You would think that the opening of a new Parliament should be a joyful day for the new Members of Parliament and the other representatives, as they are starting a new legislative career and also become a vital part of the government. Instead, a major part of the speech made by the President Paul Kagame is more of fear and intimidation, than of trying to tell what is their mission, the plans for this term or even scheduled affairs for this Parliament by the Executive. That really just shows the passion and heart for the Republic, that Kagame has.
I have taken a piece of the Transcript to prove what he was saying, and that the President says this. Shows his attitude and his will power to control. This is not said by a man, whose peaceful or really caring about the lives he touches with his power. As Kagame are saying, if your saying things, which I deem as not true, you might end in prison like these so-called political stars. This shows, that it wasn’t really mercy, but they might end back there if they doesn’t follow the will of the President.
“Our political system is to mind our own business not to mind other people’s business. We have become familiar with that kind of political system whereby those who have stolen or made other mistakes are out there talking about political issues in their countries. So, they are hosted but they should know that they cause problems to their hosts and to Rwandans in general as well. After they had taught you that they would host you in case of anything because they will do it in the name of someone who wants to see a change here in Rwanda. In Rwanda things will change according to they way we want them to, not according to how others wish. Recently, as usual, because it is not the first time as a way to solve those problems, we have mercy, not mercy as such but as a way to solve problems. If we did not give clemency, how many people would still be in prison? We would still have hundreds of thousands in jail because that is where they should be. But to build our country, we made the decision to rehabilitate our citizens and enable them to contribute to our country. Recently, when we released people including the political stars as from outside the country, that it is how we do it, it is not for the first time. But some people were saying that they did not and cannot ask for forgiveness but said it was because of the pressure. Which pressure here? In Rwanda, it is not pressure we respond to, it is our own thoughts. Where this country comes from has taught us that we must refuse to be a submissive people. If you keep on saying so, you will find yourself back in jail” (Paul Kagame, 19.09.2018 – ‘President Paul Kagame’s full speech after the swearing in of newly elected MPs’ IGHE, link: http://en.igihe.com/news/president-paul-kagame-s-full-speech-after-the.html).
President Kagame is really showing his force and lack of tolerance. Not that this is new, because intimidation and fear is his tools of control. Now he has to tell this to the MPs as well, so they know that they have to follow him and not speak ill of him or the Republic. Because if they do so, they are not following the wish of him and his closest allies.
This sort of speech shows his true character, as he wouldn’t do this in an international forum or as an African Union Chairman. Then he will be polished and sound like a decent man. But the ones that has followed his career, knows he is a gangster uniformed into the Executive of the Republic. He is maybe dressing smart, but his acts are sinister and use of arms have never been far away from him. The President is clearly also offering this to his MPs.
The MPs should now know, that the prisoners who has been offered pardon, can easily return and if they question the President’s power. They could follow them behind bars. As the thoughts of the President is the ones that matter, not the other voices. If you listen to them, you might serve time, as your a submissive soul, who listen to others than Paul. Peace.
It is sort of welcoming that President Paul Kagame has released 2000 political prisoners. However, there is no reason to really celebrate it. Not like Kagame is reforming his ways or trying to open up for multi-party democracy, even as there is one Opposition MP in the Parliament after the recent election. Not like that person’s voice will cause a revolution.
We should know that the freedom of Victorie Ingabire Umuhoza, the opposition leader and President of FDU-Inkingi, which was arrested and detained on terrorism charges, because she challenged Kagame before the August 2010 Presidential Elections. She was later arrested in October 2010, since then she was detained on the charges explained below.
“The Applicant avers that on 10 February, 2010, she received a summons requiring her to appear before a judicial police officer at the Criminal Investigation Department (ClD). According to her, she was accused of committing the offence of aiding and abetting terrorism, punishable under Article 12 of Law No. 45/2009 of 9 September, 2008, on the punishment of the offence of terrorism. She states that the allegations were “exclusively based on contacts she is said to have had with some defectors of the Forces Ddmocratiques de Liberation du Rwanda (FDLR), with a view to establishing an armed branch of the political party called Forces Democratiques Unifiees, of which she is President”. She further submits that she was also charged with “spreading the ideology of genooide, sectarianism and divisionism” (African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights – ‘In the matter of Ingabire Victorie Umuhoza V. Republic of Rwanda – Judgment’ (24.11.2017).
Even if Ingabire Umuhoza now is released and allowed to do political work for FDU-Inkingi, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) still owns the Republic and Kagame is not limiting his powers. He still controls it all and everyone else, he does this for brownie points and making him look better. Even as that is not the reality. If it was so, the torture, the treatment of Ingabire and everything that happen to her while incarcerated. There was even reports of lacking of food and other acts of ill-treatment of her. She is certainly not alone in those acts of impunity against citizens behind bars. That is why, we cannot just celebrate the 2000 liberated political prisoners.
That is because we cannot give this away and give Kagame the props. Because then I am playing in the hands of him and I cannot do that. His able to play around the board of Arsenal, but the rest of us knows Red Cards, when we see them.
She was arrested for eight years on forged charges, that was the rest of them too. If not, why could Kagame suddenly show mercy to them all? If he didn’t know that he was the man behind their demise and the reason for their pain. Kagame knows this and trying to get positive news behind him. Even if they are not saying he is the reason for their demise. Which all of the pardoned prisoners should say, as the political prisoners most of them was.
Ingabire was the biggest one of the pardoned prisoners, there are still plenty of them behind bars. The other one that has challenged Kagame for Presidential Elections was Diane Rwigara, that is currently still behind bars and the state has sold of the properties of the family. While also arrested several of her relatives. So, it is not like the RPF and Kagame have changed, because they are still acting with impunity. That should never be forgotten, it is not like these pardons has changed the reality of what the Kagame regime is. Peace.