The women of Rwandese Community in London are angry and fuming after experiencing unexpected abusive and provocative behaviour from the wife of the Rwandan High Commissioner to UK. It all happened on the afternoon of last Saturday, 17/8/2013 at the High Commissioner’s residence.
According to very reliable sources emailed to Inyenyerinews, it was confirmed that most of the women who were part of a rather well attended meeting, thanks to the hard work of the newly elected Chair of the women group, in many years everyone was shocked and upset following the arrogant, divisive and disrespectful way the High Commissioner’s wife behaved during this meeting. The newly elected Chairperson Collie Mulisa had invited all women in the mentioned community to resolve outstanding issues and plan a new path going forward. The High Commissioner’s wife offered to host the meeting at the Residence on learning of the planned meeting. Although most women were sceptical of this offer in the first place, little did they know that it would be used as an opportunity to insult them in a manner not expected in normal diplomatic circles. Other Rwandan diplomats in the UK in the past have in public demonstrated humility and respect even when their motives were not necessarily convincing.
Soon after the meeting had been called to order by the Chair, Collie Umulisa, and the High Commissioner’s wife, Leoniya Nkurunziza, started talking over her and any other person who dared raise a point. Although the whole meeting was turned into a night mare by this “hostess from hell”, three moments stood out. One was when one of the ladies that was being targeted due her historical background, commonly known as Shushu, tried to thank the hard work by the Chair and explain her feelings. The High Commissioner’s wife cut her short by shutting her up and directly telling her that she was a nothing and stressing that that was her house and she can kick her out. This was followed by other insults we cannot print here. The other moment was when the Chair out of frustration from the hostess’s attitude threatened to surrender the Chair’s role to her (High Commissioner’s Wife). As she was in the process of accepting, others challenged her, asking her on what grounds she was going to chair them. It was then that she realised it was not going to be easy for her and promptly declined. Another moment is when she attacked the Vice Chair, Peace Musabe, during her intervention, telling her that she is useless with nothing in her head. The Vice Chair person is a highly respected lady in the community with a good family and successful normal life to be proud of. In addition to all this, the same hostess with her clique of Faith and Claudette kept having disruptive “bitchy” chats amongst themselves during the meeting to the extent that at one time out of frustration one lady warned them loudly.
All members went home very disappointed and angry for the uncouth and arrogant behaviour that had been meted on to them, asking themselves many questions. One that kept on everyone’s lips was, “did she offer her place for us to meet so as to abuse us”? Surely some of these ladies are hardworking, intelligent and successful individuals who can afford to hire or even offer a place for a meeting that has a decent atmosphere and welcoming environment. Like one lady, Claire, teased jokingly that “why did you have to meet in people’s homes”, I also think that even the community itself can find a more pleasant venue for their meetings. The question that remains to be answered is, does the community sit back and let this lady and her husband who supports her in the wings go away with that?
It is a shame that all the effort women have put in re-organising the community that had died in silent at the hands of the so called ‘Intores’ like Yvonne Abera, Grace Bamulange, Monica Kamali and Linda Karimba’s interference for quite some time is being undermined by the High Commissioner’s wife who is bent into dividing, and destroying the community this time it appears for good, No one up to now understands nor knows what her intentions are.
However it clear that they are subversive and very destructive. Proof of that is her relentless show of support for individuals like Faith who lost in the most recent election and her supporter Claudette, individuals that have divided the community on many occasions in the recent past. Maclean’s saga is fresh in people’s minds.
As stated above, the Chair worked hard in a short time to reach out to all women, personally visiting some who had felt that they were victims of a witch-hunt due to their historical background and the gossip around the community relating to them. The turn up was high and everyone thought a new era was being ushered in. What they all forgot was that communities can never work well if there is discrimination, cliques, intrigue, manipulation and political interference like the Rwanda High Commissions and Embassies around the world have tirelessly tried to sow in all Rwandese communities in the Diaspora in the recent past. A community controlled by any authority for political reasons is always bound to collapse. Communities that are vibrant are inclusive, transparent and independent of any external control or manipulation. I think Collie had learnt from other successful black and ethnic minority communities in UK using her experience as a Community Health Professional. No one can take away her knowledge base, skills, support and commitment towards rejuvenating the Rwandese Women Community in UK.
Madam High Commissioner’s wife, please back-off our community. You found it and you will leave it. The community is bound and protected by UK laws and has little to do with the gripping arm of government you are used to in Rwanda. Please don’t take our generosity and humility for granted. Just tread carefully. Long live the Rwandese Community in UK.
Concerned Rwandese-UK Citizen.
The questionable behaviour of Ambassador William Nkurunziza is not limited to his wife. His twitteraccount has some very questionable priorities that he makes public under his official name. He has also been no stranger to controversy in his career as a diplomat under President Paul Kagame as evidenced in this article where his competency and professionalism were questioned by the president himself. Ambassador Nkurunziza was moved from position to position until his competency could be assessed as adequate. He has finally landed in the UK and only time will tell if he and his cabinet will be up to the task of representing Rwanda.
So far it appears they are not off to a very good start. Reports are that he does not get along well with his staff in the embassy in the UK of which is apprised to his wife as well.