In der Person des Herrn Pater Classe einen geeigneten Leiter… haben,’ wrote Von Grawert complacently to Monsignor Hirth. His complacency was not shared by the missionaries, who resented Classe’s eager support for the court, his apparent defection from the northern camp, and his obvious determination as Vicar General to impose discipline on the Catholic ranks. Classe, showering the Rwanda missions with reams of directives and missiological reflections of great delicacy, did not endear himself to gun-toting priests. His superior manner and excessive piety aggravated them; his thunderous calls for adherence to the rules of the Society were provocative:

Let those of our missionaries who do not believe they can reconcile the apostolate with the practice of our Rules look for a Society which has as its Rule only the caprice of its members…

Yet Classe was to more than make up for the divisions he created among his missionary brethren by his adept handling of Musinga and Dr Kandt; the principal result of the ‘Brard method’, fisticuffs before diplomacy, had been a ban on new stations in 1906 which was to last till 1908. During this period of enforced stagnation the worst Catholic fears were realised: Pastor Ernst Johanssen, a Lutheran from the Bethel bei Bielefeld mission, arrived in Rwanda, was well received by Musinga and was given land at Zinga, five hours’ walk from Zaza.

Although the initial contacts between the White Fathers and the Lutherans were superficially friendly, the priests helping the pastors with the language and giving them tips on brick-making, alarms were being sounded behind the scenes.The Vicar Apostolic asked the Fathers to reduce contact to a minimum. Catechists were to be trained immediately and placed ‘incognito in threatened spots’. Mission adepts were henceforth to be referred to as Bakatholika and, in case there was any confusion, chapels to the Virgin Mary were to be erected at each station.

There was indeed a little confusion, as the Lutherans were called Bafransa in Buganza. In a flush of ecumenism, or in the hope of slipping in unobtrusively, the Protestants had not, it seems, emphasised their differences with the Catholics while at court. Musinga told Father Classe accusingly that the Lutherans were prodaiming the same doctrine as the White Fathers and were similar to them.  Yes, replied the Vicar General with great panache, ‘in the same way as a Mututsi and a Muhutu are similar.’ The humour was certainly not lost on the king; the choice of site for the Lutherans indicated that Musinga hoped to contain the Catholics with Protestant competitors.

AIthough the new Governor of German East Africa, von Rechenberg, was an aristocratic Catholic educated by the Jesuits in Madrid, the White Fathers were at an obvious disadvantage a gainst German Protestant competitors. The Society, strained to the maximum, still provided only five German priests for Rwanda by 1912 as against nineteen French. It was true that five out of the six Brothers were German, but some Hutu mistook them for the Fathers’ garagu, their role was clear to al1, and such distinctions running along national lines could not have pleased the imperial administrators. The Lutherans were even told when they arrived that the country belonged to the Bafransa, a word that was synonymous with Basarcedotipriests.

Rechenburg, a Catholic in a strongly Protestant or freethinking administration — Kandt was an adept of Nietzsche — was unlikely to flaunt his religion. He preferred the company of Muslims, whom he saw as the natural heirs to the colony. The success or failure of the Catholic missions hinged, therefore, not on the religious affiliation of officials at the coast, nor in the Reichstag and colonial service, but on the Fathers’ willingness to support German policy and behave in Rwanda in a way likely to win the approval of the court. And that depended in some measure on Monsignor Hirth and his Vicar General turning their missionaries into the ‘admirable machine’ their Jesuit predecessors had striven to mate.

Any attempt to check the impetuosity of individual missionaries met with a multitude of instances when intervention in local affairs seemed justified. When a Tutsi chief near Kabgayi fell ill his Hutu were accused of having poisoned him; within a few days twenty-five peasants were given a potion that made them mentally deranged. Taking their induced madness as a sign of guilt, the chief had them executed one after the other. A Father stopped the slaughter. The next day he was proclaimed mwatni wa bahutu, king of the Hutu. In Bukunzi, when a child was born with teeth and was therefore about to be killed, the Mibirisi Father Superior hastily put a medal round its neck, saying ‘This child belongs to us.’ Such actions were surely blameless, yet for Rwandans around the stations they were just as much unwarranted interference as less highly motivated behaviour.

If the conduct of individual missionaries was a question of discipline within the Society, and therefore open to correction, the missions’ drift into clientship confronted Hirth and Classe with a Sisyphian task. Disputes at Zaza between Christians and their chiefs were endless. Father Pouget conscientiously called in the Tutsi to judge cases, but it was generally recognised that decisions went to the man with the most powerful supporter. The penalty for mission failure to sustain this support was `backsliding into Pagan ways’. Reflectin g gloomily on Zaza, Monsignor Hirth confided to Livinhac that he well understood why the Germans had banned further missions in Rwanda.

The situation at Nyundo was equally fraught with difficulty; since the Germans had made Kisenyi into a large base, the Fathers had been obliged to support the Tutsi. In June 1908 there was a minor Christian uprising; Tutsi chiefs’ huts were burnt and their cattle pillaged. The next day the nobles arrived at the mission with an escort and were met by a large but well armed group of Christians. In the presence of the Fathet Superior the Hutu spokesrnan demaanded that the Tutsi should rule in a more moderate fashion in future, then the cattle were handed back.

The missionaries were not often directly responsible for the insubordination of Christians so frequently bemoaned by Kandt. They felt that there were faults on both sides; the chiefs tried to push their peasants to the limit, the peasants ‘try to do the least possible, neglecting no means to that end and even going to take instruction [i.e. catechism] if they think it has some utility’. Yet whilst the missionaries were supposed to cajole the Hutu into obedience, the Germans did little to curb Tutsi exactions. Richard Kandt, a Jewish medical practitioner, latter-day explorer and linguist, and from 1908 Resident of Rwanda, saw no alternative to support for the harsh regime of the Tutsi. Only through them would it be possible to rule the country. If he saw the Kaiser’s ‘civilising mission’ as anything more than respecting the Tutsi order it was as injecting rationality into the ruling class through education. In Tanganyika his colleagues were able to call on literate and moderately trustworthy Muslims from the coast, but he had quickly realised that the Tutsi’s aversion to foreigners would vitiate any attempt to employ the Muslim elite in Rwanda; he badly needed educated and able Rwandan auxiliaries.

Kandt saw little to praise in six years of Catholic educational effort and asked querulously why the priests did not run a proper school at Nyanza instead of a mud and straw hovel. In 1900 the German government had decided to subsidise mission schools where German was taught, but the French White Fathers had done little to further the imperial language policy. Monsignor Hirth the Churchman and Dr Kandt the statesman hoth saw African education as the generator of an elite, but whilst Kandt wanted docile rational nobles for an enlightened feudal order Hirth sought pious exemplary Rwandan priests and laity for the corpus christianum. Kandt dealt in the practical realities of ruling a highly stratified African State; Hirth clung to the radical possibilities of his Christian faith. Not for him to call a halt when after ten years’ effort in German East Africa only seven of the 160 seminarians who had passed through his bands still persevered. It was popularly said that the Tutsi were ‘for the Badatchi’ (Germans) but the Hutu ‘for the Bafransa’; in reality Monsignor Hirth was indifferent to the class or ethnic origins of his seminarians.

For the Vicar Apostolic the creation of an African clergy was the immediate and primary aim of missionary endeavour. Only with the formation of an indigenous priesthood did the Universal Church become fully incarnate in African societies as a visible and Grace-giving institution. Rwandan Fathers were n ot an additional colourful touch but the essential constituent of the Rwandan Church. This was an article of faith for Catholic missionaries; in Monsignor Hirth it was a blinding vision that dominated the last years of his episcopacy to the exclusion of more mundane considerations.

Any German reading Hirth’s circulars on education would soon have realised that Catholic schools were going to be of only incidental help to imperial administration. His goals were purely religious ; the teaching of writing was a reluctant concession, ‘only what would be adequate to give a certain amount of preparation to a small elite to become assistants to government functionaries’. However, all catechumens were expected to be able to read ; already the proofs of the first Kinyarwanda books of piety, like Father Ecker’s Book of Prayers, were being circulated, so it was important for the Fathers to press on with reading lessons.

Save mission at this time had a theoretical catechumenate of two thousand, but only 750 received regular instruction of a formal kind from the three trained catechists and their fourteen helpers, yet the main thrust of missionary work was directed at the young catechumens ; neophytes got little attention after baptism. As the missionaries tried to remain aloof from Hutu-Tutsi conflicts there were increasing signs of `backsliding‘ amongst the Christians. The Vicar Apostolic was convinced that under these conditions pious reading was vital to keep Christians from slipping into the diffuse outer orbit of the mission and finally being lost.” Whilst the priests struggled to win back Hutu who felt deserted by their erstwhile patrons, even providing pupils with paid work to induce them to come to school, Monsignor Hirth circulated his lofty thoughts on the role of teachers and dreamed of neophytes doing spiritual reading in the rugo (enclosure). Small wonder that this insistence on education, albeit integrated with and almost indistinguishable from catechesis, was not shared by all ; ‘certain missionaries are over-doubtful about their role as educators. Has it not been said even to myself [Hirth]…”What is the use of a school for these blacks?”.

The station school was usually a large open shed lacking even books and slates. Instruction in both reading and religion was based on passages from the Histoire Sainte. When the younger pupils were dismissed at eleven the older ones continued with forty minutes of writing practice. The priests were not supposed to use corporal punishment, and the pupils were expected to show a mimimal level of decorum; in the stifling atmosphere of the classroom there were lapses on an sides. Perhaps the most important teaching and learning took place in the afternoons, when the Brothers gave their schoolboy workers simple training in brickmaking, carpentry and construction, and demonstrated the cultivation of new crops such as coffee — much of a mission’s modest income was derived from its gardens — but the Germans were not satisfied with this informal technical instruction.

Right from the first baptisms the Vicar Apostolic stressed the need to select bright pupils for his seminary. Every two years groups of boys aged between thirteen and fifteen, chosen for their ‘solid piety, open respectful and amenable personalities and good health’, left for Tanganyika. In October 1904 ten boys from Save marched for six days to meet six from Zaza, then the group headed east across Gisaka to Kianja; among them was the future first priest of Rwanda, Donat Leberaho. Once at Rubyia, three hours’ match from lake Nyanza, they began learning Latin before many of them knew enough Swahili to converse with their fellow students. In October 1906 a second contingent, which included Jovite Matabaro and Isidore Semigabo, left Rwanda; they and Leberaho where the only three of the seventy-five Rwandans sent to Rubyia who reached ordination. Not surprisingly, many missionaries were sceptical; they had little reason to believe that the motives of boys who agreed to make the journey to Rubyia were entirely spiritual. Their Hutu catechists assumed, and declared openly, that seminary life was easier than working under a Tutsi lord in the fields. ‘And do you really think,’ one catechist asked a missionary, ‘that those going to Rubyia are drawn by any other motive? With the prospect of guaranteed mission protection and no fear of persecution Hutu seminarians left Tutsi jurisdiction and reprisals for good.

Yet, in the Rwandan context, material and spiritual motives for joining the Fathers were not contradictory. The idea of a holy alliance between poverty and piety was as alien to Rwandan society as to the Semites of the Old Testament. The political power of the Fathers did nothing in the peasants’ eyes to detract from their religious claims; far from it. In the face of pessimism amongst his priests that at times

degenerated into racism, Monsignor Hirth admonished them, Knowing that the vocation comes from God, we are too inclined to forget that it only flowers and bears fruit through the work of Man. Nonetheless, whenever the missionaries detected material motives in their catechumens they felt apprehensively that the Hutu were misunderstanding them and ignoring their religious office. To aim at the material comforts of seminary life — a relative comfort indeed — instead of the perfection of an ascetic sarcedotal ministry was deplorable to men who had given up their own comforts in search of spiritual excellence. The misunderstanding was mutual and never fully resolved.

The premature return of all but a tiny fraction of those who went to Rubyia is perhaps explicable solely in terms of its inhuman lifestyle and the strain of separation from family and country. Donat Leberaho spent nine years away from Rwanda, living as a celibate among strangers, speaking a foreign language, and studying philosophy and theology in Latin. Yet since these boys had got to Tanganyika it must be assumed that they were to some extent attracted by a vision of the priesthood, a vision which did not correspond to the reality of Rubyia. It seems likely that the major seminary beckoned its students like a great Catholic court; few of them could have imagined that the rewards of this court, the power and the glory of priest office, were granted only after ten years of patient spiritual and educational effort; the Hutu seminarians, observing the rise of Tutsi courtiers, had learnt on the contrary that dissimulation, cunning, violence and flattery led to office and success. Behind them lay the deadening inertia of peasant life under the Tutsi yoke and before them, the demands of priests reared in a long tradition of spiritual striving reinforced by bourgeois notions of meritorious industry; faced by such a conflict the majority decided to go home.

Peasant culture, however, did contain elements that a glib Freudianism might have labelled highly favourable to the Christian message and especially to the Catholic concept of priesthood. The Hutu family was marked by an extreme dependence on the father, continuing even after marriage. The authoritarian father of the patriarchal umuryango was projected into the political kingdom in the person of the mwami. The great Patriarch was magnificently distant from the harsh, humdrum life of the peasant. He reigned with the Queen Mother as the source of all authority, having the right of life and death over his brothers and sisters. In this heroic figure were epitomisecl all the noble deeds held up in court culture for the admiration of the masses. In their stead he realised both the psychological and political yearnings of the peasantry.

The place of the White Fathers in this pattern of values was assured. They were seen without contradiction as abami and abayeyi, parents; titles like ‘Saviour of the poor’ and ‘The feet have come’ were bestowed on them. They were endowed with powers to detect robbers merely by using a piece of paper with writing on it, to control rain, cure the sick and bewitch the recalcitrant. To go against their will could be dangerous. A Christian from Save left home to sell skins in Gisaka against the Fathers orders and advice. While away he had a vision of Christ, who told him of the coming conversion of Rwanda and chided him for leaving home. The image of the dominating father, diffracted through the patrilineage to the court itself, was focused on the Catholic Fathers, and by extension on their God, through their ready use of paternalist and authoritarian methods. These methods, it seems, attracted rather than repelled the Hutu of central Rwanda, even though few became priests.

With the exception of a few impoverished Tutsi, Church education was the prerogative of the Hutu throughout the German period. In 1903 Musinga threatened Von Beringe that he would move his capital if the Tutsi at Nyanza were forced to go to schoo1, a priest visited Nyanza occasionally from Save, and Catholic catechists sent as teachers gained the mwami’s confidence, but attendance at the small straw-roofed school house at court remained erratic. In August 1905 Musinga, who was now trying to use education against his Ega councillors, asked the Fathers to put up a permanent brick building. Relations between Terebura and Monsignor Hirth were at their most acrimonious, and the Vicar Apostolic seems to have declined the opportunity on the grounds that anything that took Father Brard to court would be damaging.

Once Hirth could provide a teacher acceptable to the Germans, the court and himself, he wrote to Bujumbura for permission to begin. Von Grawert replied giving his assent, provided there was no proselytising or religious instruction. He felt that such education would make the Tutsi more amenable to European influence, and a good teacher might, by example, lead them to Christianity without arousing immediate hostility. He could hardly refuse a school in which Classe promised to teach the Tutsi German and Swahili, and about which the mwami was unusually encouraging.

Musinga’s renewed interest in literacy seems to have been linked with his increased participation in trading. A 1906 ordinance banning African traders with firearms from entering Rwanda had been liberally interpreted by Von Grawert to mean that traders could return provided they were unarmed. Ganda and Haya caravans began to creep back cautiously, going straight to court, where they traded cattle for cloth and roupies. Musinga soon got rid of the money to his favourites, and the Tutsi flocked to Kabgayi mission to buy cloth.

The mwami, who had been dealing alone with European affairs since October 1906, was beginning to flex his muscles. The place of

Ruhinankiko in the highest councils of State had been taken over by the rich Ega landowner Rwidegembya, and his estates in Gisaka had gone to an old Nyiginya chief, Kanuma. Less actively engaged in the persecution of the Nyiginya nobility than his fellow Ega, the young Rwidegembya was favoured by Musinga, who pitted him against the combined might of Kabare and the Queen Mother.

At the beginning of January 1907 the court suffered a liturgical calamity: the sacred fire that was lit at the beginning of each mwami’s reign, only to be extinguished on his death, was allowed to go out. The extinction of the royal fire was a trigger which released all Nyanza’s latent tensions. Musinga ordered the execution of all the Banyamuliro, the fire keepers, and Kabare was accused of having bewitched the fire. Supported by the canny Rwidegembya, the mwami was able to force his uncle on to the defensive and his final disgrace was averted only by turning the king’s fears towards foreign invaders. It was a familiar tactic: the foreign campaign to keep rebellions ngabo out of mischief, and the foreign threat to close ranks at court. A rebel group who had taken refuge in Burundi were accused of having the fire put out and were said to be plotting to return and kill the king. Musinga was not yet able to dispense with Kabare’s services and was ready to believe the story.

The drama of the royal fire delayed the opening of the school, but by May 1907 the catechist Wilhelmi was able to begin writing lessons. It was soon clear that the king was more interested in the prestige of writing than in acquiring the skill itself. He would casually wet his pencil in the mouth of a Twa servant and trace out the letters of the alphabet. He learnt how to sign his name and little more; for the test an amanuensis was employed. At this time his reading knowledge of Swahili was minimal, and when letters arrived Wilhelmi was summoned to translate them.

Despite a natural anxiety about which missionary would head the school, Musinga finally gave his permission for a brick building in June. A priest called every fortnight, although the Kabgayi Fathers were sometimes summoned daily to Nyanza when the mood took him. Attending the school, or at least spending some of the day leaping through its windows, were eighteen ntore selected from unimportant Tutsi familles. The boys, accustomed to purely physical training in dancing, jumping, spear-throwing, archery, swimming and court etiquette, were thoroughly bored by the long classroom lessons, and few attended regularly. Their exercise books were sent off weekly to Kabgayi for correction. Once several people at court were competent Swahili speakers the mwami pressed to make some improvement in his German. The ntore had little incentive to persevere, since an unspoken rule of the school was that the mwami stayed one step ahead of the rest.

The king’s fears, sharpened by the bad augury of the extinguished fire, never left him. When Save church was officially blessed he sent a representative; Wilhelmi told the Fathers that fear of possible sorcery had kept the king away. But when the king had his terrors under control he perforrned a skilful juggling trick with the Germans, the Ega and the White Fathers, balancing the power of one group against the other. The missionaries had grown into a counter balance to his Ega councillors, and he made concessions, to them as he would have done to any other powerful faction in the country. When the European side of the balance became too heavy, as during the influx of whites for the Duke of Mecklenburg’s visit in 1907, he would frantically try to reduce it.

Pressure was put on the White Fathers the moment the king learned of the size of the duke’s caravan. The Save Fathers were surprised to hear from Von Grawert that the Catholics were refused permission to start any further missions because the king was worried about the amount of land they controlled. No request had been made. A week later the priests received another letter complaining that they stopped Christians going to court and favoured them in local disputes. The Save missionaries had food sent to Nyanza during their visits; the king now found their behaviour insulting to his hospitality. Christians were denounced for burning huts, when, at court with the priests, they were miles away from the incident. While the Duke of Mecklenburg loomed on the horizon the Catholics could do no right.

Musinga correctly judged that the Germans would help him curb the missionaries. When German and missionary interests coincided, as over the smooth functioning of Nyanza school, he called in the Ega. The Save Fathers learned in September that Kabare and Rwidegembya had been summoned to court, where they were required to reside permanently next to the school. They joined Cyitatire to form a baleful education committee.

On the whole Musinga’s diplomacy worked. The royal ikoro poured in to fill the Nyanza granaries, and the power of the leading nobles was underrnined as men and land were taken from them. To keep up their interest in the well-being of the throne the mwami married their sisters. Nyiginya, like Ntulo, who had risen too rapidly, he disgraced. Reflecting on the changed situation at court, Father Classe wrote in June 1907, ‘Musinga is no longer a minor; he has become a mugabo ukomeye [a powerful man]’ As a result of shrewd manipulation of the Ega and the White Fathers, and after a three-year struggle, the young mwami now dominated the court. Perhaps seeing the importance of the Catholics in the equation, Kabare began sending his ntore to pay court to the Kabgayi Fathers.

While Musinga had rapidly proved himself in the inter-Tutsi politics of the court, his position in relation to rebellions Hutu distant from

Nyanza improved only slowly, despite European assistance. The umuhinza of Bukunzi used the proximity of Mibirisi mission as an excuse for refusing to send the tribute of two slaves for sacrifice. The Germans he ignored altogether, and would not appear before the commander at Shangi. A German patrol with Tutsi auxiliaries was sent to capture him in April 1907, but he slipped through their hands, and despite being formally deposed continued to hold power in Bukunzi. Fearing that the royal herds would perish and calamities come on the realm if someone of the umuhinza’s ritual prowess were banished, Musinga insisted on his reinstatement. The German attacks on the famous rainmaker alienated the population, and few catechumens came to the mission while he was in hiding.

The Nyabingi prophetesses of Mpororo did not make the mistake of ignoring the Europeans. A German patrol even left confiscated cattle in the custody of one, while the famous Muhumusa co-operated with Anglo-Belgian survey parties belonging to the frontier commission. By enlisting support from among Hutu lineage heads and by clanning supernatural powers Muhumuza became an influential medium and built up a large following. Young girls frorn her entourage were married to chiefs and formed sub-centres through which she could exert her control over Mpororo and south into Rwanda. In 1905 a German patrol found a young girl behind a curtain who claimed to be Nyabingi’s servant. The girl told them that Nyabingi had flown up to the sky but had asked her to pay eighteen cows fine and request German assistance in putting down rebellions chiefs in the district. Musinga was wary of Muhumuza’s spiritual powers and large following, but her law-and-order messages from the spirit world had convinced the Germans that Nyabingi was harmless.

The submission of the north was one of the few desiderata to which Musinga, Kandt and Classe, the triumvirate who now ruled Rwanda, could all subscribe. The mwami wished to emulate his father’s glorious exploits, whilst the rich spoils of Bugoyi and Mulera were a gratifying source of dissension amongst his nobles. Dr Kandt was worried that the activities of Twa and Hutu bandits, such as the notorious Lukara lwa Bishingwe (Rukara rwa Bishingwe, ndlr), under the noses of the British and Belgians in the north would damage German colonial prestige. Whilst negotiations over Mfumbiro continued he could not afford to be seen presiding over a rabble of war lords. Monsignor Classe was perturbed by the arrival of more Lutheran missionaries and wanted to stake claims as soon as possible to unoccupied regions of the north. The three disagreed over the advisability of using Catholic missionaries as a vanguard; the idea appealed to Kandt, it distressed Musinga.

The Duke of Meckenburg’s visit coinciding with the arrival of the Lutherans had been an unprecedented show of European strength. Like some exhibit in an ethnographic museum Musinga had been brought out for the visitors’ inspection and thoroughly humiliated. He now saw that the ban on new missions had been only temporary, and his former changeable attitude hardened into an abiding hatred of the whites, who were too numerous to attack. The Sultan once said in the course of a discussion with our Superior, Father Classe, in Nyanza that he would indeed have been able to contemplate war at an cearlier date (i.e. prior to 1909) but that the dwellings of the Europeans had increased to such an extent that expressions of violence could no longer be envisaged. The mwami was too well schooled in Tutsi etiquette to show his emotions and was usually courteous to the Fathers. Faced by their demands, he prevaricated. When forced to give his permission he strove to nullify its effects but at times the impassive façade would crumble. When one of the Lutherans’ porters was executed at court there was great excitement. A Father visiting Musinga was shown the savagely beaten corpse, with the warning that the same could happen to him; yet when Classe visited court in April 1908 the mask of politeness was once more in place.

After the Protestants had opened their second station, Monsignor Classe began to prepare the ground for expansion. He chose the occasion of the blessing of Nyundo church to make his first move. Relations between Kisenyi Residency and Nyundo mission were coldly correct; the Fathers had been a little too welcoming to the Belgians, though they had tried to make amends by going to celebrate the Kaiser’s birthday. Dr Kandt in return accepted an invitation to attend the inauguration. ‘It is worth repeating’, proclaimed Classe in his welcoming speech, ‘that rnissionaries as such are agents of no country and that here they are working towards the same goals as the government; they on their side and the government on its’. Already that year the Vicar General had agreed to undertake the upkeep of roads near missions, and after the speech he made a formal request that the ban on new stations be ended. Kandt’s reply was cautions, but he agreed to intercede with the imperial government. The proposed new station at Kanage would strengthen the German position on Lake Kivu, and one in Busigi would extend German influence among the people of Mulera and the northern Hutu. The mwami promptly sent Kandt a cow. ‘As a matter of fact Musinga asked, citing the numerous stations which he had already conceded to the mission, that there should be no new foundations. Kandt’s reassurances that the Germans would curb the Fathers’ land hunger and prevent their assuming jurisdiction over more Hutu did not satisfy Musinga, who feared that his own abatware would lose faith in him if he made more concessions. Despite open protest Kandt’s interest in using the missions for political ends meant that he would push through two more stations whatever Musinga’s feelings. In December 1908 fifty Christians set out from Rwaza to begin building on Rulindo hill in

Busigi. The reaction at Nyanza was predictable. All effort to keep the pupils at school in order ceased, and Wilhelmi could teach nothing. A new wave of complaints began reaching the missions in central Rwanda about their Christians’ conduct. The Vicar General, seeking audience with the king in February 1909, was categorically refused. Classe gently warned that if the king continued in this fashion he would be passed over by Dr Kandt; since the Resident was already overriding the mwami the argument had litte substance and was ignored.

The mission’s attempt to reverse the court’s formula, using the Germans to threaten the king, was a measure of Kandt’s growing hold over the country. There was talk of taxation. Nobles took the opportunity to collect goats from their Hutu on the pretext that they would deliver them to the German Residence in Kigali; hundreds of goats were removed as ‘tax’, and Hutu besieged the mission with complaints. It was not so much that the raids were orchestrated from Nyanza but that the nobles at court were able to convey politically valuable

information to their local representatives; their garagu on the hills could then gauge how far they could go with the Christians. Conversely the mwami was the centre of a constant strearn of complaints about Christians’ activities in the provinces. The wrath of Musinga and the persecution of the Christians around missions were sometimes causally linked, but not by any simple chain of command. Tutsi around provincial stations had their own grievances and needed no authorisation from Nyanza to erupt into violence.

The Europeans continued to console themselves with the anachronistic belief that the intermittent hostility at court from 1908 to 1909 was emanating from a group which they called ‘the war faction’, Kabare, Rwidegembya and the Queen Mother. A Rwandan proverb says that it is never the mwami who executes but his councillors, and the pliant monarch surrounded by unscrupulous advisers was a common theme of colonial mythology, used to explain why Indirect Rule failed to achieve results. On the contrary, it was Musinga and not his councillors who determined policy now. In August 1908 the king had Rwidegembya’ s leading garagu, a chief with over four thousand cattle, executed at court.” Kabare was forced out of Nyanza under a cloud in January 1909 and meekly turned up at Save mission in March to present the Fathers with a cow.” His disgrace was confirmed when Kanuma and the Gisaka chiefs appeared at Zaza mission to warn the Fathers not to give Kabare sanctuary. The only independent Ega left at court was the shadowy figure of the Queen Mother.

The arrival of the first White Sisters and a contingent of new Fathers at the beginning of 1909 was a further blow to the king. He had granted a third Protestant station but was still holding out against Catholic expansion. On the other hand, in March, 150 askari and five German officers had engaged in a number of inconclusive skirmishes in the north against the Twa Basebya and demonstrated to the court that the imperial government was willing to subdue the mwami’s rebellious subjects. Two months later a patrol brought in a great prize, the priestess Muhumuza.

The king was now delighted at the Europeans and wrote Classe a fulsome letter asking why he no longer came to court. His pleasure was short-lived. Muhumuza was put under a kind of house arrest at Kigali, and since the Germans had only Musinga’s word for her nefarious influence she was well treated. It was a serious miscalculation. The presence of such a powerful medium was a magnet for court dissidents; visitors trooped to see her and it was not long before she was summoning important abatware from Gisaka. Feeling grew at court that it was a monstrous trick and that this ‘Queen of Ndorwa’ had been brought south of the Nyabarongo river to overthrow the mwami.

The missionaries were the first to suffer for the Germans’ inept handling of the Muhumuza affair. The mwami allowed gangs of Tutsi youths to wreck Nyanza school and informed Kandt’s deputy, Indrumm, that he wanted no priests permanently at court. Indrumm, preoccupied by rumours of an anti-European rising, bundled Muhumuza off to Bukoba and prepared to launch a major expedition on the north. The mwami was informed that the askari were being sent to police the frontier against Belgian and British intrusion, but the spectre of rebellion in South West Africa and Tanganyika was certainly in the forefront of the German Colonial Office’s thinking. The missions, with their several dozen Mausers and hundreds of cartridges, could afford to be complacent. ‘I am convinced that the Watussi will take the first opportunity to settle affairs with the Europeans,’ wrote a Father, but we are so accustomed to such rumours we do not assume the situation to deteriorate unless we have strong reason. Slowly the rumours died down, leaving Musinga stronger in relation to the Ega — the small army in the north had demonstrated the folly of their talk of destroying the Germans — but stil weaker in relation to the colonial govermnent. Teaching was resumed at Nyanza, and the mwami’s representative signed a contract for land on which Murunda mission in Kanage was founded.

By 1910 the mission was in an anomalous position; there were seven stations and some 4,500 Christians, mainly Hutu. Already young Hutu seminarians were working their way towards ordination. Yet as an institution the Catholic Church relied entirely on the Tutsi, who resisted all thought of conversion, and on the bons offices of the Germans, whom they succeeded in irritating through their clientship network and theocratic tendencies. The court, on which in theory they

should have concentrated for the conversion of the nobility, was a hotbed of intrigue and resentment at European high-handedness. Yet the very same Europeans were putting down risings and extending Rwanda’s frontiers bock to their limits in Rwabugiri’s glorious days. The situation was fraught with contradictions, the most serious of which for the missionaries was the growth of a Hutu Church in a Tutsi State.

Classe, who might have been expected to put things right, was now performing most of Hirth’s duties; the Vicar Apostolic, on grounds of failing eyesight, had retired into the confessional at Nyundo, where he sat for hours forgiving the sins all his refinements of the catechumenate had failed to prevent. Outside, a disciple of the Brard’ school drove in the penitents. Described by Governor Schnee as ‘a tall fine figure of a man, honoured and esteemecl by everyone’, Hirth still could not contain the violence of his priests, catechists and converts. Classe, as Vicar General, fully committed to supporting Tutsi rule, made every effort to suppress pro-Hutu tendencies among the clergy, but he lacked the authority of a Vicar Apostolic, for though Hirth was inactive he did not renounce his office.

This split jurisdiction that existed de facto, if not de jure, in the Rwandan vicariate greatly reduced the missionary Church’s ability to respond to the growth of dissension and disunity withht its ranks, especially that disunity which sprang from the cultural and political differences, and, therefore, the needs of the north and south. This  which was of the utmost importance for the Germans and Tutsi, could hardly fail to be equally important for the missionaries. But there was no escaping from a uniform mission policy; there was one vicariate, one Vicar Apostolic and one policy; it could not be otherwise given the Germans’ intentions and the will of the court. But Fathers Superior closely involved with local problems could ignore Classe’s clear national directives with the excuse that they did not come from the top. Few of the northern missionaries shared the Vicar General’s experience of Nyanza; they opposed the imposition of a policy designed to serve the interests of a court they regarded as powerless. Some cherished notions that Christianity was the religion of the poor, others felt they could knock a respect for authority into their Hutu Christians without help from the Tutsi. The `northern’ faction could simply see no need for the wily ‘atheist’ Tutsi in their territory; some saw no need for the Germans either. This was how one Father ruled his theocracy: ‘A score was given these people by putting them through the darkroom treatment, a room with closed shutters and a revolver on the table. The sub-chief, paralysed with fear, sat next to the Father Superior while chains were rattled in side room to add a lugubrious note to this macabre scene.

Yet once the Catholics saw that the Germans were going to force Banyanduga on the north they were obliged to take the Tutsi into account. When the translation of the Gospels of St John and St Mark was begun Monsignor Hirth insisted on the language of the court rather than Kiga. The arrival of the Protestants put a new urgency into the debate about coercion of the peasantry and the apostolate to the ruling class. Kandt’s precliction of a Lutheran monopoly of the Tutsi was taken seriously. The German Protestants, however, made the same mistakes as the Catholics in their first two years, involving themselves with Hutu-Tutsi disputes and seeing in the ‘sturdy Hutu peasant’ the future of Rwanda.

During the Kivu-Mfumbiro conference Muhumusa, the Nyabingi prophetess, escaped from Bukoba and remained at large. The eyes of both the Germans and the court were anxiously fixed on the north, where Lukara lwa Bishingwe, at the height of his power, with a herd of 1,600 cattle, caruped at the foot of Lyangombe’s sacred mountain, Muhavura volcan. In May 1910 the Kaiser signed protocols which handed over portions of Kivu and north-west Rwanda to Britain and Belgium. Although Musinga had only nominal jurisdiction over some of the lost territory, since Rwabugiri’s campaigns it had been considered part of greater Rwanda. The loss was a severe blow. The bitter pin of expanding Catholicism had been sweetened by the hope that the Fathers were providing a new foothold in the mountainous north. The loss of his half-brother’s land in Mfumbiro, the chieftaincy of Nyindo, more than offset any gains to be made through the missionaries.

Lukara’s great prestige as the leader of a mobile military force which had outwitted all Musinga’s attempts at capture was increased by his canny manipulation of religious and political symbolism; his camp was named Nyanza, and even White Fathers approaching the sacred mountain where it lay were warned that they risked their lives. The segmentary character of all Hutu groupings, was, however, a built-in restraint on such bands of kin and clients. Early in 1910 two of Lukara’s kinsme led a break-away movement, taking with them over 600 cattle and many followers. Both factions plied Rwaza mission with copious gifts instead of the rotten eggs they used to send. Father Loupias, dutifully carrying out his instructions not to intervene in local conflicts, referred both parties to the mwami. Lukara retaliated by denying the mission timber from ‘his’ forests. Loupias, a giant of a man, set out to find the band and almost came to blows with their leader.

Musinga now made a positive move: he sent a representative to Rwaza mission, presumably in the hope of reasserting his control over the Rashi lineages. Father Loupias could hardly refuse his direct request to be guided to Lukara’s encampment. At a large meeting, to which all parties were summoned, Lukara reluctantly agreed to recognise the autonomy of the splinter group. Buoyed up by the presence of the Catholic missionary and his Christian entourage, the Banyanduga tried to press home their advantage. Nshozamihigo’s agent stepped forward and called on the king’s man to prosecute the rebels for cattle theft. Lukara jumped to this feet. Loupias stood up to restrain him. As Lukara ducked, perhaps on some hidden signal, a hail of arrows struck the White Father, wounding him in the forehead and liver. The mission nyampara bore him back to Rwaza, where he died on the evening of 1 April 1910, the first casualty of the policy of co-operation with the Tutsi. Lavigerie’s missiology had been followed, central authority had been upheld — more, it had been imposed — but at a high price. The dilemma of the Hutu north, symbolised by Loupias’s death, was to remain with the mission throughout the colonial period.

The first years of German civilian rule had inaugurated a pattern of relationships between court and missions which was to last until Belgian rule. Classe, despite an incessant struggle to cut back on clientship relations in the Church, was able to normalise relations with the administration and make gains for the White Fathers. Although the Tutsi remained refractory to the attempts at their conversion, they were willing to countenance missionary activity provided it resulted in strengthening Nyanza’s hand with the Germans and in the provinces; the school in the capital was a tangible concession. Meanwhile the first steps at developing a self-supporting Hutu Church with its own priesthood were under way. It was the growth of this Hutu Church that was soon to force the king from a position of resistance to quiet accommodation. and RevolutionIn der Person des Herrn Pater Classe einen geeigneten Leiter… haben,’ wrote Von Grawert complacently to Monsignor Hirth. His complacency was not shared by the missionaries, who resented Classe's eager support for the court, his apparent defection from the northern camp, and his obvious determination as Vicar General to...AMATEKA