Tag Archives: Father Nahimana Thomas

Rwanda : meurtres, répression… le système Kagamé

Paul-Kagame-

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: A country where people open their mouth only to see the dentist!

This article was blogged  here for the first time in January 2014. It predicted exactly what is happening right now ( and has been going on for two decades)  in Rwanda. Kizito Mihigo, a musician, Cassien Ntamuhanga a private radio director  and many others paid a price for reminding the dictator that the national unity can only be built through the recognition of all victims be they due to genocide or by war engaged by RPF since 1990. The police accuses them falsely to plot against General Kagame  and his regime. According to the catholic priest, Father Thomas Nahimana, the presidential candidate in 2017 elections who rightfully deserves my support, “plotting against a tyranny of Kagame’s style is a noble task that should be embraced by every good citizen”.

It has become a norm. Rwandans have no right to speak out. Somebody wrongs you and cynically asks you how it feels, and the only correct answer you have to provide is “I am alright”. Really? are you alright? Serious?

Somebody who survived killings in Byumba, Kabgayi, Kibeho, Kashusha, Nyabibwe, Mugunga, Itebero, Osso, Tingi tingi, Kisangani, Mbandaka…is asked if RPF killed Hutu  refugees and the only right answer is “No, they helped me to come home”. Nobody can talk against the government led by the 21st century’s unbeatable dictator, Paul Kagame. In this country the freedom of speech has no space.

Rwanda is referred to as a country that has made tremendous economic development but something very integral is missing:freedom. Look at the picture below:

Chiens en cage

The puppy in the cage looks, and is healthy. He/she has a space to play and can see what is happening in all the four directions. But look at the size of the cage! This puppy gets all necessary treatments, morning, day and night. However, this puppy would like to be walked around and breathe fresh air.  For Kagame, this puppy is developed, just like Rwandans are said to be. The puppy is even better off since it does not have to worry about the future, but Rwandans must!

Sen’s theory of development.

Since 1999, nobody in academia, political and socioeconomic arena was able to convincingly challenge Sen’s Development as freedom. Sen asserts that the enhancement of freedom is the only acceptable way to evaluate human progress and that development depends on the free agency of the people. By bringing out this invaluable piece in the literature, Sen challenges the Singaporean model of development according to which denying political and civil rights is acceptable if it promotes economic development and the general wealth of the population (Sen, 1999:15). For Denis O’Hearn, it is rightfully put when we agree  that we should approach political freedoms and civil rights not through the means of eventually achieving them (GDP growth) but as a direct good in their own right (O’Hearn, 2009).

In its most recent report, Human Rights Watch (HRW) gives us the state of things in Rwanda.

“Rwanda has made important economic and development gains, but the government has continued to impose tight restrictions on freedom of expression and association”.

But why does Kagame think nobody should open their mouth unless for teeth check up?

kagame290511

Paul Kagame (in front) was supported by westerners to secure a military victory in 1994

This man, a former officer of the National Resistance Army of Museveni,  the leader of Tutsi rebellion (Rwandese Patriotic Front-RPF Inkotanyi) after Rwigema’s death, a man well known for his cruelty when he was serving as a senior intelligence officer in Uganda or even when he was hunting down Hutu from the north of Rwanda; a machiavellian guy who did not give a damn when he sacrificed his own people, Tutsi, as a price to achieve power via genocide; this man does not want to hear anybody talk about his war crimes and crimes against humanity. Whoever dares, is accused to promote genocide ideology or instigate hatred among the people or for making a threat to the national security.

Deo Mushayidi, a Tutsi and genocide survivor and the founder of Pacte Démocratique du Peuple (PDP-Imanzi), entered politics to tell the truth on how Kagame uses Tutsi and genocide for his own interests. He (D. Mushayidi) was kidnapped by Kagame’s secret services in Tanzania, brought to Rwanda and sentenced to life imprisonment. Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza, the president of Forces Démocratiques Unifiées (FDU-Inkingi) came to Rwanda to contest the presidential election. She reminded Kagame that Hutus who were killed should be remembered and those responsible brought to justice. She was sentenced to 15 year in prison.

Numerous other politicians, journalists and military men were either killed , jailed, or forced into exile because they tried to reason the strong man of Kigali, Paul Kagame. Some were hunted down and killed in exile, a recent example is the former spymaster, Colonel Patrick Karegeya killed in South Africa on last Saint Sylvester’s night.

Diverse views have warned that should Kagame fail to change his style, Rwanda could see itself in another cycle of tribal killings like two decades ago. These calls seem fruitless because Kagame feels too strong to be influenced by words.He has built a strong army inside and outside the country, he has befriended influential personalities in the world such as Bill Clinton and Tony Blair, he has forged cooperation with giant business people like Bill Gates and religious business such as Rick Warren. Above all, it is said that Kagame joined the Illuminati order, a secret organization that oppose religious influence over public life. The membership of this order has grown for centuries and is believed to include many leaders in the world, thus its ability to influence the global decision-making.

That is why Kagame despite all crimes he is accused of, remains unpunished and is given so many favors. One sound example is the dispatch of  Rwandan soldiers in different peace keeping missions in Haiti, Liberia, Sudan, and recently, in the Central African Republic. Why would a psychologically fit person give such a consideration to a criminal regime? Two possible answers can go for this. (1)Either the decision makers are not psychologically fit or (2) they are criminals just like Kagame himself and they do not see anything wrong in what he is doing, or both.

This explains why Kagame remains untouched despite all his mischief in Rwanda and in Congo for decades, this is why in Rwandan people open their mouth only when the have to see the dentist for a check up.

Chaste Gahunde


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Nadine Claire Kasinge and some of her political views

The problem is not among the oppressors, but the oppressed. Victims experience the oppression but are reluctant to search and find the solutions to their situation.

There are not many women in the Rwandan politics of the opposition. The personality featured in these lines is young and new in that arena.  On January 28th 2013, for the first time, she appeared publicly in Paris among the founders of Ishema Party led by Father Thomas Nahimana. Until recently she was one of the deputy general secretaries. Further to the decision of her party’s Congress of last month to return in 2016 and do politics in Rwanda, she has been nominated Spokesperson of her party’s presidential candidate for the 2017 elections. Nadine Claire Kasinge’s political views highlighted here were expressed in an interview in Kinyarwanda she gave to Serge Ndayizeye on Radio Itahuka on February 26th, 2014. [please once on the site type the word Nkasinge in the space reserved to search in order to access the audio]

Each person has a role to play in the politics of their own country, because politics affect their well being in one way or another. Citizens can contribute and make things better for all. If the result is positive, this will benefit everybody including themselves.

We should not consider that we don’t have any role to play because we think there are other people in charge or more able than ourselves.

It is not necessarily your background which defines your destiny, but the determination you have for shaping the future as you want it to be which does. Only can you get there gradually by working with a focused and well organised team.

For politicians, providing solutions to the real needs of people is the big deal that creates trust. Discussing with them their concerns and telling them the way one sees how they should be addressed, then starting to solve them, this is the right approach.

Being all the time guided by the principal of not compromising when things that need changing because they are not right, must change.

Everything is possible if one wants it so badly that they see is as possible. One only needs to believe in what they consider to be the solutions to the situation they are confronted with. They need to have the courage of their convictions.

At each step of the journey, their courage and persistency gain them new knowledge that makes them better equipped to work for the good of others.

It is the experience gained in solving problems that makes one become an expert in their speciality; and when there are bigger issues to be sorted out, the majority turns then to them.

Status quo that transforms into normality despite its irrationality can only be addressed by courageous and persistent characters/ personalities.

Politics is not a men’s only reserved domain but every citizen and especially women who constitute 50% of the population. Therefore women need to be more represented and effective in that sector of society.

The role of the youth in contributing to the politics of their nation is critical and imperative. Politics is not for the only mature and older male generation.

When men and women work together as equals in politics, because they think differently, the outcome of their teamwork is different from when the two operate separately or don’t engage at the same level on similar issues.

If Rwanda was effectively pro-women in politics {as this is wrongly portrayed by the regime in Kigali], there would be laws and policies in favour of families and children’s education, both areas significantly and dangerously neglected.

If on another hand the Rwandan parliament, with the highest percentage of women in the world, was effectively representative of women’s interests, the country would be one where education would be the best and top political priority, husbands’ well being [not being massively and wrongly imprisoned – editor’s emphasis], maternity leaves, etcetera would be there cared for in the interest of present and future generations.

There is strength in working with others. Debate is essential in finding suited solutions to issues. One’s view is not everybody’s views, and these ones need consideration.

Adversity calls for more determination. When you win over a challenge, you feel satisfied and more motivated to go forward.

People faced with injustices most of their time don’t realize how powerful they are in front of their oppressors.

The starting point for resolving Rwandan problems is accepting the fact that, despite anybody’s different background [either physical, social, or even intellectual], nobody is above the rest.

The problem is not among the oppressors, but the oppressed. Victims experience the oppression but are reluctant to search and find the solutions to their situation.

Not speaking out against what is wrong is only delaying the instance when that wrong will come knocking on your own door. In general when there are injustices in somebody’s country, these have negative consequences on everybody, directly or indirectly, and on future generations. Understanding that such situation can be changed is the first step of changing it.

TO BE CONTINUED