A concerned African writes to imprisoned Rwandan politician Victoire Ingabire

After Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of FDU-Inkingi and main Rwandan political opposition party, was arrested on Thursday 14th and then imprisoned in Kigali, Francis Muhoozi wrote an open letter he addresses to the now prisoner. To remind the reader, Kagame’s government refused to register FDU-Inkingi and denied it participation to the August 9th presidential elections, apparently because of fear of competition of the incumbent president. As people informed about the Victoire’s current situation in prison know, every basic human right like sleeping or eating has been denied to her. Even terrorists in Western prisons are more comfortably treated than she is at the moment, though she has not killed anybody. Francis’ letter describes the context of her political fight and particularly the personality of her jailer, Paul Kagame, the Rwandan president.


Madam Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza
Kigali – Rwanda

18th October 2010.

Dear Madam,

Hoping that this open letter will find you still alive in President Paul Kagame’s  dungeons, allow me to greet you in the name of the Father God the Almighty, the son and Holy Spirit.

Words cannot express the sadness and grief we received with the news of your being taken into Rwanda prisons again on October 14, 2010. Though we all knew that Kagame would mistreat you, we never expected him to degrade you to the level you are in now. We understand you are not allowed any drop of water to bathe, you are handcuffed 24 hours, and you are forced to sit and sleep on the cold police cell floor without anything to cover yourself with.

Married and a mother of three, Ingabire you trained in Commercial law and Accounting and graduated in business economics and Corporate management in the Netherlands. Victoire you were doing well, had peace and protection in Europe. You worked as an official of an International Accounting Firm based in the Netherlands where you were in charge of its accounting departments in 25 branches in Europe, Asia and Africa. It is both unbelievable and commendable that in April 2009, you resigned from these lucrative functions and decided to dedicate yourself to a political career and to prepare your return to your homeland Rwanda as the head of your political party FDU Inkingi, to contribute to the much needed genuine rebuilding and reconciliation in your country Rwanda.

In front of the Rwandan Embassy in The Hague. Supporters of Victoire Ingabire protest against her imprisonement by Paul Kagame in Kigali.On 17 January 2010, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza you returned to your country, after 16 years in exile, as the main leader of the Rwandan political opposition. My dear Ingabire, on that day when you stepped your foot in Kagame’s Rwanda, I could not believe my eyes or thought and my heart skipped several beats at your courage and patriotism. There are millions of oppressed sons and daughters of Rwanda living in Rwanda; there are almost three million hopeless Rwandan men and women refugees roaming the entire world not knowing when God will perform a miracle for them to go back into Rwanda their country they love; but you, a young lady Ingabire of a golden big heart, saw it fit to go back into your country to help in the genuine soul rebuilding and heart reconciling in the traumatised people of Rwanda after the unfortunate six year civil war in Rwanda (1990 – 1996), and bloody retributions thereafter. My fear was due to the terrible ruthless history I personally knew about General Kagame and his disrespect for the rule of law and humanity in general.

General Kagame rose to the ranks he is holding today because of his merciless ruthlessness. After serving as an informer in late dictator Idi Amin’s notorious intelligence organs, his official military career started in 1979, when he joined Yoweri Musevenis National Resistance Army (NRA) and spent years fighting as a guerrilla against the government of Milton Obote in what is commonly known in Uganda as the bush war. During this war, Kagame’s main job was to summarily kill opponents and NRA deserters in the most barbaric way, without mercy that his friends nicknamed him “Pilato” the merciless. It is because of this that after overthrowing the then Ugandan government on January 25, 1986, Yoweri Museveni appointed Kagame the head of military intelligence in the NRA, and was regarded as one of Museveni’s closest allies. He hence joined the official Ugandan military.

During 1990, Kagame went to Fort Leavenworth where the U.S. Army gave him military training. Broadening this connection, the U.S. and U.K. military provided further training and active logistical support to the RPF, which it used to attack Rwanda from Uganda in 1990 and took over power in a bloody civil war that left over 800,000 mostly Tutsis children of Rwanda dead. Kagame called this the Tutsi genocide; though moderate Hutus also died and many more Hutus also perished on his direct orders. After coming to power, Kagame arranged for the RPF to receive further counter insurgency and combat training from U.S. Special Forces, which was put to use in the 1996-1997 Rwanda-Uganda backed military campaign to overthrow the government of neighbouring Zaire now the Democratic Republic of Congo.

You gallant daughter of the son of Rwanda Ingabire Umuhoza, because of your courage and popularity, Kagame prevented you from running as a presidential candidate for your party and falsely accused you of being a “genocide denier,” simply because you rightly remarked in broad day light, without mincing words, on January 17, 2010 that,

“Yes, Tutsis were massacred in 1994, but Hutus were also massacred, and there can never be any genuine reconciliation if only the vanquished side was prosecuted.”

You were not wrong my dear to ask for this nor were you the only one concerned about it. On October 01, 2010, the highest humanitarian International body on this planet, the mighty United Nations vindicated you when it released a well researched Mappings report accusing Rwanda/Uganda, and in particular Paul Kagame’s RPF of the Hutu genocide in D.R.Congo in the period 1993 – 2003.

Ingabire, we all know that Kagame is not persecuting you because you are a daughter of a Hutu Rwandan; No! Kagame is just a power hungry dictator Demonstration of Victoire Ingabire supporters in The Hague in front of the Rwandan Embassy. Monday, October 18th, 2010who will eliminate anyone who criticises his power. Andre Kagwa Rwisereka (RIP) was a peace loving son of a Rwandan Tutsi before he was beheaded on July 14, 2010 for politically opposing Kagame; Mr. Jean-Léonard RUGAMBAGE (RIP), son of a peace loving Tutsi was a journalist and critic of Kagame’s government and was murdered in July 2010; General Kayumba Nyamwasa, his comrade in this RPF, a Tutsi and critic of Kagame’s autocratic rule was gunned down in South Africa on May 15, 2010; and many more in prison and exile.

My dear sister Umuhoza, this trigger happy dictator Kagame knows very well that he cannot win political power through free and fair elections just like his mentor General Museveni of Uganda. Yoweri Museveni also used the same tramped up rape and treason charged against his main political challenger Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) Col (rtd) Dr. Kizza Besigye and wrongly imprisoned him in 2005. Museveni has been torturing poor Dr. Besigye with these false charges since then until just recently on October 12, 2010 when a five-judge panel approved a petition filed in 2007 by Besigye and 11 co-accused asking for their case to be thrown out because they were under trial in a military court and a civilian high court at the same time, violating the constitution. This ruling was passed by the Constitutional Court of Uganda. You should have seen how Museveni’s “Black Mambas”, heavily armed with machine guns, attacked the High Court in Kampala on November 17, 2005 with utter impunity overthrowing the Ugandan Constitution that day to re-arrest Besigye’s co-accused who had been legally granted bail.

When President Obama was sworn in as the President of the United States of America on January 20, 2009, I was among the many Africans who thought that at least someone who would understand Africa better because of his roots, and our great lakes region in particular was at least going to solve this flesh piercing problem. But my hopes are not being helped by the fact that Bill Clinton is one of dictator Kagame’s mentors. However I am still hopeful that Madam Hillary Clinton the US Secretary of State will make her own uncorrupted judgement on this awkward Kagame-Bill Clinton relationship, especially after the October 01, 2010 UN Hutu genocide report by Kagame in DR Congo.

Ingabire Umuhoza, be there for us many cowards who cannot face Kagame in the face like you did and challenge him. Be there for the many millions who cannot have a peace of mind in their country Rwanda. Be there for the innocent blood that was shed by the senseless 1990 war imposed on Rwanda by Yoweri Museveni and his Kagame RPF group. Be there for the millions who perished in former Zaire in 1996 and thereafter in DR Congo, who cannot be there for themselves. I know I have selfishly asked for too much from you my dear sister, but die for that cause. Your blood will not be spilled in vain.

May the Almighty God bless you, and give you the strength to withstand Kagame’s dungeons and torture.

Francis Muhoozi
A peace loving citizen of the great lakes region of East and Central Africa

General Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda
General Yoweri Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda
Mr. Barack Obama, United States of America President
Madam Hillary Clinton, Secretary of state USA


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