By Rwakarubanga Innocent
Schizophrenia is a chronic and severe disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. It also involves intense, anxious or fearful feelings and thoughts often related to persecution, threat, or conspiracy. Schizophrenia can become delusional, when irrational thoughts and beliefs become so fixed that nothing can convince a person that what they think or feel is not true. Symptoms of paranoia and delusional disorders include intense and irrational mistrust or suspicion, which can bring a sense of fear, anger, and betrayal.
Some identifiable beliefs and behaviors of individuals with symptoms of schizophrenia include mistrust, hypervigilance, difficulty with forgiveness, defensive attitude in response to imagined criticism, preoccupation with hidden motives, fear of being deceived or taken advantage of, inability to relax, or are argumentative.
Delusional disorder is characterized by irrational or intense beliefs or suspicions which a person believes to be true. These beliefs may seem outlandish and impossible, bizarre or fit within the realm of what is possible. It can be difficult to treat a person with such illness since symptoms result in increased irritability, emotional guardedness, and possible hostility.
I have been closely following the rather unfortunate ongoing impasse between Rwanda and Uganda with a keen observation to how the leaders of the two East African countries have handled the situation. On the side of Uganda, you see president Museveni exercising a lot of patience and restraint, whereas on the other hand, you see Rwanda’s leader General Paul Kagame handling the matter in a quite disappointing erratic manner. However, this could have a strong tie to how both leaders grew up from when they were children to date most. For purposes of this piece of writing, I shall focus my attention on the person of president Kagame.
It is important to note that president Kagame became a refugee at a very young age and of course it was a traumatic experience for everyone involved. Kagame also by nature is very tall but too tiny which could have been a source of ridicule from his peers. This might have affected his self-esteem therefore, making him have to contend with violence as a way of showing that he is in charge or an equal. It’s no wonder that during the National Resistance Army (NRA) bush war, Kagame’s penchant for extreme violence earned him a nickname of Pilato from fellow combatants.
The death of Rwigyema might have equally triggered extreme defensiveness in Kagame’s psychic especially that he had the same weaknesses of lesser education that had collided Rwigyema against his colleagues on different occasions.
President Kagame was a good friend of Gen Rwigyema but Presiednt Museveni and Gen Salim Saleh showed more preference to Rwigyema which might have affected Kagame who already suffered low esteem hence the unexplained animosity towards the two individuals that are responsible for his raise to presidency in Rwanda.
Recently, I watched Kagame while in Gabiro saying that nobody can bring him to his knees, referring to his decision to close the Ugandan border. I am intrigued to ask if he weren’t on his knees as a refugee in Uganda for over 30 years. After the death of Rwigyema, he was recalled from Command and General Staff College Fort Leavenworth USA by President Museveni to take over Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) and experienced NRA commanders were assigned to help him defeat Habyarimana.
It is on record that very many ordinary Rwandans including students left schools to join RPF, one then wonders what he means when he claims that he owes his raise to power in Rwanda to no body. For a man, like Kagame, who defeated Habyarimana because of his adamant refusal to allow Rwandan refugees including Kagame himself to return home claiming that Rwanda was too small to accommodate her citizens, to turn around and create more refugees with his brutalities and refusing those that want to return home claiming Rwanda is politically too small to accommodate her citizens’ views is quite perplexing.
His former ambassador to USA, Mr Theogene Rudasingwa observed thus “General Kagame has fought armies of former Zaire and toppled dictator Mobutu; he installed President Laurent Kabila in DRC; he has fought armies of Angola, Zimbabwe, and Namibia; he has quarreled with Tanzania, Burundi, and South Africa; he has thrown temper tantrums at France, and even to his benefactors; USA and United Kingdom, when they question the assassination of opponents and closure of political space” as if this is not bad enough, he still throws more tantrums at his last sisterly neighbour, Uganda, if this is not acute suicidal schizophrenia, then what is it?
Rwanda is the only country in the world that fears for her citizens’ lives to the extent of physically preventing them from leaving Rwanda against their will yet Rwandans are running in droves to Uganda to escape the open brutality and death at the hands of Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI) that Kagame supervises himself. You have to feel sorry for people like Gen Kabarebe who is purely Ugandan, he was the one behind the border closure probably because he had to appear overzealous and too loyal to an ever suspicious Kagame. But deep down Gen Kabarebe, knows that a conflict between Uganda and Rwanda would be counterproductive in that Rwandans would most likely take the advantage of getting rid of Kagame.
According to the New Times, a Rwandan government owned newspaper, President Kagame advised a one Mr Rujugiro to clear his overdue taxes in South Africa in order “not to tarnish Rwanda’s good name like that” which is laughable because Rwanda has killed her citizens inside South Africa, one then wonder which of the two scenarios has worse reputational consequences; individual tax evasion or state sponsored murder of dissidents? A person like Rujugiro would be the first to admit that he would rather play hide and seek with tax laws of England and South Africa because he will live another day to pay those disputed taxes than be in his homeland of Rwanda where a President would order his execution on account of tax evasion.
It’s very difficult to advise a schizophrenic person like Kagame, he needs medication instead and Rwandans are too unlucky to come from a refugee status from across the world only to end up as hostages at home at the hands of a maniac who should be in a mental facility instead of state house. The lucky ones have assumed their refugee status again but others have not been that fortunate, many have been killed at home and whenever possible abroad.
If history is anything to learn from, those that love President Kagame would have reflected on the lives and presidency of President Saddam Hussein and Adolf Hitler of German. They somehow tried to develop their countries but their mental disorders denied them the ability to see things with clarity and ended up making blunders that cost them their leaderships and more importantly their lives. If President Kagame freed Rwandans inside, and invited those abroad to come back home, there would be no need for this unfounded fear of his overthrow.
The writer is a law abiding Ugandan of Rwandan origin.