Category Archives: Elections 2017

From Victim to Victimizer, Kagame’s Becoming a Not-So-Benevolent Authoritarian

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MR. 99 PERCENT

Elections are a mere ‘formality’ for Paul Kagame. He brought stability in the wake of atrocity, but does that make him any more a democrat, or any less an authoritarian?

“When the elections were announced in Kagame’s favor this weekend, world leaders—including those Americans and Britons who often sing his praises—were expected to rush to congratulate him. But as the State Department statement about voting irregularities made clear, even Washington is having its doubts. Now who will actually confront him over the deaths of so many thousands? Who will call him out as the dictator that he is?”

CALABAR, Nigeria—For decades, he has been sliding towardauthoritarianism, and his name has been synonymous with Africa’s bloodiest wars. Having put an end to one genocide, he has since shared responsibility for the death of hundreds of thousands of people.

Yet this man who helped force leaders of Uganda, Rwanda, and Congo (which was then called Zaire) out of power, and now oppresses many of his own people, somehow manages to win the applause of the West.

Because Rwandans were the victims of horrendous massacres before he took over, he has sympathy; because his economy has prospered since, he has admiration. He has brought stability in the wake of atrocity, but does that make him any more a democrat, or any less a tyrant?

On Friday, in elections where the U.S. State Department said it was “disturbed by irregularities in the voting, Paul Kagame won a third seven-year term, this time with 99 percent of the suffrage. No wonder he said earlier that the polling was a “formality.”

One is hard pressed to think of any tyrants of recent vintage, from Fidel Castro to Saddam Hussein, who would claim such phenomenal numbers. (Close, yes, but not quite 99 percent.) Yet for years, Kagame has won effusive praise from the democratic West.

“I am clear, Rwanda has been, and continues to be, a success story of a country that has gone from genocide and disaster to being a role model for development and lifting people out of poverty in Africa,” said Britain’s then-Prime Minister David Cameron, speaking to the House of Commons in 2012. “I am proud of the fact that the last [British] Government, and this Government, have continued to invest in that success.” 

That’s the typical language Western leaders like to use to describe Rwanda under Kagame, especially when lavishing torrents of foreign aid on the tiny African nation. Yet Cameron’s comments came just after the United Nationsreleased a devastating report (PDF) that accused Rwanda of effectively masterminding a murderous rebellion in the neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) which forced half a million people from their homes. Despite being aware of Kagame’s human rights atrocities, Cameron said it was “right” to continue pouring aid into his regime. And he isn’t the only leader to think highly of Kagame.

Tony Blair, who has made Rwanda the focus of the work of his charity, Africa Governance Initiative (AGI), referred to Kagame as a “visionary leader” and a friend. Bill Clinton once said he is “one of the greatest leaders of our time.” Bill Gates, who works with Kagame on various projects, says “Rwanda is doing something right.” Gates’s wife, Melinda, believes the country has “figured things out.” Even the U.N. has asked African nations to “emulate what Rwanda is doing.”

It doesn’t just end in praise. An estimated $1 billion is spent annually on foreign aid to Kagame’s government. The United States provides close to a fifth, followed by the U.K. which has so far this year given £64 million (about $84 million) in aid. Germany and the Netherlands give substantial aid to Rwanda as well.

One can run down a checklist of the good that Kagame has done, and it is considerable. His investment in agriculture in the last two decades has yielded positive returns. The country has had an annual growth rate of 8 percent since 2000, becoming one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Tea and coffee exports are soaring, thanks to reforms in the agricultural sector. Life expectancy, literacy, primary school enrolment and spending on healthcare have all improved, partly due to foreign aid that often is used judiciously. Rwanda has succeeded in reducing poverty levels from 57 percent in 2005 to 45 percent in 2010, although 63 percent of the population still live in extreme poverty.

Rwanda has become, as well, the most female friendly nation in the world, especially in the area of politics. Close to 64 percent of parliamentarians are women compared to about 22 percent worldwide. Women are now able to own land and girls can inherit from their parents, which wasn’t the case some years back.

But the good that’s been done does not make the bad any less sinister. And often when things appear great in Rwanda, someone else is paying the price.

For instance, on the streets of the capital, Kigali, there are no beggars, no hawkers, and no prostitutes operating in the open. According to Human Rights Watch (HRW), Kagame’s men have rounded them up and put them in “transit centers” where they are held without charge and beaten with sticks.

A new HRW report shows that officials summarily executed “at least 37 suspected petty offenders” in Rwanda’s Western Province between July 2016 and March 2017, as part of an official strategy to “spread fear, enforce order, and deter any resistance to government orders or policies.”

Executions were carried out by soldiers who accused the victims of stealing items like bananas, a cow, or a motorcycle; smuggling marijuana; illegally crossing the border from the Democratic Republic of Congo into Rwanda, or of using illegal fishing nets. Witnesses who saw the bodies soon after the executions told HRW that they saw bullet wounds and injuries that seemed to have been caused by beatings or stabbings. One victim had been stabbed in the heart; another had a cord around his neck.

“Instead of investigating the executions and disappearances and providing information or assistance to the families, local authorities threatened some who dared to ask questions,” reports Daniel Bekele, senior director for Africa advocacy at Human Rights Watch. “The government should focus on investigating and prosecuting those responsible for the crimes, and not allow a cover-up.”

HRW also found that residents followed orders from authorities to kill suspected thieves, and many were beaten to death. In public meetings, authorities reportedly declared that they were following “new orders” which called for the killing of thieves and other criminals.

Some of these killings were carried out in front of multiple witnesses, but they are rarely discussed in public. No local media outlets have reported about them, and local human rights groups are too afraid to publish any information on such issues due to the the strict restrictions on independent media and civil society in Rwanda. Even HRW, which revealed the atrocities, can’t operate freely in the country.

“We have a Memorandum of Understanding with the government of Rwanda (through the Ministry of Justice), but we do not have an INGO (International Non-Governmental Organization) registration,” Lewis Mudge, HRW senior researcher focusing on Central Africa, told The Daily Beast. But he insists, “That has not affected our ability to enter the country to conduct research.”

Talk of extrajudicial killings in Rwanda should not come as a surprise to anyone, not even to liberal supporters of the regime. After all, President Kagame’s life has been full of wars, executions, oppression, and conspiracies.

When Paul Kagame was two years old, violence began in Rwanda between the Hutu and the Tutsi, two of the three major ethnic groups in the country. The conflict led to the Rwandan Revolution, which saw the country transition from a Belgian colony to an independent Hutu-dominated republic that was hostile to the Tutsi people, forcing more than 100,000 to seek refuge in neighboring countries. Kagame’s family fled to Uganda, where he spent the rest of his childhood.

At 24, Kagame joined a tiny group of Ugandan rebels led by Yoweri Museveni. Years later, he helped Museveni topple the government of Uganda. Museveni then became president (a position he has held now for 31 years), and Kagame was appointed his head of military intelligence. Kagame used that opportunity to build a network of Rwandan Tutsi refugees within the Ugandan military, with the eventual goal of invading Rwanda. Three years later, Museveni demoted Kagame after facing huge criticisms in Uganda over his appointment of Rwandan refugees to major positions in his government.

Kagame then joined forces with the rebel group Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to oust President Juvénal Habyarimana, a Hutu, whose regime was hostile to the Tutsi. When the leader of the group, Fred Rwigyema, was killed three days after the RPF began its uprising, Kagame—who was in the U.S. attending a course at the Command and General Staff College in Fort Leavenworth—flew back to take charge.

Kagame’s RPF fought the government’s Hutu forces for three years until 1993 when a ceasefire was reached, but that didn’t last long as Hutu officers, plotted the extermination of every Tutsi in Rwanda. When a plane carrying Habyarimana, was shot down by unknown assassins in April 1994, a military committee that took immediate control of the country started right away murdering Tutsis and also Hutus who were opposed to the regime in what became the Rwandan Genocide. Within three months more than 800,000 Tutsi and politically moderate Hutu were killed in coordinated attacks.

A year later, the genocide ended. Kagame had successfully taken thegénocidaires out of power and pushed them into Congo (then known as Zaire). When they regrouped and began to carry out little raids in Rwanda with the support of long-time Zaire dictator President Mobutu Sese Seko, Kagame responded by invading—pitching his tent with the newly created rebel group, the Alliance of Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Congo (ADFL)—aiming to oust Mobutu and install Kagame’s ally, Laurent-Désiré Kabila, as his successor. At the end of what was known as the First Congo War, about 222,000 Rwandan Hutu refugees were either killed or missing. The atrocities were blamed on the Rwandan Defense Forces and the ADFL, which were determined to eliminate any military threat to the Kagame government.

But a short time after Kabila took power from Mobutu, the new Congo leader fell out with Kagame, and—like Mobutu—began to support the génocidaires. This time, Kagame responded by throwing his weight behind a new rebel group, the Rally for Congolese Democracy (RCD), and launching the Second Congo War in 1998. Within 12 days, the Rwandan-backed forces had made advances toward the Congolese capital, Kinshasa, and would probably have ousted Kabila but for the intervention of Angola and Zimbabwe.

Kabila eventually was killed in 2001 by a bodyguard, in what was reported in some quarters to be an assassination masterminded by Rwanda. Two years after his death, the conflict ended. At this time, between three million and 7.6 million people had lost their lives, mostly through starvation and disease,based on figures attributed to the International Rescue Committee (IRC).

Kagame has kept insisting he fought both wars in Congo to keep Rwanda safe, but he’s been accused in a number of reports of tapping the mineral resources of Congo and collecting taxes from companies licensed to mine minerals in the east of the country.

From the point of view of Rwandan security, Kagame’s strategy appears to have worked. He has not been involved in any foreign war since his country pulled out of Congo in 2009, but it’s hard to think that he doesn’t have a close eye on his neighbors, especially with elections at hand and external interference very likely.

Kagame was running for a third term as Rwandan president on Friday, August 4. He wouldn’t have been eligible, but a 2015 referendum that passed with 98.4 percent of the vote allows him to stay in power until 2034, if he keeps being elected—and so he was, with that implausible 99 percent. In the 2003 presidential elections, he racked up more than 95 percent of the vote. In 2010 he garnered 93 percent. No doubt he is very popular, still, among many Rwandans, but in virtually any other country in the world, such numbers would be considered risible measures of tyranny.

Despite not having a strong opposition, Kagame didn’t want to take chances. In May, the National Electoral Commission (NEC) published new regulations that required parties or individuals who wish to campaign on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Instagram, YouTube, or other websites to submit the content for approval to the electoral body two days in advance. But a month later, the decision was reversed after the U.S., the U.K., the Netherlands, Germany, and the E.U. issued strong statements against the restrictions on social media.

Elsewhere, it appears Kagame may have done far worse than trying to stop free speech. His opponents have a way of meeting untimely ends at home and even when they flee abroad.

As documented by Amnesty International, one—who served as intelligence chief—was strangled in South Africa. Another—who served as cabinet minister—was assassinated in Kenya. Rwandan death squads allegedly have tried to infiltrate Europe. Criticisms can easily be interpreted as insults to the lanky leader, and Kagame wouldn’t accept any of that.

“The climate in which the upcoming elections take place is the culmination of years of repression,” Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes, said in the report last month, before Friday’s elections. “Rwanda’s history of political repression, attacks on opposition figures and dissenting voices in the context of previous elections, stifles political debate and makes those who might speak out think twice before taking the risk.”

When the elections were announced in Kagame’s favor this weekend, world leaders—including those Americans and Britons who often sing his praises—were expected to rush to congratulate him. But as the State Department statement about voting irregularities made clear, even Washington is having its doubts. Now who will actually confront him over the deaths of so many thousands? Who will call him out as the dictator that he is?

Source: The Daily Beast

Our african friend, the mass murderer

mass muderer

A bad man (THOMAS SAMSON/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

“It is high time for a fundamental rethinking of U.S. relations with Rwanda’s leader. Military and diplomatic collaboration should halt. Kagame should be banned from entering the United States or participating in international fora. Humanitarian aid should continue, but other assistance should be curtailed now until he leaves office”.

Maybe we shouldn’t care that Rwanda’s recently reelected president is a mass murderer.

After all, he has become a reliable partner, who welcomes U.S. investors, improves public health, and sends peacekeeping forces to hellholes where we won’t, like Darfur.

Admittedly, he jails or kills his political opponents, but that eliminates the destabilizing uncertainty of elections.

Yes, he modified his country’s constitution to allow him to rule for up to 40 years, until 2034, but who expects true democracy in that part of the world anyway?

Of course, it’s unfortunate that his ethnic Tutsi minority holds all key positions in Rwanda, repressing the overwhelming majority ethnic Hutu in a black-on-black version of apartheid, but some Hutu committed genocide in 1994, and so their children and grandchildren must be denied basic rights.

Call me a grudge-holder, but I just can’t forgive and forget that Paul Kagame ordered the killing of approximately 350,000 ethnic Hutu, in Rwanda and Congo, in the 1990s. This puts him in the pantheon of post-WWII murderers, alongside Pol Pot and Idi Amin.

Is there a statute of limitation for genocide? Should subsequent good deeds be exculpatory? By treating him as a valued ally, do we dishonor his victims? Do we violate the Genocide Convention? Do we encourage repetition of such crimes?

For the uninitiated, here’s Kagame’s abridged rap sheet. Starting in 1990, he led a Tutsi invasion of Rwanda that displaced a million civilians and knowingly provoked the retaliatory carnage for which Rwanda is most famous.

In 1994, as his forces seized control of Rwanda, they slaughtered an estimated 100,000 Hutu civilians. After many surviving Hutu fled to Congo, he pursued them in 1996, murdering another 200,000. When remaining domestic Hutu resisted his ethnic dictatorship in 1998, he ordered a brutal counterinsurgency that killed 50,000 more.

The only thing more despicable than the magnitude of this killing was its tactics. Kagame typically started by chasing Hutu civilians into harsh territory. As his victims confronted starvation and hunger, his officials would come forward with offers of humanitarian aid.

Gradually, the displaced would trickle in for food and water. When the desperate Hutu had fully assembled, his troops opened fire and killed them all. For more gruesome details, see authoritative reports by the United Nations and Human Rights Watch.

Why do we treat war criminals so disparately? In Libya, Muammar Khaddafy’s forces killed barely 1,000 people in February 2011, including armed opponents, according to judicial investigations. This equates to approximately one-third of one percent of Kagame’s victims.

Yet in response, the International Criminal Court indicted Khaddafy for war crimes, and NATO led an intervention that bombed his forces and assisted his rebel opponents until they captured, sodomized, and executed him. By contrast, Kagame is rewarded with honorary degrees and hundreds of millions in annual foreign aid.

I am not a naïf. I accept that world politics sometimes requires deals with the devil as the lesser evil. Perhaps it is understandable that Washington embraced Kagame in 1994 despite his crimes, in hopes of stabilizing a post-genocide situation.

But such exigency disappeared long ago. Kagame has proved anything but a force for stability. He invaded Congo twice, spurring wars that resulted in an estimated 5 million fatalities. He continues to undermine democracy by hunting opponents and overriding term limits. Most perilously, he marginalizes Rwanda’s Hutu majority, brewing the next eruption of ethnic violence.

It is high time for a fundamental rethinking of U.S. relations with Rwanda’s leader. Military and diplomatic collaboration should halt. Kagame should be banned from entering the United States or participating in international fora. Humanitarian aid should continue, but other assistance should be curtailed now until he leaves office.

A hardline stance would also send a salutary message to the region’s other aspiring presidents-for-life: Our indulgence has limits.

Isolating Kagame will not by itself resolve the problems of Rwanda or its neighbors. But there can be little hope for peace or justice in central Africa so long as we embrace its worst war criminal.

Kuperman is associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs, University of Texas at Austin.

Source: New York Daily News

Rwanda : meurtres, répression… le système Kagamé

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Les Rwandais sont appelés aux urnes pour élire leur président… ou plutôt réélire Paul Kagamé, en place depuis 2000.

Les bureaux de vote ouvrent, vendredi 4 août, à Kigali au Rwanda et dans tout le pays. Ils vont attendre patiemment que les électeurs s’y pressent pour réélire le président sortant Paul Kagamé, pour un troisième mandat, qu’il a annoncé comme son dernier en mai. Le suspense n’est, en effet, pas de mise. Seuls deux opposants politiques ont été reconnus candidats officiels : Frank Habineza pour le Parti démocratique vert (PVD) et Philippe Mpayimana, candidat indépendant.

Pour les autres, la Commission électorale nationale les a écartés ou alors ils ont été victimes de campagnes de diffamation et de menaces. Mais finalement peu importe les opposants et leur nombre pour Paul Kagamé, qui répète à l’envi que l’élection est jouée depuis le référendum du 15 décembre 2015. Celui-ci l’a autorisé à se représenter jusqu’en 2034, avec 98,3% des voix. Un score impressionnant dans un pays connu pour sa répression politique.

Campagnes d’intimidation et menaces

Seuls deux opposants politiques ont donc réussi à braver les obstacles et à se faire reconnaître comme candidats officiels pour cette élection présidentielle. D’autres candidats en ont été empêchés. Le 3 mai dernier, Diane Rwigara par exemple a annoncé qu’elle se présenterait en tant que candidate indépendante. Dans les mois précédents, elle avait dénoncé publiquement la pauvreté, l’injustice, l’insécurité et l’absence de liberté d’expression au Rwanda. Une attaque directe envers le pouvoir. Quelques jours seulement après l’annonce de sa candidature, cette fille d’un financier du Front patriotique rwandais (FPR), parti de Paul Kagamé, mort dans des circonstances troubles, a fait l’objet d’une campagne de diffamation. Des photos où elle apparaissait dénudée ont circulé sur les réseaux sociaux. Elle et Philippe Mpayimana se sont également plaints que leurs représentants avaient été victimes de harcèlement et de manœuvres d’intimidation pendant qu’ils recueillaient les signatures nécessaires à la validation des candidatures.

Pour contrer cette répression, certains opposants vivent à l’étranger, comme l’abbé Thomas Nahimana. Ce candidat déclaré s’est pourtant vu plusieurs fois empêché de revenir d’exil. Même à l’étranger, il est donc difficile d’échapper à Kagamé. L’ancien chef des services de renseignements, Patrick KAREGEYA, a ainsi été retrouvé étranglé dans une chambre d’hôtel d’Afrique du Sud en 2014.

Deux décennies de répression politique

Deux décennies d’attaques contre les opposants politiques, les médias indépendants et les défenseurs des droits humains ont créé un climat de peur au Rwanda. C’est ce que dénonce Amnesty International, dans un rapport publié vendredi 7 juillet. L’ONG a donc décidé d’alerter sur le manque évident d’opposition politique et sur les dérives répressives du pouvoir.

Parmi les cas cités par le rapport, on trouve l’assassinat en mai de Jean Damascene Habarugira, un membre du parti non reconnu des Forces démocratiques unifiées (FDU), présidé par l’opposante Victoire Ingabire. Cette dernière a été condamnée en 2010 à quinze ans de détention pour “minimisation du génocide”.

“Depuis que le FPR est arrivé au pouvoir, il y a vingt-trois ans, il est difficile pour les Rwandais de participer à la vie publique et de critiquer ouvertement les politiques gouvernementales ; certains le paient même de leur vie”, a déclaré Muthoni Wanyeki, directrice du programme Afrique de l’Est, Corne de l’Afrique et Grands Lacs à Amnesty International.

Dans son rapport, Amnesty international exhorte donc l’Etat rwandais à entreprendre des réformes ambitieuses qui élargiront l’espace politique avant l’élection de 2024. Ce qui permettrait un débat véritable et l’expression d’opinions politiques diverses. Un travail de fond sur la liberté d’expression doit notamment être entrepris.

Répression médiatique

La liberté d’expression, c’est justement ce dont manquent les médias, fortement réprimés. Depuis des années, des journalistes sont emprisonnés, harcelés, parfois tués, et beaucoup ont été contraints à l’exil. En 2010, les journaux indépendants “Umuvugizi” et “Umuseso” ont été suspendus de parution pour avoir critiqué le régime, en pleine campagne électorale de réélection. Jean-Léonard Rugambage, alors rédacteur en chef adjoint del “Umuvugizi”, a été tué par balle à Kigali en 2010, alors qu’il enquêtait sur une tentative d’assassinat contre le général Kayumba Nyamwasa, passé dans l’opposition. En 2015, c’est le service rwandais de la BBC qui a été bloqué, l’un des seuls médias à délivrer une information indépendante. En 2016, au moins trois journalistes ont été arrêtés après avoir enquêté sur des sujets sensibles, comme la corruption et les morts suspectes.

Dans son rapport, Amnesty International invite le gouvernement à créer un mécanisme juridique pour enquêter sur les violations des droits de l’homme. Un défi, tant que Paul Kagamé reste au pouvoir.

Un bilan contrasté

Malgré l’utilisation d’un régime répressif toujours plus violent pour se maintenir en place, Paul Kagamé possède un bilan jugé positif sur le plan économique : croissance de 7 %, population couverte à 91 % par l’assurance-maladie, politiques efficaces de lutte contre la corruption. Ce qui corroborerait pour certains la popularité “indéniable” du président. Paul Kagamé, à la tête du Front patriotique rwandais, a contribué à mettre fin au génocide qui a fait plus de 800.000 morts 1994. “The Boss” comme on l’appelle à Kigali, a toujours été élu avec plus de 90 % des voix, dans ce pays de 11,5 millions d’habitants.

Mais la répression en vigueur va une fois encore empêcher de connaître la vraie valeur de ce vote : vote d’adhésion, de peur ou de dépit ?

Justine Benoit

Source: L’OBS

‘Rwanda is like a pretty girl with a lot of makeup, but the inside is dark and dirty’

Diane Rwigara

Diane Rwigara asks to postpone the interview. “My personal adviser is missing,” explains the text message. This is the new normal for Rwigara, who was until recently a loyal scion of Rwanda’s ruling elite.

Since the death of her father in 2015, the 35-year-old businesswoman has become a fierce critic of Paul Kagame, the country’s all-powerful president, and the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF).

In May she announced her intention to run against him in the country’s electionon 4 August. For this, she has paid a heavy price.

In her grand, heavily fortified home in the heart of Kigali, the Rwandan capital, the interview goes ahead after her adviser – a close friend – turns up safe.

“He didn’t come home last night,” she explains. A stranger had called the night before and asked him to come for a drink. “He said he could give him some publicity for his newspaper. And you know how it is here: if you’re not part of the government, it’s hard to get publicity.”

He woke up the next day in a hotel room, his phone missing, remembering nothing from the previous night. “I’m used to it,” Rwigara says. Her best friend disappeared last December after she started speaking out against Kagame and the RPF. He has still not reappeared. “That’s life here. I’m just happy this one came back.”

Rwigara’s presidential bid was stillborn. On 7 July the National Electoral Commission barred her from standing on technical grounds, a move that came as little surprise to most. Kagame has ruled the country with an iron fist since sweeping to power after the genocide against Rwanda’s Tutsi minority in 1994. Criticism is barely tolerated, and the history of the past 15 or so years is littered with the names of opponents silenced and dissenters muzzled. To that list Rwigara adds her father, a prominent Tutsi businessman known to have been close to the RPF, at least early on.

“He was targeted because he did not want to continue to do business as usual,” she says. “If you have successful business, the RPF has to be part of it – and eventually get you out. But he did not want to let them in; he did not want to end up working for them. And he did not want to flee the country, though they did all they could to make him. So they had no choice.”

The US-educated Rwigara publicly accused the government of foul play after her father died in a road accident, contacting foreign embassies in Kigali and international human rights organisations, as well as petitioning the president. Many question the allegation, but there has been no official investigation. It is the family’s word against that of the police.

Rwigara’s thwarted candidacy was a brief flash of colour in the otherwise drab landscape of contemporary Rwandan politics. Kagame’s re-election is so certain that he himself claimed victory on the first day of campaigning, citing the overwhelming verdict of a controversial constitutional referendum in 2015 that permitted him to stand for a third term.

The proposed changes passed with a thumping 98% majority. “Pretending not to know the will expressed by the people during the referendum would be a lie, not democracy,” he told cheering crowds at a rally.

But Rwigara exposed cracks in the RPF’s confident facade. Most doubt that she would have been a significant electoral threat, but the lengths to which the authorities went to frustrate her – she claims her supporters were repeatedly threatened, beaten and jailed as they toured the country drumming up support – suggested a nervousness that belied Kagame’s breezy rhetoric.

“The RPF are scared,” Rwigara says. “If they are loved by the people, as they claim, why is that when someone like me announces an intention to run they resort to all these dirty tricks to try to discourage me and silence me? If they were really popular, then they would have let me compete.”

Many in Kigali agree. “Every week that she is not in trouble is progress,” confides one foreign diplomat. “She, not the official opposition, is the ultimate test for them.”

Rwigara represents young, prosperous urbanites who grew up under the RPF and whom it sees as essential to the country’s future. The busloads of young Rwandans who arrived to watch her announce her candidacy, and her packed press conferences, unnerved Kagame and his allies, according to insiders. Nude photos, apparently of her, soon flooded the internet – assumed to be a well-orchestrated smear.

She believes her fearlessness in speaking out is a headache for the RPF, which fastidiously cultivates a rosy image of Rwanda for the outside world. “Rwanda is like a very pretty girl with a lot of makeup,” she says. “Perfect teeth, perfect hair, perfect everything. They spend so much time on the image because they know the inside is dark and dirty.”

Since her candidacy failed, Rwigara has launched what she calls a “movement” to challenge the regime on its human rights record. While her political awakening could be attributed to her father’s death, she makes allegations that go beyond personal grievance. Nobody else inside Rwanda has spoken more frankly about the extrajudicial assassinations that exiled critics and international organisations such as Human Rights Watch claim the government frequently carries out against its enemies.

“Everybody knows somebody who has disappeared, who has been killed,” Rwigara says. “The personal doctor of the president and an army major both died in the same week as my father. And those are the well-known people. You don’t hear about the other people.”

Yet she is also a former insider, and her candidacy could be seen as evidence of emerging fractures within the Tutsi elite who dominate politics and business. The government has made enemies of some of its natural supporters, such as the Rwigara family. After her father’s death, the family’s properties in central Kigali were seized and their hotel demolished.

Diane Rwigara gives a press conference after announcing her plans to run for president
Pinterest
Diane Rwigara gives a press conference in May after announcing her plans to run for president. She was later barred on a technicality. Photograph: Cyril Ndegeya/AFP/Getty Images

If she makes an unlikely spokesperson for the poor farmers who make up the majority of Rwandans, she may be more persuasive as an advocate for women. Kagame is something of a “donor darling” for his commitment to gender equality – half of the supreme court judges are women, and the country’s parliament is 61% female, the highest proportion in the world – but Rwigara dismisses such headline achievements as window-dressing.

“So what if Rwanda has the highest percentage of women in parliament? It’s really just part of the image. Because what do these women do?” she asks.

She says the parliament is little more than a rubber-stamp. There are women in senior positions in government, but none wield real power. And despite its impressive strides, academics have questioned the substance of Rwanda’s gender-equality drive, especially for unmarried women.

“Diane took big risks just being a woman in Rwandan politics – Rwanda is just not ready for that,” says Susan Thomson, assistant professor of peace and conflict studies at Colgate University in the US, adding that the “the way the government sexualised her with those nude photos was frankly disgusting”. But she and others have also noted that it is precisely women like Rwigara – wealthy, predominantly Tutsi, often English-speaking – who have benefited most from the RPF’s empowerment measures.

Rwigara doesn’t see her gender as a hindrance. “They used my being a woman to get to me,” she says. “But even if I’d been a man they’d have found other ways.” In fact, it was her family that had the problem with the idea of women in politics. “Growing up I remember my family members – my mum and my aunt – saying that a girl should not have a political opinion; that a girl should not be politically active. It took me a while to make peace with being a girl who likes politics.”

Is Rwanda ready for a female president? “I think Rwandans themselves are,” she answers. “Because if the regime thought the people would not listen to me because I’m a woman, then they would not have tried to find all these ways to stop me.”

She says she doesn’t fear for her life. “Not for the moment. They know killing me will make too much noise. It’s harder to kill you once you are known, once you’ve been seen.”

Source: The Guardian

We strive to get “TOGETHER TO MODERNIZE RWANDA”

PRESS RELEASE

We strive to get “TOGETHER TO MODERNIZE RWANDA”

  1. The aim of any political association is the preservation of the natural and inalienable human rights. These rights are freedom, property, security and resistance to oppression” (Art.2 Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen of 1789).
  2. Given that ISHEMA Party was founded in the spirit of the aforementioned article, the media and associations of ill-intentioned propaganda which, for lack of information, bad faith or partisanship, tend to portray our party as an extremist movement, will no longer be able to resist in front of the verdict of evidence.
  3. Because, “Together to Modernize Rwanda” is the only project we have and will soon propose to the Rwandan people, who, we have every confidence, will, at the appropriate time, appreciate its short, medium and long term benefits; namely a sustainable peace and a justly shared economic development.

For these reasons, we hereby declare and inform the Rwandan people and the international community of the following:

  1. We warmly welcome and appreciate the historic declaration of this Sunday, December 11, 2016, made by the President of the Republic of Rwanda, Paul KAGAME, publicly and bluntly disowning the state agencies that took the decision to illegally block at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on November 23, 2016, the Leader of ISHEMA Party, Mr. Father Thomas NAHIMANA and his team, thus depriving them of their right to return to their motherland with the clear purpose of exercising their civil and political rights.
  2. We are happy with this very “first sign of openness and appeasement” conceded by the President of the Republic to the Rwandan democratic opposition, which must quickly mobilize in a responsible and constructive way to benefit from the unavoidable and imminent evolution of the democratic process.
  3. We reaffirm our firm intention to return to Rwanda to undertake the necessary steps and fulfill the legal requirements for the registration of our party, ISHEMA, in order to participate in the presidential election of August 4, 2017 and the parliamentary elections of 2018. We are delighted to announce that, this time, we will land in Kigali, on Monday, January 23, 2017.
  4. We express our gratitude to all BATARIPFANA and to all sympathizers of ISHEMA Party, both new and long-time, who have unreservedly supported us during the difficult times. We also invite them to promptly make their contribution so that our nonviolent engagement can irreversibly inspire the Rwandan people in building a more united and reconciled nation.
  5. To the International Community, we call for close follow-up and provision of all necessary assistance for the speedy release of all political prisoners, for a constructive and peaceful debate and for the organization of credible elections.

Long live the Republic

Long live the united and reconciled people of Rwanda.

 

Done in Paris, this 15/12/2016

Rev. Father Thomas NAHIMANA,

Leader of ISHEMA Party,

Candidate in the 2017 presidential election.

Ishema Party and the New Generation Coalition: Invitation to the farewell conferences

Indogobe

1. In order to materialize the plans of ISHEMA Party and the New Generation Coalition of leaders,

2. In order to honor the promise we made unto Rwandans to return to Rwanda to exercise our political rights and work hand in hand with the people as we struggle to build a nation where democracy prevails and based on values of the Truth , Intrepidness and Social justice,

3. Implementing the resolutions of the Congress of Ishema Party held in Brussels, Belgium from the 15th to the 17th of January 2016;

4. Subsequent to the farewell to the Rwandans living in Australia and America,

We are happy to invite all the Rwandans living in European and African countries to the farewell conferences scheduled as follows:

(1) In Oslo, Norway: on Saturday July 23rd 2016 from 2 pm (14h00).  All the Rwandans living in Scandinavian countries are welcome. The meeting room will be communicated shortly.

(2) In Brussels, Belgium: on Sunday July 31st 2016 from 2 pm (14h00). We will convene at   Rue Eloy 80, 1070 Anderlecht.

(3) In Munich, Germany: on Saturday September 3rd, 2016 from 2 pm (14h00). The meeting room will be communicated very soon.

(4) In Lille, France: on Saturday September 10th 2016 from 2 pm (14h00). The meeting room will be communicated without delay.

(5) In Lusaka, Zambia: on Saturday September 17th, 2016 from 2 pm (14h00). The meeting room will be communicated in few days.

(6) In Capetown, South Africa: on Saturday September 24th, 2016 from 2 pm (14h00). . The meeting room will be communicated shortly.

(7) In Amsterdam, Netherlands: on Saturday October 1st 2016 from 2pm (14h00). The meeting room will be communicated shortly.

During these conferences, Rev Father Thomas NAHIMANA, the candidate of the opposition to the 2017 presidential elections will be joined by a Team of leaders from Ishema Party and the New Generation coalition to launch the campaign manifesto “Together to Modernize Rwanda”.

* The participants will:

  • Hear testimonies, exchange views and ideas and donate their contribution towards the party registration and electoral campaign.
  • Ask questions and get proper answers on the manifesto “Together to Modernize Rwanda”.
  • Discuss the possibility to join us in our journey to Rwanda

All are invited to support the change which is needed by the majority of the Rwandans.

“NO ONE ELSE SHALL DO IT ON OUR BEHALF”.

Done in Paris, on July 12th, 2016.

logo-300x135

Chaste GAHUNDE,
Executive Secretary, ISHEMA Party
Email:chaste.gahunde@gmail.com
Tél :00 33 64 36 01 311

Jean Damascene NTAGANZWA,
Vice President, UDFR-IHAMYE
Email: ntaganzwa2001@yahoo.fr
Tél : 00 31 6 20 92 52 49

Abdallah AKISHURI,
President, FPP-URUKATSA
Email:amacumu.acanye@gmail.com
Tél: 00 33 7 58 17 30 72

NO THIRD TERM : Even after the maneuvered Referendum, Paul Kagame’s candidature remains unconstitutional !

ishema ibenddera

PRESS STATEMENT

Even after the maneuvered Referendum, according to the new Constitution, Paul Kagame’s candidature remains unconstitutional

 

  1. Notwithstanding the propaganda orchestrated by Paul Kagame team, his ordered constitutional reform followed by the controversial referendum that took place on 18th of December 2015 and declared won with an historic 98,3% score, Paul Kagame’s reelection remains constitutionally baseless 
    .
  2. By analytically reviewing the Articles 101 and 172 of the revised Constitution, one realizes that Paul Kagame has no right whatsoever to run a campaign for his third term.
  3. However, during his new year’s message, Paul Kagame has just declared his candidacy for the 2017 upcoming presidential elections, therefore suddenly and definitely making himself an «unconstitutional» candidate.

Subsequently, the leading Team of ISHEMA Party declares the following:

I.Article 101 revised

  1. Before the revision, the article 101 of the 2003  Rwandan Constitution, posited:

«The President of the Republic is elected for a term of seven years renewable only once.

Under no circumstances shall a person hold the office of President of Republic for more than two terms”.

And following is the Article 101 written in the revised Constitution of December 2015:

«The President of the Republic is elected for a five (5) year term. He or she may be re-elected once ».

  1. So far the constitutional reform sets up the sole change from a seven-year to a five-year presidential term whilst maintaining dearly the principle of no more than two terms. It is noteworthy that the simple transition from the seven-year to five-year presidential term does not in any way permit Paul Kagame to run for presidency at the end of his second term.

 

II. Article 172 newly designed

  1. A unique article was introduced seemingly with the aim to grant Paul Kagame a special status by allowing him the possibility to run for the third term, and tentatively stick with power until 2034. Nevertheless after diverse maneuverings the legal text is more than crystal clear: it simply does not allow Paul Kagame to run for a third term.

Here is the text of the famous Article 172:

« The President of the Republic in office at the time this revised Constitution comes into force continues to serve the term of office for which he was elected.

Without prejudice to Article 101 of this Constitution, considering the petitions submitted by Rwandans that preceded the coming into force of this revised Constitution, which were informed by the particular challenges of Rwanda’s tragic history and the choice made to overcome them, the progress so far achieved and the desire to lay a firm foundation for sustainable development, a seven (7) year presidential term of office is established and shall follow the completion of the term of office referred to in the first paragraph of this Article.

The provisions of Article 101 of this Constitution shall take effect after the seven (7) year term of office referred to in the second paragraph of this Article”.

2.Therefore, this article sets the orders as follows:

  • A single seven-year term before the implementation of the five-year terms regime
  • The incumbent president during the constitutional revision shall pursue his term until it is over (2017), this being applicable as well to all members of the parliament in both chambers.

That is all. No paragraph does grant an exception to the current president to run for the third term at the end of the second.

III. The principle of legal non-retroactivity in application

1.The Rwandan Constitution revised in December 2015, published in the official gazette in its special issue on the 24th December 2015 and implemented from the same day, does not hold the annihilation capacity upon  Kagame’s two previous terms. It on contrary recognizes the two terms by confirming that Kagame should pursue his current term. See the first paragraph of Article 172.

2. As such, the revised Constitution having failed to neither create new rights nor exceptional provisions for the incumbent, Paul Kagame’s tentative candidacy must always respect the principle of presidential term limits.

3.Paul Kagame shall not run for the third presidential term constitutionally baseless.

4. For that, by unexpectedly announcing his candidature, eighteen months before future electoral timing, President Paul Kagame is caught red handed in violation of the Rwandan Constitution.

IV. To the International Community, the partners of Rwanda, the organizations of human, civil and political rights as well as all friends of Democracy, we recommend:

1.To take time and re-read analytically the Rwandan Constitution.

2.To Dissuade Paul Kagame in his attempt to violate the Constitution.

3.To assist Rwandans in the struggle to make sure the Constitution is duly respected, to arrest and try Paul Kagame once he stubbornly transgresses against the Constitution.

4.To exercise pressure on Paul Kagame in order to open up the political space, to set free all political prisoners,  and to accept the dialogue between the government and the political opposition with the aim to prepare a conducive political environment prior to the elections of 2017.

5.To support the members of ISHEMA Party and New Generation partners in their plans to return and take part in the political life in Rwanda according to modalities set by the congress to be held in Bruxelles  from 15th to 17th January 2016.

Done at Paris, on January 2nd 2016.

Rev Father Thomas NAHIMANA

ISHEMA Party Leader

The candidate of ISHEMA Party and the New Generation Coalition for 2017 presidential elections.

E-mail : nahimanathom@gmail.com / ishema_party@yahoo.fr Tel : +33652110445

REFERENDUM 2015: Abanyamategeko n’Abacurabwenge ba FPR bongeye kugusha Kagame muri “rugondihene”! Ntiyemerewe kongera kwiyamamaza mu 2017 !

red lineKubera inyota y’ubutegetsi irenze igipimo Paul Kagame yagaragaje guhera mu 1994, Abacurabwenge ba FPR n’Abanyamategeko banditse Itegekonshinga ryo mu 2003 bararidanangiye ku buryo bashakaga kumufungira inzira kugira ngo atazaguma ku butegetsi ubuziraherezo. Niyo mpamvu bagombye kwandika ingingo y’101 itarashoboraga gupfa guhindurwa bitanyuze muri Referendum. Iyo ngingo igira iti “Perezida wa Repubulika atorerwa manda y’imyaka irindwi.  Ashobora kongera gutorwa incuro imwe. Nta na rimwe umuntu yemererwa gutorerwa manda zirenze 2 ku mwanya wa Perezida wa Repubulika”.

Mu mezi ashize, Paul Kagame n’Agatsiko ke bakomeje guteka imitwe mu buryo bunyuranye kugira ngo barebe uko iyi nzitizi y’amategeko yakurwaho bityo akazongera kwiyamamaza mu matora ataha yo mu 2017.

Twabonye ikinamico riteye isoni ryakozwe mu minsi ishize, abaturage bakikorezwa ibiseke byuzuye impapuro ngo zisaba ko Kagame yagirwa Ikigirwamana akazategeka u Rwanda kugeza apfuye,ngo kuko ariwe wenyine wavukiye gutegeka!

Byarangiye habayeho Referendum ififitse, Itegekonshinga rivuguruwe ritorwa mu cyumeru kimwe gusa, ngo ku majwi “atekinitse” arenga 98% !  Kugira ngo bigerweho abaturage baratorewe, abashaka gutora OYA babuzwa gutora, bamwe barakubitwa, abandi barafungwa , sinjye wahera.

Itegekonshinga rivuguruwe ntiryemerera Paul Kagame kuzongera kwiyamamaza mu 2017.

Icyo Paul Kagame atamenye ni uko, muri iyo rwaserera yose, Abanyamategeko n’Abacurabwenge bo muri FPR-Inkotanyi bamuteze umutego wa rugondihene kandi akawugwamo bidasubirwaho . Mu by’ukuri iyo witegereje neza uko Itegekonshinga rivuguruye ryanditswe , uhita ubona ko ritemerera Paul Kagame kuzongera kwitoresha mu 2017.

Kugira ngo Abanyamategeko n’Abacurabwenge ba FPR Inkotanyi babigereho  bakoresheje amayeri yo mu rwego rwo hejuru : birinze kwerekana umushinga wanditse w’Itegekonshinga rishya kugira ngo abambari ba Kagame badahita batahura umutego wagobetswemo ! Mu by’ukuri abaturage bake bashoboye kujya gutora , ntabwo bigeze bamenya icyo bari gutora icyo aricyo . Muri bo hari abibwiraga ko bari guha Kagame inzira yo kuzongera kwiyamamaza mu 2017, ariko siko biri .

Dore impamvu 3 z’ingenzi zerekana ko Paul Kagame atemerewe n’Itegekonshinga rivuguruye kongera kwiyamamaza:

  1. Nta munyarwanda wemerewe gutorerwa manda zireneze ebyiri ku mwanya wa Perezida wa Repubulika

Itegekonshinga ryo mu 2003 ryabigennye ku buryo busobanutse mu ngiyo yaryo y’101; yagira ga iti : “Nta na rimwe umuntu yemererwa gutorerwa manda zirenze ebyeri ku mwanya wa Perezida wa Repubulika”.

Iri niryo tegeko Perezida Paul Kagame yarahiriyeho ni naryo rigenga manda ze . Kugira ngo Paul Kagame abashe gusimbuka  iyi “KIRAZIRA”, Itegekonshinga rivuguruye ryagombaga kuvuga mu magambo yeruye  ko Perezida uriho (Paul Kagame)  mu gihe cy’iri vugururwa ahawe “uburenga-nzira “bwo kuzongera kwiyamamaza kuri manda ya gatatu (2017). Ntibyakozwe.  Ahubwo ingingo y’101 y’Itegekonshinga ryavuguruwe mu 2015 yongera kwemeza ko umuntu atorerwa manda ebyiri gusa .

Dore uko iyo ngingo y’101 ivuguruye ivuga :

“ Perezida wa Repubulika atorerwa manda y’imyaka itanu (5). Ashobora kongera gutorerwa indi manda imwe ».

Mu yandi magambo, icyahindutse ni umubare w’imyaka manda imara. Yavanywe ku myaka irindwi ishyirwa ku myaka 5.  Ariko « KIRAZIRA»  yo kutarenza manda ebyiri yo yagumyeho .Ni ukuvuga ko nta munyarwanda wemerewe gutorerwa umwanya wa Perezida incuro zirenze ebyiri. Principe ya « Limite des mandats » yagumyeho.

Twibuke ko icyo Agatsiko ka Paul Kagame n’ Abafana be barwanyaga ari iyi « KIRAZIRA » babonaga nk’izitizi ikomeye y’amategeko. Biragaragara rero ko uru rugamba barutsinzwe kuko Kirazira igumyeho.

  1. Umwihariko wa Paul Kagame wagomba kugenwa n’ingingo y’172 ni icyuka gusa !

Hari abibwiraga ko ingingo y’172 yashyizweho kugira ngo Paul Kagame akunde agirwe « Irengayobora »(Exception) » bityo azashobore kwiyamamaza manda zirenze ebyiri. Siko bimeze. Iyi ngingo y’172 ntaho yerekana ko Perezida Paul Kagame Kagame ari irengayobora ku buryo yakongera kwiyamamaza bwa gatatu mu mwaka w’2017.

Ahubwo iyi ngingo y’172 igena manda y’imyaka 7 izatangira mu 2017, hanyuma guhera mu 2024 hagatangira kubahirizwa manda y’imyaka itanu.  Bivuze ko umunyarwanda wese  uziyamamaza kandi agatorerwa kuba Perezida w’u Rwanda mu 2017 azaba atorewe manda y’imyaka 7, yarangira , Perezida akazajya atorerwa manda y’imyaka 5, nk’uko bigenwa n’ingingo y’101 ivuguruye.

Nk’uko mubibona, ntaho bigaragara ko BWANA Pahulo Kagame uzaba urangije manda ze ebyiri, ahawe uburenga-nzira bwo kuziyamamaza mu 2017.

Ikintu kimwe gusa iyi ngingo y’172 yemerera Perezida uriho (Paul Kagame)  ni ugukomeza manda yatorewe kugeza mu 2017. Ariko ntabwo imukuriraho ya « KIRAZIRA ».

Bishatse kuvuga ko iyi ngingo y’172 y’Itegekonshinga ryo mu 2015 nayo itamwemerera kuzongera kwiyamamaza.

Dore uko ingingo y’172 ibivuga:

« Perezida wa Repubulika uri ku buyobozi mu gihe iri Tegeko Nshinga rivuguruye ritangira gukurikizwa, akomeza manda yatorewe.

Hatabangamiwe ibiteganywa mu ngingo y’101 y’iri Tegeko Nshinga, hitawe ku busabe bw’Abanyarwanda bwabaye mbere y’uko iri Tegeko Nshinga rivuguruye ritangira gukurikizwa, bushingiye ku bibazo byihariye u Rwanda rwasigiwe n’amateka mabi rwanyuzemo n’inzira igihugu cyafashe yo kuyivanamo, ibimaze kugerwaho no kubaka umusingi w’iterambere rirambye ; hashyizweho manda imwe y’imyaka irindwi (7) ikurikira isozwa rya manda ivugwa mu gika cya mbere cy’iyi ngingo .

Ibiteganywa mu ngingo y’101 y’iri Tegeko Nshinga, bitangira gukurikizwa nyuma ya manda y’imyaka irindwi(7) ivugwa mu gika cya kabiri cy’iyi ngingo ». 

  1. Perezida Paul Kagame agengwa n’Itegekonshinga ryo mu 2003 yarahiriyeho.

Mu mategeko habaho igitekerenzo-nkingi (Principe) gifite agaciro kangana n’ak’itegeko ryanditse kigena ko « Itegeko rishyirirwaho igihe kizaza ». Mu kilatini bivugwa bitya : « Lex non habet oculus retro ». Abafaransa bo babyita « Principe de la non-rétroactivité des lois ».

Bisobanurako itegeko ryishyirwaho kugira ngo rigenge igihe kizaza. Muri urwo rwego, Itegekonshinga rivuguruye ryo mu 2015 ntirizanywe no gusenya ibyakozwe igihe u Rwanda rwagenderaga ku Itegekonshinga ryo mu 2003.  Ahubwo bisobanuye ko Paul Kagame akomeza kugengwa n’itegekonshinga ryo mu 2003 yarahiriyeho kuko ariryo ryamugize Perezida wa Repubulika kuzageza mu mwaka wa 2017.  Mu gihe rero Itegekonshinga rivuguruye ryo mu 2015 nta « burenga-nzira » bushya rimugeneye mu magambo asobanutse, ubwo we azakomeza kubuzwa kwiyamamaza ubwa gatatu kuko ntaho byanditse ko noneho abiherewe uruhushya. Tumwifurije kwihangana !

Umwanzuro

Burya koko FPR irimo abacurabwenge bajijutse kandi barambiwe ingoma y’igitugu ya Paul Kagame. Barongeye barabimweretse nk’uko n’ubundi bari baramudanangiye mu 2003 ubwo bandikaga mu itegekonshinga ko atemerewe kwiyamamariza kuba Perezida  incuro zirenze ebyiri.

Ubu rero Paul Kagame yarangije nanone gusinya no gutangaza mu Igazeti ya Leta, nomero idasanzwe yo kuwa 24 Ukuboza 2015, Itegekonshinga rivuguruye  ritamwemerera kuziyamamaza ubwa gatatu mu 2017, kereka hagati aho niyongera agakoresha irindi vugururwa ry’Itegekonshinga, hakabaho n’indi Referendum yo kuryemeza !

Banyarwandakazi, Banyarwanda, mubimenye hakiri kare, Itegekonshinga rivuguruye ryo 2015 ntiryemerera Paul Kagame kuziyamamaza mu 2017.  FPR nibe ishaka undi mukandida.

Mugire amahoro.

Padiri Thomas Nahimana,

Umukandida w’Ishema Party na Nouvelle Génération mu matora ya Perezida yo mu 2017. 

FPR ko wiruka nk’ukurikiwe bite?

kagame-yiruka

Nyamara Umunyarwanda yaciye umugani ngo iyihuse ibyara ibihumye! Gusa icyo nkundira amateka ni uko amenya guhemba buri wese akurikije ibyo yakoze ndetse rimwe na rimwe akamugerekeraho ...NDLR.

Kagame yavuze ko azafata icyemezo nyuma y’ikinamico ya referendum! Ariko birashoboka cyane ko byose bigenze uko babiteganya, Kagame azakomeza kujijisha kugeza icyumweru kimwe mbere y’amatora yo muri 2017. Aha rero umuntu yakwibaza ati “none barirukanswa n’iki?

Igisubizo nta handi kiri uretse politique yo mu karere.

Kagame ntabwo ashaka kuza ari inyongera mu myitwarire anti-democratique ya bamwe mu bakuru b’ibihugu bo mu karere kuko yasanga isura mbi ijyana n’iyo myitwarire yararangije kumudoderwa bityo bikaba byamugora kuyivanaho.

Ku ruhande rumwe Kagame yakoze uko ashoboye kugirango arokokore isura ye imbere y’ibibera mu Burundi. Ni byo bya bindi bya “ Hey look at me, I’m different…Nkurunziza ntabwo akunzwe n’abaturage naho njyewe ni bo bansaba kugumaho”.

Ariko nyamara ushyize izindi details ku ruhande indorerezi z’amatora mu Burundi si byo zabonye kandi abaturage batoye mu mucyo nta gahato ugereranyije n’uumuhango witirirwa amatora ukorwa mu Rwanda.

Ubu igisigaye ni ugutera rwaserera mu Burundi bakora uko bashoboye buri munsi hakaboneka umurambo wo kwerekana muri Media ngo “byaciste naho twebwe umutekano ni wose”, n’ubwo bashimuta abatavuga rumwe na bo rwihishwa bikanga bikamenyekana.

Ku rundi ruhande hari igihugu cya Congo (RDC). Uko bizagenda muri Congo magingo aya nta we ubifitiye gihamya FPR irimo. Ikigaragara ni uko bishobora ku defavolisant FPR haba mu karere cyangwa mu mahanga. Ikindi kandi nta gushidikanya mu mezi ari imbere ibya RDC bizatangira gushyuha. Aho rero ni ho FPR yagize iti ‘ibyo byose bigomba kuza twe ibyacu tubigeze kure kuko nibwo byatworohera ku gerageza kurokora isura”, wenda na ho babona uko bakora za parallismes bishyira.
Ntabwo ari ku busa iyo kinamico ya referendum ikorwa mu minsi mike mbere y’iminsi mikuru aho bishoboka ko benshi barangariye mu bindi kandi bigakorwa mbere yuko umwaka urangira ngo bagerageze gufata distance n’ibizaba mu mwaka wa 2016.

Igisigaye ni ukureba niba izo maneuvres zikozwe hutihuti nta gutekereza bacungana n’ibihe abandi barangaye, zizatanga results bifuza.

  • Ese credibility ifite ngufu ki muri ayo macenga yose?

  • Ese kwitanguranwa biruta kuba barategereje gukina ku munota wa nyuma?

Kagame yatumenyereje ko akora ibyo ashaste ubundi agasigara ahangana na consequences. Byose bizaterwa n’uburemere bw’izo consequences haba kubanyarwanda, haba ku baturanyi, haba ku banyamahanga, haba kuri FPR ubwayo, haba mbere ya 2017 cyangwa nyuma se na yayo.

Kasinge C. Nadine

Rwanda’s political future, King Paul,A successful man with no successor

IN MANY ways Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president, is one of the most successful leaders in modern African history. He led an ethnic-Tutsi militia that in 1994 ended a genocide perpetrated by the Hutu majority. The guilty were punished in courts under a democratic government which he established, mostly without creating new injustices. Rwandans are healthier and better educated than ever. Business is booming, corruption minimal and foreign investors flock to the country.

Rwanda’s success is not just down to Mr Kagame but it is hard to imagine it without his disciplined and strategic presence. He has embraced modern management techniques (his generals and ministers are on a corporate retreat this week). So familiar is he with cutting-edge communications that he is likely to respond to this article from his Twitter account, as he has done many times before. Even his worst enemies would not suggest that Mr Kagame is seeking glory or riches.

And yet in one important respect he has failed. In history’s judgment, leaders are only as good as the successors they groom. Mr Kagame has sacked or chased away just about everyone around him who could take over. Some have fled the country and a few have died in mysterious circumstances; others went to prison. In Rwanda it feels inconceivable that anyone could replace Mr Kagame, who last year said that dissidents plotting against the government would “pay the price wherever they are.”

Such talk is symptomatic of a wider failure. The nation, and in particular the Tutsi minority, has yet to uncurl from the defensive crouch that was understandably assumed during the genocide. Ideas like political competition and free speech are distrusted, on grounds that they could open the back door to the génocidaires who fled abroad and have yet to repent. Mr Kagame “won” the last election with 93% of the vote and does not face another one until 2017. According to the constitution, drafted under his tutelage, he is not currently eligible to stand. But his minions are already seeding the ground for the removal of term limits. Almost daily articles in the media call on him to remain in office.

Yet what Rwanda needs is fresh blood at the top. Unitary rule breeds resentment, and there is a limit to how long one brilliant man can protect his people from renewed genocide. Independent institutions are the only thing that can keep the peace, and Mr Kagame has not done nearly enough to foster them.

Rwanda’s success has encouraged other violence-plagued nations to view it as a lodestar. Mr Kagame’s lesson is that tight political control is a key ingredient of development. At best that idea is open to abuse in the hands of less capable leaders. At worst it can lead people straight back to where they came from.

Source: The Economist, March 28, 2015.