Last week President Paul Kagame caused a stir in some predictable quarters when he indicated that Rwanda gathers intelligence on Uganda using human assets. I don’t know why this is news.

President Paul Kagame & President Yoweri Museveni

And for good measure, in predictable Kagame fashion he said that Rwanda does this very well. No surprise there. What must be done, must be done well.

I would also hazard a guess that Uganda is not the only focus. That would be folly. We must keep our eyes and ears open if we are to survive because there are many bad actors who do not wish us well, especially in our neighborhood. We must never apologize for our survival instincts.

If there is anybody that believes for a moment that Uganda does not “spy” on Rwanda they are not living in reality. Show me a country that does not gather intelligence to ensure its security and I will show you a failed state.

Anything that comes from Kigali makes the headlines, but in this case of intelligence gathering I see a dog chasing its own tail. May be it is the word “spy” that rattles people. But for civility, let us call it intelligence gathering, much as it is a difference without distinction.

Were Rwanda a Banana Republic nobody would pay attention to what we say or do, later on lose sleep over our performance and successes, albeit at great cost and strain, over the last 27 years.

We will not be deterred in the same spirit that we did not curl our tails and play dead in 1994. Our journey will not be interrupted. Our momentum cannot, and will not, be slowed down.

President Kagame

The resilience of the Rwandan people is the sum total of our trials and tribulations. However, we will not be defined by our tortured past because we are more than that; A people who have taken our future in our own hands. A peace-loving people, yet stubborn, patient, but we refuse to be taken for granted. Did I say we are not cowards?

History will be kind to us, because we will write it, defining our purpose and determining the direction of our crusade. This is our solemn pledge to The Motherland and to generations yet un-born. To do less would be a betrayal to those who paid the ultimate price so that the New Rwanda can rise like a phoenix and be a shinning example to millions of voiceless masses across the Globe that have suffered indignity for decades, similar to ours, in exile and stateless.

But I digress. Intelligence gathering or spying to preserve our sovereignity must remain on the menu.

Look at these examples, and you will know Rwanda is in good company:

Jonathan Pollard

In 1987, Jonathan Pollard, an American and a former U.S. Navy intelligence analyst was sentenced to 30 years in prison for spying for Israel.

John Anthony Walker, an American, was convicted in 2003 and given a life sentence for spying on the U.S. for the Soviet Union.

In 2009, Dongfan “Greg” Chung, a Chinese, was convicted of economic espionage by stealing trade secrets related to the U.S. Space Shuttle program and the Delta IV rocket and selling them to China.

Those who are squeamish about Rwanda’s intelligence gathering operations, get a grip. We are at it for the long haul, for our safety and survival. Protest all you want.