“Rwandans are lucky to have the dictatorial regime of Paul Kagame“, says Francois Munyabagisha, one of the radio participant panelists brought together and referred to in this post.
On Saturday February 22nd, 2014, while intervening in Kinyarwanda on Radio Itahuka, one of the many online broadcasters of the Rwandan opposition, Nadine Claire Kasinge explains that Rwandans don’t need a dictator to rule over their country. This statement was made following a panel discussion held between opponents and supporters of the Rwandan Patriotic Front regime.
Who is Nadine Claire Kasinge?
She is part of the new generation of Rwandan politicians. With the role of Deputy Secretary General, her political formation is Ishema Party led by Father Thomas Nahimana. On a personal level, her parents and other siblings have been massacred by RPF during the 1994 genocide, which killed more Hutus than Tutsis, but the tragedy is controversially called by certain circles the genocide against Tutsis. Kasinge only accidently survived because the killing of her family took place while she had been sent to visit relatives in the countryside.
Helped by friends of her family she followed the masses of Hutu refugees in the then Zaire [called today Democratic Republic of Congo]. This was during the general outbreak of total war in 1994 when RPF went on the offensive, advanced, defeated government forces and finally took over power in the country, and left behind more than half a million of casualties that its Interahamwe accomplices in those crimes contributed to.
From the refugee camps and after many other unfortunate adventures, Kasinge ended up in Italy and grew up in an adoptive family. She was very young at the time. When I first heard her story on radio Ijwi Rya Rubanda some years ago, hers is similar to that of millions of other Rwandans that will be never told. She lives presently in Canada.
Back to the main focus of the post: Kasinge’s view saying that “Dictatorship is out of place in Rwanda”. Despite adversity of her personal circumstances she stood up and she is today involved in contributing to change the unsustainable political path that Paul Kagame has put her country on for 20 years now.
At the beginning of her intervention on the radio she expresses her utter surprise and sadness that there are today the so called Rwandan intellectuals who dare to claim that Rwanda as a country is better of with a dictatorship of the Kagame type. The woman politician highlights a number of points worth considering.
1. There are out there highly educated Rwandans who consciously [on a political mission for the regime in Kigali] or unconsciously, advocating for the status quo in Rwanda in terms of governance.
2. These propagandists of the regime are telling Rwandans that they don’t need to think about politics because this is being taken care of by the system in place. If on an individual level, one finds that there is something to complain about, structures are there to report to and deal with issues. People don’t need to think! There are specialized thinkers for the country: RPF.
3. Suppose that one expresses an issue which goes against RPF interests, understandably RPF will not do anything about it to avoid jeopardizing its own political comfort and policies. As a consequence, nothing will be done to solve the problem.
4. Through these active RPF propagandists, [intervening more and more on opposition platforms of communication – my emphasis], the regime is trying to dictate or determine how Rwandans should exercise any of their fundamental rights, e.g. in the framework fixed for Kigali’s interests.
5. According to Kasinge, Rwandan citizens should be the main thinkers/decision-makers of what should be done or undone in their general interests and this cannot be achieved outside a democratic system.
6. Rwandans are not stupid people. RPF wants to define how politics should be played in the country. But who gave it such mandate to claim that it can decide on their behalf? There are national serious issues that RPF has proven incompetent to solve. And it’s not its regime which today can pretend to provide how they could be addressed if during the last 20 years in power, it has failed doing so.
7. It is only through democratic procedures that those who have better solutions to prevailing critical issues can propose them to the Rwandan population. Presently Rwandans know what their problems are and RPF cannot solve them. RPF is even fundamentally the major problem. Logically if the regime wanted those problems to be addressed, it should open up the political space to let alternative paths to its own be proposed, instead of doing the opposite.
8. Kasinge pointed as well at the hurting caused to the victims of RPF system by the statement brought up by the propagandists saying that Rwandans were lucky to have the dictatorial regime of Paul Kagame, ignoring the unspeakable atrocities against Rwandans and even more Congolese it has committed again and again and is far from stopping.
9. There is a tiny minority around Kagame’s regime enormously benefiting from the RPF system. But the reality is that the majority of Rwandans are its persistent victims. How could for example thousands of Rwandan orphans and widows living miserably in the forests of DRC, who cannot go back to their country, feel about such statement?
10. Countries today considered as developed chose the democratic model of governance and did not privilege dictatorship for rational strong reasons.
Nadine Claire Kasinge concluded her intervention calling Rwandans not to listen to Kigali propagandists, but asked them to hold in both their hands all their courage to vigorously claim their total rights and appropriate solutions to their existential problems in their country unfortunately led by President Paul Kagame.