Monday, April 18, 2011
SUSAN M. THOMSON: A FRAUD PHD
SUSAN M. THOMSON: A FRAUD PHD
In 2006 when the said lady came to do her PHD in Rwanda, she had twice visited the country and had made up her mind on the Rwanda she wanted to portray. So, she says: “I don’t deal with the truth per se in the research.”
And, indeed, nowhere in the research does she attempt to deal with that truth, unless it is inevitable.
The whole research is therefore a pack of lies and there is a reason: in Butare, the town to the south of Rwanda where she was based, a man who had confessed to killing six people lived in her backyard. This is the man who “had a big impact on my research.” She fell in love with the génocidaire because “He was just a regular guy. Killing was a survival strategy for him.”
This researcher finds it all too normal that the génocidaires of Rwanda should kill 1.250.000 million innocent Tutsis for being born Tutsi, and any Hutu unwilling to join the killing okey, because “Killing was a survival strategy.” And for that she receives an IDRC Doctoral Research Award that is accompanied by CA$20,000!
To boot, she says: “……the knowledge gained in Rwanda will be invaluable…..[it] will also feed into security debates in Canada and elsewhere, and inform debate on the value of local knowledge in the social sciences.” Apparently, the sky is the limit, so why not heap more abuse on Rwandans?
The lies, however, may be too bizarre to take seriously for even those with a flitting knowledge of Rwanda. With a straight face, for instance, she says: “….the post-genocide government erased the traditional identities of Hutu, Tutsi, and Twa.” Surely, which government is this lady talking about?
While the RPF government sees no value in mentioning these ethnic labels – which were used to identify Tutsis during the genocide, in any case – there is no law banning these labels and people use them all the time, even if many prefer to see themselves simply as Rwandans. Whatever value this lady sees in singing about them is only good for her doctoral research work.
She rubbishes the world-acclaimed Gacaca court system, not because it has practically empted prisons of génocidaires and helped to foster reconciliation but because people are “overwrought” and Rwanda’s “pharmacies are full of anti-acids.”
Things have been invented about Rwanda before, but what this lady is claiming is over the top! She visited all the pharmacies in the whole country and saw that every Rwandan who attends Gacaca courts is “overwrought” and needs “anti-acids”?
She goes on to claim that Hutus are marginalised and all are suspects. How would Rwanda be having a majority of Hutus in positions of leadership if “all Hutu men are presumed guilty of genocide”, as she claims, surely?
She claims to have taken part in seven Gacaca sessions and, on top of that, one session of Ingando (awareness creation) was not enough for her. She attended five Ingando sessions, which puts five months of awareness-creation – on the same topics! – under her belt! I don’t even know what “hard-to-collect documents” she landed upon in those Ingandos. Maybe secret files, aka ‘WikiLeaks’!
In an article she published in January 21, 2010.
She is right that Rwanda is not yet on the level of Canada and there is “poverty and hardship”. But what are bleuprint papers like ‘Poverty Reduction Strategy’ and numerous programmes supposed to serve?
To cite only a few: free compulsory universal 9-year education; health insurances at less than US2$ every year for 97% of the poor; grass-thatch eradication; Girinka programmes where the poor are given a free cow on rotational basis for better nutrition; better land utilisation programmes; agriculture modernisation programmes; the list goes on and on.
The harp on Tutsi elite being favoured no longer finds currency even in the harshest armchair critics these days. That is why the lady ends up tying herself in knots when she claims Tutsis are favoured over Hutus. Says she about Rwandans: “For most of them, Hutu and Tutsi alike, life….is not…bright and shiny as the authorities in Kigali would pretend.” That on top of “Tutsis being favored”.
Of course, the pet topic of all Western critics of this country takes pride of place in her litany of lies: freedoms. So she weds through the usual muddle of: no political space; no freedom of expression; harassment and the lot. And she offers us a point of reference. But that reference is not the 11 million Rwandans that we know!
It is a disgraced and distressed individual who is in exile after being found wanting in his performance in delivering to these Rwandans. Mr Joseph Sebarenzi is in exile because he tried to “constitutionally limit” the powers of the president, we are reminded. It would seem that our former speaker single-handedly constituted the constitution!
The lady even makes the grand revelation that the government forces Hutus to tell the truth of what they did during the genocide and Tutsis to forgive them. And thus is cobbled together a reconciliation. Since the reconciliation effort we know has worked, I wonder why this government has not made a rocket!
Rwandan peasants are thin, she says, and blame it on “continued hunger”, in a country that has achieved total food security for the first time since the colonialists were in power. I wonder if she has looked at some of our top leaders – would she blame their sizes on continued hunger.
But the clincher must be her suggestion that the RPF is sure to fall by end-2010. Apparently, we are living on borrowed time! Definitely a dream not come true, showing her preoccupation is wishful thinking – wishing that this successful project Rwanda were not real.
The truth on Rwanda will slowly come out, lady, and then your PhD expertise will go with the wind. Such a pity, for you could have used your time more profitably.