Before the invasion of his country (Iraq) by the US and its allies, Saddam Hussein had obtained 100% in the 2002 presidential elections. Juvenal Habyarimana, General Paul Kagame’s precedessor as president of Rwanda had obtained 99.98% of the votes in the 1988 presidential elections. In the light of these scores, it will be interesting to know how Paul Kagame popularity will be rated once the results from the votes of Monday 9th August will be known.
Taught by the experience of the elections of 2003 when General Paul was the first time elected through a voting marred by massive fraud and intimidation of opponents and population, we predicted how we could expect the elections of Monday 9th August to be organised. These are detailed acts of the show as we thought would be prepared for the presentation on the day.
- On Sunday 8th August, or even before that, in some Rwandan local authorities at their lower levels, electoral staff with government officers will sign electoral cards for citizens under their jurisdiction, to prove they have voted even before election day
- In the early hours of Monday 9th the same signatories of election cards will present them to registered citizens for fingerprinting; as one would expect, all the cards will be RPF ones
- In other places, they will get citizens to wake up as early as 4.00 am so they can force them to vote RPF before any international monitor comes to observe the process
- By 7.00 am voting will have finished in some places; when it should officially start at that time
- In other rural areas, loud speakers will be used from 3.00 am calling people to get out and go to vote RPF
- This campaign will go on until the previous day of the poll, though legally campaigning will have officially stopped days before
- The National Electoral Commission will work hand in hand with RPF as the former is serving RPF political policies
- International observers if any will not get permission to monitor the voting
- Generally these international observers will be ignorant of the working patterns of RPF; they will feel proud to be neutral advocates of a non-existent opposition, while represented parties are all an RPF coalition and supportive of your re-election for their selfish interests
- In some places, members of the coalition other than RPF may complain to their leaders about irregularities, but they will be explained that this was earlier agreed between members of the RPF coalition.
As these lines were being written, the following news were received (Sunday August 8th at 20.57 London time) from a reliable and informed source inside Rwanda to confirm information about election instructions from government officers to the population in certain areas of the country.
In the Western Province, Nyamasheke region, Nyabitekeri area, voting bureau of Kinunga, those who are registered to vote in that bureau have been told to complete their voting by Monday 9th august, 6.00 am, and anyone who will not vote Kagame will have to find somewhere else to live because they will not be allowed to live in that area anymore.
In the same Western province further north, in the area called Rubona in Nyamyumba, people have been told to finish their voting by 5.00 am so that any international observer who may visit the area finds the voting already completed.
In the Eastern province, Bugambira area at the polling station of Ruramira, people have to be there by 4.00 am so that international observers find the voting also finished. Of course this will allow elections officers in these different areas and probably thousands more across the country to exchange boxes of voting bulletins with those with finger prints.
As people expect, the winner from the election to be announced is Paul Kagame and the unspoken looser will be the Rwandan population. But why is it necessary for a regime which is so popular according to recent pictures from the presidential campaign to mistreat its citizens this way? Or does this confirm what BBC World Service reported a few days ago saying that the whole country was terrorized and lived in fear? When will this perpetual harassment stop? Can those behind Paul Kagame appreciate rightly the damages they are inflicting to Rwandans by allowing this situation to continue?