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Confusion in Kigali exacerbated by information vacuum

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Prodigal Son, Apr 26, 2010.

  1. Prodigal Son

    Prodigal Son JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Confusion in Kigali exacerbated by information vacuum

    Coming only a few weeks after a former ambassador of Rwanda to India, Lt-Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa (who is also former chief of staff of the army) fled to South Africa, news early last week of the arrests and jailing of two generals, Maj-Gen. Karenzi Karake and Lt-Gen Charles Muhire, was bound to set tongues wagging.

    When, the following morning, police arrested Victoire Ingabire, who has declared her intention to contest the presidency, it began to look like we had the beginnings of a political crisis in Kigali.

    As of the time of writing this analysis, Ingabire had been granted bail following an appeal by her lawyer. This was a day after prosecutors brought charges against her of propagating genocide ideology, association with a terrorist group, negation of the genocide and encouraging ethnic divisionism.

    Talk is rife in Kigali of a supposed coup d’état that has been quelled. Others speculate that what is happening in the Rwandan capital is a power struggle within the armed forces that Kagame is suppressing by jailing the generals.
    Also, the rumor mill has it that the arrest of Ingabire is related to that of the army men, because, goes the speculation, all these people were together in behind-the-scenes efforts to overthrow Kagame.

    Informed sources however contend that there is no way Ingabire would be in cahoots with any Rwandan military officer for anything — after all, it is only recently that she and others in her political party FDU Inkingi were cheerleading as a French judge, Jean Louis Bruguiere, issued international arrest warrants for several Rwandan officers.

    The talk in Kigali is, in short, the product of confusion exacerbated by an information vacuum that can be blamed on the fact that our news media — which is only now trying to rebuild and still experiences yawning gaps in terms of qualified professionals — has so often got it wrong on so many issues that very few staff within any government institution, leave alone the army, are willing to leak information to it.

    The army’s stand, articulated by army spokesperson Jill Rutaremara following the arrests of the army officers, was that Maj-Gen.

    Karake was charged with conduct that “contravenes and undermines the values and ethos of the Rwanda Defense Force,” and that Lt-Gen Muhire was arrested due to “serious charges of corruption and misuse of office.”
    Long-time watchers of the Rwandan military know that even if Lt-Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa — who has been accused of involvement in terrorist attacks in Kigali, specifically the spate of grenade explosions in the Rwandan capital that took about three lives — were to plan something dangerous it would not be with Karenzi Karake.

    The two men were never close; they never went to any school together; they never served anywhere together.

    According to an officer who didn’t want to be named discussing military matters, it is inconceivable that even if there were a plan to stage a coup the two men would be in it together. Ditto with Charles Muhire.

    Shyaka Kanuma is chief editor of the Rwanda Focus.
  2. Prodigal Son

    Prodigal Son JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    There's something rotten in the state of Rwanda

    By Charles Onyango-Obbo

    What is happening in Rwanda? In the past month or so, bombs have been going off in Kigali with alarming frequency. In an interview, President Paul Kagame explained that as the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the US and several European countries prove, such attacks can happen anywhere.

    However, Rwanda is not just anywhere. It is, easily, Africa's most efficient state. Secondly, the whole logic on which its political and security system has been built is that, following the genocide of 1994, such things will not happen again on Rwandese soil.

    If bombs went off in Kampala or Nairobi, it would be terrifying, but not exactly surprising because the systems in these countries are relatively lax. By contrast, consider what happened in 1996, when the former Interahamwe forces that had carried out the genocide in Rwanda crossed back into the country from the DR Congo to wreak havoc.

    In one instance, they went to a school, sorted the children along Hutu and Tutsi lines, and slaughtered the Tutsi.

    The Rwanda Patriotic Front was just two years in power, not as established as it is today. I was on a reporting assignment, and on the road to DR Congo witnessed the army's response.

    It was something to behold. They cornered and killed several of the insurgents before they crossed back into the DRC. We are talking minutes here, not hours. There are few armies in Africa that can match that.

    So, when bombs to go off in Kigali, observers who know this side of Rwanda, would naturally argue that it's because something has gone fundamentally wrong at the heart of the system.

    The arrest of two senior army officers last Tuesday, especially the influential Maj-Gen Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, seemed to confirm this view. Indeed, the Kigali media alleged that Karake had been questioned over the attacks.

    With elections approaching in August, a wild card candidate, Victoire Ingabire, has returned from the Netherlands where she has lived since the early 1990s, to challenge Kagame.

    The government last week arrested her for allegedly using the ethnic-baiting tactics that led to the 1994 slaughter.

    In the same vein, the government recently suspended two pro-opposition newspapers for alleged incitement and a continued hate campaign against President Paul Kagame. As a column by Shyaka Kanuma in this paper last week pointed out, the papers have called Kagame everything from a murderer to Hitler, name it.

    Still, the fact that the Kagame government has to resort to prosecution to rein in Ingabire, and to suspend hate-spewing newspapers, is telling. The RPF, like the government it built, is a highly disciplined party.

    Sixteen years after it came to power, it should have the ability to comprehensively dominate the political arguments in the media and to overwhelm and push people like Ingabire to the fringe, rendering them ineffective without using a big stick.

    The fact that it has to resort to the strong arm of the law to deal with hate-mongers, suggests a level of vulnerability that the outside world didn't know existed.

    Kagame, therefore, has an interesting problem. For the world to believe him, he has to convince it that his government is actually not as efficient and competent as it has been cracked up to be.

    Source: East African
  3. m_kishuri

    m_kishuri JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Bwana Kagame huwa namzimia sana, haswa kwa jinsi alivyoweza kupambana na ruswha na kuindeleza nchi yake, lakini ameshindwa kabisa kutansform nchi yake kisiasa, na ndio kinachomletea matatizo. Haiwezekani uwe kiongozi wa nchi kama Rwanda, nchi yenye historia ya migogoro, udhani kwamba military force ndio solution bila ya intergrational policies za kuunganisha watu wake.
    Ni bahati mbaya kuona kwamba hawa viongozi wengi wa Afrika Mashariki na kati wameshindwa kabisa kumuigwa bingwa wao, Marehemu J.K Nyerere. Kagame alitakiwa awe the Transformational figure in Rwanda ili awaunganishe Wanyarwanda, na sio kuendelea kuwabana na kuwatisha. Kwa mujibu wa wataalamu, a Transformational leader focuses on "transforming" others to healp each other, to look out for each other, to be encouraging and harmonious, and to look out for the organization as a whole.
    Sasa huyu bwana akishindwa, hii nchi iakuwa mgeni wa nani? Kwa hatua ambayo nchi yake imefikia, Rwanda haihitaji matatizo kama haya.
  4. PakaJimmy

    PakaJimmy JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    Power scrumble rising its horns high!.
    Huyu mama Ingabire anaonyesha kumkosesha usingizi na kumtisha sana Kagame, na silaha yake kuu inakuwa ni nguvu za kiserikali alizo nazo!!
    Ndiyo shida ya viongozi wetu...Miaka 16 madarakani, lakini anajiona yeye ndo yeye!...of course with some externally backing force!
  5. Nemesis

    Nemesis JF-Expert Member

    Apr 26, 2010
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    There are two problems here, first Kagame wants to remain in power so as to protect himself and his allies in RPF against ICTR. La pili linafanana sana na hilo is to protect the wrong statement about genocide ideology.

    Kagame na watu wake wamefanikiwa kueneza propaganda ya genocide ideology kwamba 'Hutu killed Tutsi'. Hii statement ni ya uongo mkubwa, killings zilihusisha wote. Baadhi ya Wahutu waliwaua Watutsi na jeshi la RPF (Tutsi) waliwaua Wahutu mpaka wakachukua madaraka. Sasa huu ndo ukweli ambao Bi. Victoria Ingabire anautamka wazi. Kumbuka kwamba ukweli huu ukikubaliwa Kagame na makamanda wenzake wa RPF watatakiwa ICTR. ICTR haijamshitaki Mtutsi hata mmoja mpaka sasa. Imekuwa kama ni mahakama ya kuwashitaki Wahutu.

    Historia ya ubabe in Rwanda ni ndefu sana na ninadhani bado sana kufikia mwisho. Unajua Majenerali wakabila moja na Kagame (Watutsi) pia wameanza kumgeuka Kagame hata wale waliokuwa karibu sana naye. Kitu ambacho ni hatari sana kwake. Jamaa anaishi maisha ya kujihami sana kwasasa.