Its been 17 years of RPF rule and will be 7 more years with President Paul Kagame. The ones that thought differently has lived under a rock and thought the whole world would stop spinning. The world stop and the hearts would stop pumping if there was a different result at this point. This was massaged and made ready for the world. The whole campaign and the race to the polls. You don’t manage a race of significance and get 98% by coincidence, that is measured and made sure off. Just like the Presidents before him.
“Incumbent President Paul Kagame took a major early lead in Friday’s presidential polls with 5,433,890 votes (98.66 per cent) of the total votes counted by 12:30am. By press time (around 1am), the National Electoral Commission had managed to count about 80 per cent of the votes cast (5,498,414 votes) from 1,732 polling stations. There were 2,340 polling stations across the country. Independent candidate Phillippe Mpayimana was in a distant second having just garnered 39,620 votes (about 0.72 per cent). Frank Habineza, of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, trailed with a measly 24,904 votes, which is 0.45 per cent of the votes counted” (Mwai, 2017).
Because if looks into the Rwandan election history, it is not like the history isn’t telling of similar elections like the one seen this week. Not like the Republic of Rwanda has different results. If you go back to voting on the monarchy in September 25th 1961, if the Kingdom should be preserved it got 78,5%. So the people abolished it 1961 and the other ballot if the King Kigeri V to remain king or had to abdicate, the result that day was 79,60 % who voted him to become a civilian. So even in the 1960s the now Republic voted in high numbers for one thing.
The President George Kayibanda was voted for in 1965 election and he was elected unopposed with 100% support. The same happen in 1969. When Kayibanda was reelected. Then again it took sometime before the next election.
In an unopposed election of President Juvenal Habyarimana in the 24th December 1978, where he got 98,99 %. Again on the 19th December 1983 he got reelected and was unopposed who got 99,97%. The third election with President Habyarimana, again went unopposed on the 19th December 1988, that time he got 99,98%.
After that, there been lots of issues and the civil war, that ended in genocide in 1994. When the Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA), who became the leading party Rwanda Patriotic Front. In the first Presidential election after the genocide, it was in 2003, when President Paul Kagame got 95,05%. So 7 years later in 2010, the incumbent President got 93,08%.
Now in 2017 and unleashing yet another term for the Rwandan President, who follows his predecessors. The ones that was overthrown and killed. These took so much control that they created a violent legacy. Certainly, President Kagame doesn’t want that, but he is following the footsteps of the leaders in the past. Nothing with is different from them, just another name and another time, but with the same controlling state and dark secrets. Kagame got this year 98,66% in the Presidential Election in 2017. Which, is very much alike like Habyarimana, who was shot down while flying in the 1990s. While the death of Kayibanda is still unknown. Therefore, if Kagame follows his predecessors it will end in genocide and a horrible assassination.
Not that we wish that, but the history repeats itself, as seen with the election and state control of society. As well, as internal affairs are controlled from the state. To way that even banished the World Bank from studying the poverty and analyze it to create programs to fight it. This was because the Rwandan state wanted to control the numbers and make sure the propaganda was fitting the vision of Kagame. Therefore, nothing is surprising.
That Kagame got 98% in the election was waited, just like the generations in the past expected Habyarimana and Kayibanda to win with overwhelming numbers. It is all repeating itself and going in circles. To overlook that is to be blind and trying to overshadow the history, which is the propaganda of the state. But that is to be expected. Peace.
African Elections – ‘Elections in Rwanda’ link: http://africanelections.tripod.com/rw.html
Mwai, Collins – ‘Kagame wins presidential poll’ (05.08.2017) link: http://www.newtimes.co.rw/section/read/217433/
Let us be honest for minute, let us be clear, there are not any misunderstanding. However, anyone else on the Presidential Ballot in Rwanda is there for show. It is there so the play of “democracy” and “secret ballots” can be put in order and fix a new “term” to President Paul Kagame. He knows this and those who know the Republic knows this.
It is not like the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF), the former Rwandan Patriotic Army (RPA) came into Rwandan history with glory and peace. They went in at its dire worst and broke peace through bullets and harsh killing sprees. They did so while the airplane of former President fell down from the sky and no-one has taken responsibility for it. Until this day, decades later. There is a grim darkness overshadowing the rule of Kagame.
Former associates and generals who has fled has died of poison and been assassinated. This while reports and opposition are lingering in jails or detained. The real-opposition had better be in Exile like Moise Katumbi of Democratic Republic of Congo. Since Kagame does the same and claim “treason” to stand against him. If not he leaks sensitive information, discredit their candidacy and let the Electoral Commission not accept their candidacy at all. Diane Rwigara got this treatment; surely, Victorie Ingabire Umuhoza already knows the price of standing-up against the big-man and commander-in-chief.
So with this in mind, with the real opposition either in exile, house-arrest or prison. You know the fellas on the ballot together with Kagame are stooges and people trusted by him. If not they would not be there. He would have flogged them and harassed them. Their families might even grieve before the treason trials begins. It is fake and flawed, there aren’t any sort of digression or concern of how foul play it is. Even if Kagame says, “Rwandese decides their future now”. Well, to counter what you say, I say, “you already decided their future”.
At this moment the election is a façade and a farce at the same time. It is play for the gallery and trying to create an image that President Kagame, that he is universally loved and cherished by all citizens in Rwanda! Like that is even possible. Surely, many has earned fortunes on the illegal mining and rebel activity in the DRC. That has had proxy wars there and exported minerals in quantities that we cannot imagine. However, this what keeps the RPF a float and pays for the master to have TED talks and look brilliant in the West.
The elections and campaigning might be peaceful, but the total control from Kagame should scare you. He controls everything and his army has it tight-knit. Just like the results of today’s exercise will be around 90% to 95%, the others are just cast for play. To make it seem like they had a chance, when everyone knows there is only one winner and one leader, that is Kagame.
So today, is nothing more but a façade, a shell and forgery of what could have been! It is nice that is peaceful and no-one get hurt. It is great that the polling stations are in order and electoral officials are keeping things humming. The result is nevertheless predestined to be in favor of Kagame and the RPF. To say something else and you have not followed class of 94’ and the whole RPA insurgency. Peace.
The crackdown on Opposition in Rwanda is well known abroad and the FDU (Forces Democratiques Unifies) leader Victorie Ingabire Umuhoza who was in the late 2013 through a trial sentenced to jail for 15 years. She is deemed as a political prisoner and gotten the court rigged for her sentence and jailed as certain opposition of the RPF and the Presidency of Paul Kagame. Reason why the world knows little of this is because of the stranglehold the Government of Rwanda has over the media and information.
Important information about the trial of 2013:
“Gatera Gashabana stated that the witness would testify Michel Habimana discharge but this was refused by the MP. This prompted Ingabire to no longer submit to the Court. Another witness wanted his testimony to be heard without being present to the Court for its safety and this was refused. Me Ian Edward has meanwhile raised the crime of genocide denial. He reported that Ms. Ingabire said that there was a genocide of Tutsis but also Hutus are killed and this comes from their own ideas and this is allowed in the Rwandan law ; thereto, Me Ian added that Ingabire should not be prosecuted for it” (LIPRODHOR, 2013).
She appealed in December 2013:
“The Supreme Court has turned down Victorie Ingabire’s appeal against an 8-year sentence handed to her by the High Court last year” (AllAfrica, 2013). “The judge, stating that Ingabire should be serving a 27-year jail term, claimed to have shown her leniency due to the fact that this was her first conviction and because her family was based in the Netherlands” (…)”Ingabire’s trial – which saw her accused of offences related to terrorism, genocide ideology, discrimination and disseminating rumours aimed at inciting the public against the existing leadership – took place between September 2011 and April 2012, and has attracted a considerable amount of criticism from international non-governmental organization” (Joyes, 2016). ” Considering accusations against her, various identified irregularities and ignorance of due process, it has been clear that Rwandan justice system has been used by the Rwandan government as a tool to oppress legitimate and peaceful exercise of freedom of expression and freedom of association” (…)”Freedom of expression and associations are important base and foundations of a democracy. Their absences undermine one of important fundamental rights of people. This situation not only has the potentiality to cause insecurity and conflicts, in Rwanda as result of consequences of oppression, it also affects the country ability to achieve its various social and economic potentialities as result of participation of its people in environment of freedom and rule of law” Said GCRHR coordinator” (Kamuzinzi, 2016).
The Application to the African Court:
“In the year 2000, she became the leader of a political party known as Rassemblement Républicain pour la Démocratie au Rwanda (RDR) (The Republican Movement for Democracy in Rwanda). She had been a member of the party since 1998” (…)”Sometime later, a merger between this party and two other opposition parties (The ADR and the FRD) led to the creation of a new political party known as Forces Democratiques Unifiees (FDU Inkingi) led by the Applicant till date” (…)”In the year 2010, after spending nearly seventeen years abroad, the Applicant decided to return to Rwanda, according to her Counsel, to contribute in nation building” (…)”She did not attain this objective because as from 10 February 2010, charges were brought against her by the judicial police, the Prosecutor and Courts and Tribunals in Rwanda” (…)”On 21 April 2010, the Applicant was remanded by the police and placed under detention” (African Courts, 2014).
In February 2016:
“Her lawyer Gatera Gashabana wrote in letters to the head of the Bar in Rwanda that “on 5 February 2016, I went to the prison to meet with my client to prepare for the hearing before the African Court on Human and People’s Rights based in Arusha (Tanzania) on 4 March 2016.” He went on to say he was told that before any visit all his documents had to be checked and that this hindrance would make it impossible to prepare for the upcoming hearing. He demanded an end to “these excessive demands and intimidations,” according to the letters released by Ingabire’s opposition United Democratic Forces (UDF) party, which is not officially recognised in Rwanda” (AFP, 2016).
Today – FDU Supporter jailed for bring food to imprisoned Vicoire Ingaire:
“Boniface Twagirimana, FDU-Inkingi 1st vice-president of the political party of the imprisoned Victoire Ingabire, is alerting the Rwandan and international community that 15 minutes ago, Ms Gasengayire Leonille, the person in charge of bringing food to the prisoner from outside, has just been kidnapped by RPF security forces which were waiting for her inside the prison at lunch time. When she entered the prison compound, she was told to get in a civilian car with number plate RAA442M which took her rapidly to an unknown destination” (Twagirimana, 26.03.2016).
As much as the Government of Rwanda trying to silence the opposition and the leader of Victorie Ingaire Umuhoza of the FDU who has been jailed and sentenced since 2010 after her arrival back from diaspora in the Netherlands. The last straw and the recognition of the African Court, a African Court that the Government of Rwandan the Rwandan Patriotic Front and their President Kagame tries to distance themselves from or discontinue themselves from.
The proof here is how far the Rwandan Government stifle the opposition and to what extent they don’t value the democratic values, as they even now goes to the point of kidnapping the person who feeds a opposition leader in jail; who is sentenced for 15 years in jail and has not gotten her appeal accepted and also gotten refused to go to African Court on Human Rights in Arusha, Tanzania. This might be the reason for why the Rwandan Government trying to distance themselves from the African Courts as they don’t want the outside to understand their dealings or get grips to the sovereignty.
The state might be sovereign still they will have to be responsible from the actions. That is why they have ratified certain statues and Human Rights laws, even charters as they want to be legitimized internationally and that is why the Rwandan Official defended their case this week. But this kind of imprisonment of an opposition leader and using genocide as a motive for taking her in and letting her rot in prison. As she just returned from Netherlands to do her duty and for her party, not to destroy the RPF or the Government, but create and prove democratic values, as President Kagame neglect and doesn’t care about it, only that he have power and holds on to it by any means. Peace.
African Courts: ‘Application No. 003/2014 -Ingabire Victoire Umuhoza v. The Republic of Rwanda’
AFP – ‘JAILED RWANDAN OPPOSITION LEADER’S LAWYER SAYS DENIED ACCESS’ (16.02.2016) link: http://www.newstimeafrica.com/archives/41785
AllAfrica – ‘Rwanda: Ingabire Loses Appeal, Sentenced to 15 Years’ (13.12.2013) link: http://allafrica.com/stories/201312160001.html
LIPRODHOR – ‘In the trial of Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, his lawyers suggest the innocence of their client’ (29.04.2013) link: http://www.liprodhor.org/en/2013/04/dans-le-proces-de-mme-ingabire-umuhoza-victoire-ses-avocats-evoquent-linnocence-de-leur-cliente/
Joyes, Ben – ‘Rwandan Supreme Court Increases Sentence Against Victoire Ingabire’ (14.03.2016 link: http://arcproject.co.uk/2013/12/rwandan-supreme-court-increases-sentence-against-victoire-ingabire/
Global Campaign for Rwandans Human Rights (GCRWHR) / Kamuzinzi – ‘Rwanda: Opposition leader conviction extinguishes some hope of political freedom and put Rwanda on a dangerous path’ (13.12.2013) link: http://www.inyenyerinews.org/democracy-freedoms/rwanda-opposition-leader-conviction-extinguishes-some-hope-of-political-freedom-and-put-rwanda-on-a-dangerous-path/