“Rwanda needs to be led by someone who feels love for Rwandans in them, who has the patriotic spirit in them, who can fight for their country if necessary. Who can sacrifice their life for Rwandans if need be, who does not just care for themselves” – Yvonne Iryamugwiza Idamange (31.01.2021).
From Kigali there isn’t a bunch of people coming out with their rebuke of the regime. The ones who does usually ends up in legal trouble. For Yvonne Iryamugwiza Idamange dropped a Youtube Video on the 31st January 2021. Where she dared to address the government and its action. Now today, the Rwandan Police Force addressed the arrest of Yvonne. If the Police haven’t dropped a Press Release. This arrest wouldn’t have caught my eye. That is why I looked into it and I understand why she is behind bars.
She is not behind bars because she did something directly illegal. Maybe her words and her video sparked fury at Office of the President or anyone in-charge. Nevertheless, she just spoke her mind and the government couldn’t handle it. That is why she is charged with inciting public disorder. When someone get these charges the words being said should be very powerful.
What she said on the 31st January have been translated and here is a passage. That maybe was to close to home for the regime:
“It’s true that I agree with the fact of washing our hands and respecting the social distancing measures and not scattering everywhere, but however not forgetting the life of Rwandans. If the Cabinet Council decides that Rwandans should stay home ignoring that there are Rwandans who do not have what to eat, ignoring that ¾ of Rwandans get what to eat because they have gone out to work, that citizen you are taking care of facing coronavirus will die of hunger. What is the importance of that? You say that you assist us, you assist citizens when you urge them to stay home, what do you give them? The rotten bitter flour? Let me tell you that they cannot even make bread from that flour. Instead, they boil porridge from it because it has been impossible for them to eat bread from it. Do you really think that you are assisting that citizen or it’s the punishment?” (David Himbara – ‘Rwandan Women Will Liberate Rwanda – The Case of Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne’ 12.02.2021).
Because Yvonne dared to address the poverty and the regulations in concern to the pandemic. Yes, there is important with regulations and safeguard the public. Also, ensure they can live through it. She is basing it on the fact of the gig-economy and hustling to surviving. If you are living hand-to-mouth… then the state needs to provide extra of the basics when they are closing everything down. Something the government haven’t and that is why it’s hurt the pride of the regime.
This passage here was maybe even more direct and damaged someone’s calm:
“Those ordinary people, when they go out, are asked where they go, but you, no one asks you where you’re going. That is why you underestimate the problems of Rwandans. Those are words frustrating Rwandans, they are not words of a leader standing for Rwandans, you utter it while there are many who are hungry and have no way out. Therefore, for this issue of urging Rwandans to stay home, I as a Rwandan who dares to speak up, because I know there are so many who wish to say something but are afraid, I as a Rwandan who has overcome fear, I request the Rwandan Government to open doors for us so that we go out and work, and subsequently we care for ourselves and not depend on those minor quantities you are giving us, which are received but some and others are not reached” (David Himbara – ‘Rwandan Women Will Liberate Rwanda – The Case of Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne’ 12.02.2021).
Here she shows the dire reality of the fear of questioning the power and the regime itself. She wouldn’t have said this, if there wasn’t any truth to it. Yvonne dared to say these things and that is why she is behind bars. It all makes sense. Just by these passages alone.
FDU-Inkingi wrote a statement on the 8th February 2021 about her. It stated: “Instead of responding to the grievances exposed by MSIDAMANGE, the authorities remain silent and react by discreetly orchestrating a smear campaign against her through online newspapers close to the government such as Igihe.com and Rushyashya.com, as well as on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.).At the same time, the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the state body fighting against genocide, published on 5/02/2021 a press release intended to intimidate her for exercising her freedom of expression,under the pretext that her criticism of government policies can be interpreted as propagating genocide ideology” (FDU-INKINGI – ‘THE AUTHORITIES IN RWANDA MUST OPENLY ASSUME THEIR RESPONSIBILITY TO TAKE CARE OF EVERYONE AND STOP PLAYING HIDE AND SEEK THAT EXERCERBATESCONFLICT AND INJUSTICE’ 08.02.2021).
It really says it all and the wordings of her speech is a reason in itself. That is why a 100,000 views was seen of the video within a few days. She has sparked not only interest, but she has sent red flags to the leadership. She dared to question them and do it in public. Yvonne has shown her courage and that she’s fearless. That is why she is now detained and charged.
However, her speech is only validated by it. As the state cannot be criticised and be questioned by the citizens. Because, if they do … then they are ending in the slammer. So much for a regime and a President getting 98,66% of the votes in the recent election. Peace.