By Theogene Karenzi
“…We need a new front to resist him. (I’d rather say resisting the system he represents)… We have to tell the world in black and white.” Theogene Karenzi
“…A common front has to start with the truth and truth is those (ICTR) prisoners are guilty of nothing.” Christopher C. Black
Dear Rwandans, Rwanda diaspora and friends of Rwanda:-
Logic dictates that realities on ground guide manuals of the time. In the same vein, time is telling us to change to a next operandi. We need a new manual.
Our common enemy – (president) Paul Kagame – is charging to the worst of levels. Recall: a hawk descending on chicks!
Twenty years we have had under Kagame! In the first place he started hiding behind leaders he has since demoralized, killed or exiled. When time he deemed right did come, he came out in the open to seize power. Since that time he has been a dictator in all but a name.
If that was bad enough, the next is hell. Kagame has successfully outmuscled the public, RPF and the opposition parties! He has overrun activists and the international community is quietly watching as he guns towards doctoring with the Rwandan constitution.
The prop is already set. The people have been curved into submission and fear!
My people are crying a lamentation! Tears trickle to their hearts, yet they are fishes – their tears invisible in lake Rweru!
With fear, tears and death in place, Kagame is securing signatures that will help him reclaim the kingdom of Rwanda. He is doing it unencumbered by whatsoever!
We need a new front to resist him.
It would be regrettable indeed to have a life-long leader in the person of Kagame. That man is a ruthless Rwandan that has ever been known.
– A man who wants to rule people together with their thoughts?
– A man who chooses his reason over whoever’s?
– A man who kills fellow countrymen as if they are roaches?
– A man who spies on his people like they are beings deserving no privacy?
– A man who thinks himself bigger and rational than eleven million Rwandans?
– A qualified rumour monger?
– A run-off-the-mill warlord who smiles when he is causing troubles?
We have to tell the world in black and white.
I invite every one of you everywhere and through every available nook and cranny to tell the world that people in Rwanda are not soliciting signatures.
They have a yoke at their neck and they are likely going to be <fishes of lake Rweru> if they don’t sign that petition to have Kagame stay at Urugwiro. I know some of you have access to different categories of media, please report it as widely as you can.
There are proofs on the ground. People in Rwanda are being invited to the leader of ten households <nyumba kumi> where they are being told to sign what they don’t even read.
Please let the world know! We need to trigger an international reaction and drama that will lay it bare. Please any one of us, anyone!
If we work tirelessly on discrediting the move, we will be discrediting Kagame. We will be confirming to the fact that Rwanda has many other sons and daughters, it doesn’t need Kagame to choose its fate.
We will be affirming that we are <the people> and thus become of use to our posterity.
Among the friends of Rwanda, Christopher C. Black, former ICTR defendant lawyer, replies to Karenzi’s call:
“A common front is needed but where is it?
The diaspora is still half-convinced that the “genocide” story is true.
The civil opposition refuses to link with the military opposition in the FDLR because of the same propaganda about 94.
The former government and army leaders are allowed to sit and rot in jail with no Rwandans coming to demand justice for them – all political prisoners, for the same reason.
Until these things change, he (president Paul Kagame) will be able to divide conquer. When the diaspora demands the release of Jean Kambanda, of General Augustin Bizimungu (and the rest) guilty of nothing expect resisting the RPF, then we will have something.
There has to be a common front created, and when I spent 15 years working with the political prisoners held by the UN at Arusha – all fine people and brave, and only their families and friends supporting them when they fought for the nation and were imprisoned for fighting, or just belonging to the government Kagame wanted to eliminate, and when they have suffered so much defamation and isolation it makes me upset that nothing is being done.
A common front has to start with the truth and truth is those prisoners are guilty of nothing. For me to know General Bizimungu (I focus on him because I came to know him well and I admire him and I like him as a person as well as an officer) is sitting in prison on fake charges presented by RPF witnesses, makes me ill. But I could say the same about the others. Anyway I am ranting and I am not Rwandan but it’s not right.
Except the ICTR is an illegitimate tribunal -UN has no jurisdiction to create such a body and it was really set up by Nato countries to act as a propaganda tool for the US and UK against the interim government and to justify the RPF seizure of power by force of arms with Western assistance. We always told the judges their judgements and orders are irrelevant to us legally since the tribunal is biased, illegal and a tool of oppression. Its judgements created no jurisprudence as far as I am concerned and in fact the judgements are laughable attempts to distort what actually happened in the trials.”
Propaganda and disinformation can distort truth to the point that the truth one holds become populated with doubts. That is what Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front and its multitude of operating systems and sponsors inside and across the world have been doing since 1990. And they seem to have significantly achieved their goal: to make prevail their narrative of events and their logical consequences.
An anecdote to explain the impact of such propaganda: during its programme of rewriting the country’s history through “ingando” – or months long brainwashing sessions run by RPF – , Rwandans are taught a different version of what some experienced personally during the national tragedies of recent decades. And they are forced to uphold the official narrative they are told. But what has been happening since, many have started questioning what really happened to them during those dark years or so, though they are the factual victims and nobody else. When you know well who killed your family, or that your property was taken away for crimes you didn’t commit, and your relatives (parents or siblings) have been imprisoned, it is a shame that you are made to believe that your unfortunate circumstances are only consequences of past leaders’ bad governance before RPF “liberated” Rwanda. Doubts seem to have only relevance for the older generation which lived through events; unfortunately the new generation appears to swallow everything from RPF mouthpieces as Bible’s verses.
A new front with a more comprehensive and solid foundation than the current list of grievances against Kagame’s criminal and authoritarian regime is effectively long overdue. An Apartheid like system of governance installed by the regime cannot be uprooted without a rethinking of founding principles of opposing it and strategies. Like the wake up call which came in 1987 and brought together all the revanchards of the Tutsi monarchy, this after decades of unsuccessful attempts, the present crop of opponents to president Paul Kagame – including Tutsis, Hutus and Twas genuinely seeking a fundamental change from the dictatorial socles, interested in a more democratic society and prosperous for all Rwandans) needs to come together and redefine the core and the means of their struggle and mobilise Rwandans around it.