Thursday 10/5/12, Nelson Gatsimbanyi from Umusingi and based in UK reported on his facebook pages that Mutabazi Sadic, a young Rwandan, lit himself with petrol following harassment by the Local Defense Forces in the region of Gisenyi. This is how Nelson explains the incident:
‘Yesterday [Wednesday 9/5/12] kigalitoday published a story about Mutabazi Sadic in Rubavu district who lit himself on fire after Inkeragutabara [Rwandan Local Defense Forces] took his g-nuts. It was his business, hoping to get money and work for gaining a driving license. His body was burned 80% and he was denied transfer to CHUK because he didn’t have health insurance. After a few minutes, Urugwiro [President Paul Kagame’s statehouse] made a call to kigalitoday ordering them to remove the story which was written by Umulisa Pascaline.
The story and the way it has been handled so far are signs of a Rwandan authoritarian regime which harasses its people consistently in their daily life. Without an independent press anyone can see that these incidents can never come to light in the public. And unfortunately they are very frequent. For example, in this same week which coincides with Sadiki case, and in the same region of the country, there are reports of high levels of intimidations and harassment of citizens who cannot afford to pay the obligatory contribution to Paul Kagame political party, RPF. Those who cannot pay the monthly contribution of FRW 200 are beaten up and imprisoned.
The strength of oppressors lies generally in the fear they plant into the lives of the oppressed. Once the latter realize that they don’t gain anything by being permanently under the spell of fear, the end of the oppressor is close. In Rwanda, there have been thousands of unreported Mohamed Bouazzizi simili cases, for the only reason that there is no independent press to bring them in the open. Those are the martyrs of the Rwandan nation who have been adding their share of the contribution of others towards the needed change.
Maybe this time, Rwandans have reached that tipping point where their survival as individuals, either on a personal or collective levels, demands from them to react to what has been happening to them and does not seem to have any end as long as Paul Kagame will rule their country.