“I believe in the political project that I share with my colleagues in this struggle, I love my country and all its inhabitants and I know I am not alone in this and Rwandans from all social classes, ethnic backgrounds and generations are with us. It is my source of strength and an oath that I would never betray. I will not waver in my dedication as I promised my colleagues and friends. I know and I have thoroughly thought about it, the regime may persecute me, imprison me. Let me say in conclusion that I am ready to face and endure all the difficulties and obstacles on my way until the final victory. And in case the regime attempts on my life, I trust you shall continue from where I will fall,” said Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, leader of FDU-Inkingi imprisoned since October 14th, 2010, by Paul Kagame, president of Rwanda. This was before her imprisonment.
Since January 16th, 2010, Rwanda has experienced a radical shift in the image it projected around the world. From a success story it has become a pariah regime whose level of imprisonment of its citizens is only comparable to the worst countries on the planet. I don’t intend here to highlight what has changed but the probable cause of such change. Rwandan politics have entered a new era where multiple injustices which have affected all citizens indistinctively from their ethnic background could not be covered up any longer. Further to the courage of Ms Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, chairperson of FDU-Inkingi, and others like her in the Rwandan political arena, Paul Kagame’s ruthless character has been exposed. It has been so much so that his foreign friends today think probably more than twice before deciding to be seen together with him in public. In fact very few have come forward to defend his critical current position. These are Pastor Rick Warren and Tony Blair, British former prime minister.
By her presence in Rwanda, Ms. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, though presently spending her time in isolation inside the notorious 1930 Prison in Kigali, has brought to light the true character of the dictatorship: a totalitarian regime monopolized by a handful of military and ethnocentric militants around Paul Kagame who, by the means of a political police and a sprawling network of secret services, has an upper hand over all public and economic institutions, the judicial and the civil society.
As these political leaders and other personalities from the Rwandan civil society who are not afraid to confront the regime, every Rwandan should become fearless of Kagame’s oppressive machine. That’s how change becomes the new paradigm of moving to a better future. Rwandans who are not accomplices of the dictator’s crimes against their compatriots and nationals from other countries should feel proud of standing against a tyrant whose days are numbered. As days pass and people become millions to show the Rwandan dictatorial regime that they cannot tolerate it any longer, everybody else from his camp and sponsors will join them to claim their basic rights that they have been denied for seventeen years.
Nothing can stop citizens seeking their freedom, fair justice, equal treatment and respect, as long as there are still even a handful of them alive. The millions of Rwandans and Congolese who died through Paul Kagame’s direct or indirect ventures to satisfy his ego will not have been wasted in vain. Those that he has been pursuing for years in foreign countries for fear they could oppose effectively his regime are his present most fervent detractors. By giving peace to others you get it back from them. But attack them without good reason then they will fight back and probably at your own loss. Even Hitler during his glorious times must have thought he was invincible. His insatiable ego became his ultimate end.