Kagame’s attempts to stifle democracy in Rwanda

Stopping democracy from taking roots in Rwanda has proved to be a forceful policy that the Rwandan government and its institutions have steadily  embraced in the run up to August 9th presidential elections. Monday 2nd of August Human Rights Watch published a list of abuses of human rights that Kagame’s regime has committed against any dissent voice which tries to oppose its policies. The list is not exhaustive as it only covers the period running from January to August 2010. On top of that it mentions no more than cases that became public because they concerned high profile personalities.

Political corruption and nepotism in Rwanda may look misplaced as Transparency International East African Chapter has in its most recent report cleared the country saying that it was the least corrupted in the region, though such image is widely disputed by those who are familiar with the working of Rwandan Patriotic Front system.

Cronies of the regime are there defending its power base ferociously even when circumstances and facts demonstrate that it doesn’t stand a chance for being defended. They end up ridiculing themselves and also instead highlighting the scale of its discriminative and oppressive policies. This is where some of their tactics come into light.

When one looks for example at the allegations against Victoire Ingabire, to justify the reason the regime couldn’t register FDU-Inkingi her political party and let her be a presidential candidate, and consider that the Rwandan prosecutor cannot get enough evidence from foreign countries to bring her in front of a court of justice, all this proves that they have striped her of her citizen rights, only for political reasons.

No matter how much they will cry out that they are democratic, they will only fool those who want to believe them, or get praised for their democratic credentials by those who have a special interest in doing so. At first sight of the crowds that Kagame’s propaganda machine has been gathering for his presidential campaign, Obama would look like a minor political amateur. But the major difference is that none from the American candidate followers feared the consequences of not attending. They were not forced. They also followed a message of hope and a better future, which is not the case for those in Kagame’s arenas.

‘When we first started FDU-Inking in 2006, Kagame’s regime approached Victoire Ingabire, inviting her to join their ranks and they could make her Prime Minister. At the time we denounced such practice. Until today they haven’t publicly denied they didn’t do the move. What they are accusing her today was there then. If this was a serious matter they wouldn’t have approached her to become Prime Minister,’ says Eugene Ndahayo, President of the Support Committee to FDU-Inkingi.

Victoire Ingabire is under house arrest. Her freedom of movement is very restricted. In March this year she was denied boarding a plane at Kigali International Airport to see her family in Holland. Everyone knows what type of mistreatment Kagame’s regime has imposed on her since her arrival in Rwanda back in January.

‘Not long ago, Martin Ngoga, General Prosecutor of Rwanda, would’ve asked her if she was given back her travel documents if she would go back to Europe. When the prosecution bribes its accused offenders whose allegations of crimes are as serious as those against Victoire Ingabire, this clearly means the issues at stake are not the allegations but the fact that she wants to do politics in Rwanda. This also explains that they want her out of the country,’ adds Eugene Ndahayo.


One response to “Kagame’s attempts to stifle democracy in Rwanda

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