbara (both were my personal friends at the time and especially the latter, we would talk on WhatsApp for hours every day about Rwandan politics and what role we “the youths” as the new generation had to play) -known critics of the current Rwandan Government with a ‘conflict of interest’ in any issue pertaining to the Rwandan case. In short, I was a victim of bad/biased politics.
Secondly, I hated Rwanda passionately for no reason. Growing up in a foreign land is quite distressing for most of my peers. The stress stems from unequal opportunities and other difficulties surrounding the life of a refugee.
I could say that I was blaming the wrong people-the RPF Government, when they had nothing to do with the dilemma I was in, if anything-they stopped the Tutsi Genocide which led to our departure.
Third and lastly, I am a pragmatic human being. I always wanted to experience the beauty of Kigali for myself. I was tired of hearing from third parties how beautiful and developed my home country was. I too needed to see all the developmental projects for myself and surely-I have seen wonders although my friends here in Rwanda are always tell me to take heart because what I have seen is just a tip of the iceberg. Rwanda is truly a success story to be emulated. I am really proud to be back home.”
Is there any advice you would love to render to other Rwandan Refugees (the youths especially) who may want to return to Rwanda but are prevented to do so by the fear of the unknown?
My friends, stop suffering for no reason when you have a country that loves you. No one is forcing you to come back and remain in Rwanda indefinitely. You may just come back to see and go and tell.
What must come to an end is that perpetual refugee status-RWANDANS ARE NOT SUPPOSED TO BE REFUGEES FOR LIFE.
As for those who fear persecution, kindly know that Rwanda is a forgiving nation-we do not dwell so much on the past. I for one use to be a staunch critic of the current Rwandan Government but they are the ones taking care of me. They did everything within their power to locally integrate me and whenever I meet a challenge, they are always there to help me.
Frankly speaking and politics aside, I have not come across a Government that has a tolerating heart and listening ear like the one led by President Paul Kagame.
Rumour has it that since you were a Leader of Rwandan Refugees living in Zambia and decided to voluntarily repatriate, you are prohibited to go back to Zambia. Is there any truth to this? How can you put a stop to this accusation?
Allow me to laugh at this madness. (Hahahahahahahaha……….) I am really lost for words on this one but only fools believe in unfounded rumours. All I can safely and with a resolute conviction tell you is that I did not breach any Zambian Laws by returning to Rwanda and as such.
Whenever I decide to go to Zambia to visit my family and friends, I will do so with ease and as a Rwandan national, not a refugee. You see, we have a bunch of liars in the Rwandan community there in Lusaka. The famous one being Apollinaire-his job is to alert people with false information so that he can earn a living.
Otherwise, do not take such sheer stupidity seriously. Incidentally, as a former Leader, you did not expect me to go quietly-everyone had to try and inquire on the “why” but in most cases, with an uninformed perspective for my decision was premised on reasons that are strictly in the private domain.
What do you think is the future of Rwanda?
‘UNITY” is. It is high time that Rwandans started appreciating each other. As propounded in Article 11 of the Rwandan Constitution, Rwandan culture ought to be a source of home-grown solutions. Traditionally, we are a peaceful people who live harmoniously with our neighbours. We are not killers. This communal trait ought to be sacrosanct in all forms for ‘political demagoguery’ based on a false sense of majority rule is not only disastrous but also the reason why (twenty-two) 22 years ago, Rwanda experienced a Genocide.
The gist is in co-existence and national unity. Rwanda is bigger than all of us and the sooner that the Rwandan youths all over the world grasp the aforesaid concept, the better for everyone else.
One Rwanda, One People.
I WOULD ALSO LOVE TO COMMEND PRESIDENT PAUL KAGAME FOR HIS PROGRESSIVE POLITICS.
IN ALL HONESTY YOUR EXCELLENCY, I HAVE GREAT ADMIRATION FOR YOUR GOVERNANCE STYLE. YOU INSPIRE ALL OF US TO DO BETTER AND NOW MORE THAN EVER, I SEE WHY THE RWANDAN PEOPLE CANNOT STOMACH THE THOUGHT OF YOU LEAVING POWER. I AM EQUALLY AMAZED AT ALL THE PROJECTS YOU HAVE OVERSEEN IN YOUR TENURE OF OFFICE. THANK YOU VERY MUCH SIR. WE ARE HUMBLED TO HAVE YOU AS OUR LEADER.
Source: Lionel’s Facebook