Paris, December 22nd 2015.
1.We have been monitoring closely the malice, tricks, and maneuvering by which Paul Kagame has initiated the constitutional reform and rigged a referendum with the sole aim to allow himself to run again as a presidential candidate come 2017, and with the intention to stay in power until his death.
2.It is extremely saddening to see how the citizens have been forcefully pushed into polls without getting the answers and explanations on articles to be amended and why this should be the case. Furthermore, the project of the constitutional reform was never made public for the citizens to debate. What a terror!
3.The malicious referendum designed and ordered by Paul Kagame himself took place on the dates of 17th and 18th of December 2015. The members of ISHEMA party wanted to participate with two main objectives:
First, we viewed it as the opportunity to get our hands on the constitutional reform project which was up to then held a top secret. Reliable information at our desk noted that the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) clique wanted an « empty project » to be voted first before other disfranchising articles would be added into the constitution.
Second, we aimed at sensitizing the people of Rwanda on the importance of casting their vote and take it as an opportunity to initiate changes they need, want and deserve. It was our due time to express our opinion about the malicious referendum by proudly voting “NO” to the project.
4.The members of ISHEMA Party led by Reverend Father Thomas NAHIMANA went to the Rwandan Embassy in Paris, France, while our partners from the New Generation Coalition led by Jean Damascene Ntaganzwa gathered at the Rwandan Embassy in the Netherlands, all to see themselves refused access to the polling rooms, being told their names were not on the voters’ lists. This is an additional and utmost testimony that the RPF discrimination politics remains standing where some citizens are deprived of their right to vote mentioned in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of which Rwanda is a signatory since April 1975.
5.Members of our Party and other citizens within Rwanda reported to us that on their arrival at the polling stations, they saw their names marked as if they had already voted. Trying to find out why, they were forced back home and told that the amendment must be a hundred per cent voted favorably.
I. We, the Leading Team of ISHEMA Party gathered in our extraordinary meeting in Paris on December 20th 2015 declare the following:
1.No more doubt, Paul Kagame is fully responsible
It is highly immoral to make the world believe that the people of Rwanda want Paul Kagame to remain their leader after 2017. On the contrary, the dictator Paul Kagame made himself author of the project to amend the constitution so that he can stay in power possibly until 2034. For this, two pieces of evidence are overwhelming:
Paul Kagame has never dissuaded those he calls “supporters who want him to stay” although he was well aware that such an action violates the constitution he has himself pledged to protect. Who else can doubt Kagame’s lack of values that must characterize a good leader?
Paul Kagame missed a golden opportunity to stop such a malicious project when the two Chambers of the Parliament tasked him to set up the commission for the constitutional reform. In his person and with no gunpoint at him, Paul Kagame set up the commission to violate the constitution and ordered the plan to follow. He has thus committed the highest act of treason against the Rwandan nation. Kagame shall therefore be held responsible for all the consequences our country is expected to face resulting from his unquenchable thirst for power.
2.This malicious referendum is a curse for Rwanda:
By changing the 2003 Constitution and especially its article 101 that set provisions for peaceful power transfer by preventing anyone to stick with the power after two terms in office;
By forging in the new constitution the article 172 that considers Paul Kagame as an idol president who can only leave the presidency upon death;
3.Rwanda is entering the « Fourth Republic » which reinforces the regime of terror and dictatorship and which has more than much in common with the monarchy abolished since 1961. Under this new monarchy all the powers are put in the hands of the single man, Paul Kagame who believes he cannot leave the power unless he is killed. It should be recalled that the third republic started with the constitution of 2003 that purposely neglected the ARUSHA peace accords that, however, set ways to power sharing as a mean to build sustainable peace among Rwandan citizens.
4.This malicious referendum dispels out all the lies of the RPF:
From now onwards all the claims that president Paul Kagame is a “Supernatural and extraordinary” African Leader who loves democracy and concerned by his people’s peace, security and development are buried. Kagame has finally and truly revealed his real nature: a super dictator with an unending thirst of power. This malicious referendum of his comes as if it was meant to indicate that peaceful political changes are impossible but the determination of peace-lover citizens is still well alive and shall not delay to show. Unfortunately this malicious referendum full of disrespect and provocation towards Rwandans can give a strong reason to those who believe only in armed struggles to resolve the issues. As such, struggles would destroy our country and further deteriorate the already suffering social cohesion.
II. For the abovementioned and other non-listed reasons, we urge all Rwandans;
1.To organize and protest against the malicious referendum that seeks to enthrone the dictator who hails himself into an idol
2.To unanimously stand with all means against the dictator Paul Kagame whose interest is to keep Rwandan citizens into conflicts, wars and poverty which in turn do not allow them to achieve the true welfare and sustainable peace and development.
3.To garner all what it will take and set up the Popular Court of Justice with the mission of trying Paul Kagame over the act of high treason he committed against our nation by this malicious referendum.
4.To start concrete acts of civil disobedience against the regime of Paul Kagame which has no longer any relationship with the people especially now that the malicious referendum has taken the power from the people’s hands in favor of a dictator whose the sole objective is to protect his own interests at expense of the Rwandan’s welfare and all the region’s security.
5.We exclusively call on the armed security forces to ignore Paul Kagame’s manipulations that since long sought to enrich only one man in his person, to kill and to impoverish the armed forces ranks and their colleagues. We urge them to reflect on their mission that aims at neither less nor more than protecting the national sovereignty, order and security of the people of Rwanda. They should stay away from any acts of torturing, terrorizing, mistreating and killing citizens, bearing in their mind that those crimes will soon or later be punished under national or international laws. Shouldn’t they learn from Rwanda’s far and recent past history?
III. To the international community, we recommend
1.To diplomatically, financially and militarily isolate Paul Kagame and his clique. More than enough evidence testifies that the arms and other military materials sold to Kagame in the name of Rwanda are used to terrorize the people and destabilize the security of the whole great lakes region of Africa.
2.To support the political opponents to Kagame’s regime for organization and mobilization so that they keep up their mission to sensitize the Rwandan citizens on peaceful power transfer, good governance and how to reach a government formula that guarantees the true national reconciliation, sustainable peace and shared economic development.
3.To support the Rwandan Consensus Convention which will permit the dialogue between the government of Rwanda and the opposition leaders as well as all key players in national social, economic and political arenas with the sole aim to reach a government of consensus that will prevent further bloodsheds likely to result from Kagame‘s stubbornness and animosity against the open and free political space.
4.To set up an international neutral armed body for protection of the members of the opposition during the presidential campaign and elections of 2017. We request that the international community observers and the Rwandan opposition members be integrated within the national elections commission in order to scrutinize and take part in the planning and the oversight of the elections given the commission’s loss of credibility observed during electoral processes and especially in the most recent malicious referendum.
As Rwandan citizens we must understand that the real change in our country will take place once we decide to contribute. Nobody else shall do it on our behalf.
For that aim, ISHEMA Party decided to organize its congress that will be held from 15th to 18th of January 2016 in order to finalize the plan of the journey to exercise our civic and political rights in Rwanda. Our congress will also take appropriate measures to face the difficult situation Rwanda is entering due to the recent malicious referendum.
Long live the Republic that respects democratic values
Long live Rwandans mobilized to abolish the dictatorship
Be abolished forever this Fourth Republic built on the malicious referendum
Done at Paris, on December 22nd, 2015
In the name of the leading team of ISHEMA Party,
Chaste GAHUNDE, Executive secretary.