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Rwandan President Vows to Crush Troublemakers Ahead of Monday's Vote

Discussion in 'International Forum' started by Smiles, Aug 5, 2010.

  1. Smiles

    Smiles JF-Expert Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    Exiled newspaper editor Jean Bosco Gasasira says President Kagame has decided to silence all independent voices

    James Butty | Washington, D.C. 05 August 2010

    Rwandan President Paul Kagame has warned that he will crush any attempt to destabilize his regime with just three more days before Monday's presidential election.

    The president was responded to his former intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya who earlier this week called for an uprising against Mr. Kagame.

    Jean Bosco Gasasira, the exiled editor of the Umuvugizi newspaper in Rwanda said he's not surprised at the turn of events in Rwanda ahead of Monday's vote.

    "This is not a surprise of a person like President Kagame who has proved to be a dictator and who has opted to silence all independent voices in Rwanda. President Kagame in this same year, in front of the parliament, said he was going to use a Hammer to kill a fly. What he was meaning was killing (the) opposition," he said.

    Gasasira said former Rwandan intelligence chief Patrick Karegeya's call for an uprising against President Kagame is proof that the Rwandan leader is losing support among his once trusted allies.

    "I told you this that Patrick Karegeya was once a part of Kagame; he was his advisor. But (the) time has come whereby people who are independent are now seeing Kagame as someone impossible, and they are now crossing to another part. That's why you see he (Kagame) is not going to tolerate them; he is not going to tolerate generals; he is not going to tolerate bishops; he can't tolerate Human Rights Watch; he can't tolerate anyone, even to an extent of shooting journalists to death because of an article," Gasasira said.

    A number of senior army officers have been arrested in recent months. One of them, Faustin Kayumba Nyamwash, narrowly survived an assassination attempt in South Africa in June.

    Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, who is under house arrest and banned from participating in Monday's election, Wednesday accused the international community of turning a blind eye to the crisis in Rwanda.

    Gasasira said Ingabire was right in her criticism of the international community.

    "Definitely what the opposition candidate is saying is correct because the U.N. Secretary General was saying he needs more investigation. But we as Rwandans are asking ourselves, what sort of investigation does he need? The journalist was shot dead, killed in cold blood; the way he arrested a U.S. lawyer accusing him of genocide ideology. Unfortunately he is doing this when the biggest donors like UK, like US, like Netherlands and most especially the European Union when all those voices are quiet. For sure we are asking what is behind this because people are dying," Gasasira said.

    Rwanda's Media High Council earlier this year suspended Umuvugizi and Umuseso for six months on the grounds the two weekly newspapers violated Rwanda's media laws and incited public order.

    In June Umuvugizi deputy editor Jean Leonard Rugambage was shot and killed outside his home in Kigali.

    Last week the same Media High Council banned some 30 media organizations for not complying with the council's rules.
  2. M

    Magezi JF-Expert Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    Kagame must understand that the bullets can penetrate his body as well.
  3. The Quonquerer

    The Quonquerer JF-Expert Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    Kwa Koba na babukijana hapa patachimbika!
  4. Shapu

    Shapu JF-Expert Member

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    You Guys dont forget what Kagame did to get into power and at what situation the country was. dont also forget how he has turn around the economy of rwanda and all the exciting developments in rwanda now. If you carefully study the history of this country you will never blame Kagame.

    Opposition must be there but I truly support this Kagame Man!!!
  5. The Quonquerer

    The Quonquerer JF-Expert Member

    Aug 5, 2010
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    Me too! Nasikia Karegeya alipewa hela ya kumkamata Kabuga na akafanikiwa kumkamata, Kabuga akamkatia mahela ya kufa mtu, nayo akalamba akaamua kumwachia. Yaani akala kote kote! Kayumba naye nasikia ufisadi ulikuwa mbele kwa mbele, na mjeshi mkubwa mwingine naye aliuza ndege ya jeshi nzima kwa kwa wa-Canada kwa bei ya gari akidai kuwa ni mbovu, kwa hiyo mambo mengine ya waasi ni wizi na uroho wa madaraka. Si rahisi na yeye awaache hivi hivi, lazima awale vichwa! Watu kama Mutsindashyaka, evidence dhidi ya wizi wao are overwhelming! Kupambana na mafisadi si kazi rahisi. Kwa hilo hata Koba namuunga mkono na Kagame wake ili mradi msije Tanzania!
  6. O

    Omulangi JF-Expert Member

    Aug 7, 2010
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    Nilikwisha sema Kagame hatawadanganya watu wote nyakati zote. Hata watetezi wake wa sasa kuna siku watatubu kwa kuuamini uongo. Kama hatuwezi kushtuka watu wanapotea katika mazingira ya kutatanisha. Hali ya maisha ya watu ni nzuri sana Kigali na katika miji. Nenda vijijini uone umasikini na ugumu wa maisha usioelezeka. Na hata hivyo kama uchumi ni excuse ya unyama wowote basi tuuze viungo vya watoto wetu ili tupate utajiri!!! Tuchinje albino ili tupate pesa nzuri. Kukua kwa uchumi kuna maadili na miiko yake bwana. SIDANGANYIKI!
  7. K

    Koba JF-Expert Member

    Aug 8, 2010
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    Rwanda: Kagame's New Seven-Year Challenge

    [​IMG] [​IMG] Rwandan President Paul Kagame

    By Jon Rosen in Kigali, Rwanda for ISN Security Watch

    When Rwandans go to the polls on Monday, few expect anything short of a landslide victory for President Paul Kagame - the man widely viewed as the architect of one of Africa's best-governed states, built upon the ashes of its grisly 1994 genocide.
    Since Kagame's Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF) seized power following the genocide - the 100-day bloodbath in which up to a million Tutsi and moderate Hutu were slaughtered - Rwanda has been transformed into an enclave of order and stability with designs on following the 'Asian Tiger' model to become a regional hub of IT, financial services and education.
    Today, its capital, Kigali, is one of Africa's cleanest and safest cities. Across town, yellow cranes and glistening office towers reflect GDP growth that's averaged 8 percent over the last half-decade. Though rural poverty remains widespread, farmers have seen tangible benefits from government efforts to improve small-scale agriculture. Rwandans now have access to nine years of free primary education and affordable health insurance. In an ode to Kagame's no-nonsense leadership, a recent report by Transparency International notes Rwanda is by far East Africa's least corrupt country, with incidents of bribery negligible.
    Yet while figures from Bill Gates to Tony Blair have praised Kagame as a visionary, and ordinary Rwandans are drawn to his confidence, a recent series of events suggest the former rebel leader is fearful of threats to his tight grip on power.
    In the run-up to the elections, Kagame's government has harassed and arrested opposition leaders and journalists, suspended two prominent newspapers from print, and prevented three main opposition political parties from registering for the ballot.
    On 19 June, General Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, a long-time RPF loyalist-turned-Kagame-dissident, was shot in a botched assassination attempt from self-imposed exile in South Africa.
    Days later, Jean-Léonard Rugambage, a journalist for Umuvugizi, one of the blocked publications, was killed outside of his Kigali home after claiming to have uncovered links between Rwandan intelligence and suspects arrested for Nyamwasa's shooting.
    Then, on 14 July, the body of André Kagwa Rwisereka, a former member of the RPF who defected last year to form the opposition Green Party, was found nearly decapitated outside Rwanda's second city, Butare.
    Cracks in the inner circle
    Though the Rwandan government denies any involvement in these attacks, human rights activists and pro-democracy groups allege the incidents fit a long-established pattern of RPF-sanctioned violence.
    Yet many wonder why Kagame would resort to such brazen measures at a time when his regime is under close scrutiny from the West - particularly given his efforts to brand Rwanda as a nation re-born and ripe for foreign investment.
    Nyamwasa, who has been accused of ordering mass-killings while he was RPF director of military intelligence, has many enemies apart from Kagame, and it is possible his would-be assassin was no Rwandan hired gun. Some speculate the incident may have been self-inflicted in order to cement his asylum status in South Africa.
    Regardless of the circumstances, Nyamwasa is just one among a growing list of military top brass and RPF insiders that have recently fallen out with their boss. In March, he and another senior military figure, Colonel Patrick Karegeya, fled the country after being accused of masterminding a series of grenade attacks in Kigali.
    In April, the government sacked and detained two others, including Emmanuel Karenzi Karake, the former deputy commander of the international UNAMID peacekeeping mission in Darfur, Sudan.
    According to most analysts, Kagame's control of the army remains strong enough that a coup attempt is unlikely. Still, chances are he will face further defections - a phenomenon Dr Wafula Okumu, head of the African Security Analysis program at the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies, attributes to "management of spoils from the state."
    Since 1996, when the Rwandan army began attacking the remnants of Hutu death squads in what is now the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the UN and other international bodies allege Rwanda - along with other governments in the region - has benefited handsomely from state-sponsored trafficking in Congolese minerals. Yet, in recent years, due to international pressure as well as Rwanda's 2008 arrest of Laurent Nkunda - the Congolese Tutsi warlord considered by many to be an RPF proxy - the flow of bounty to Kigali is thought to have diminished.
    According to Okumu, this scaling-back has led to strain in the military ranks, particularly among officers with links to Nkunda and those who've seen their mining windfalls reduced or eliminated. The situation is confounded by what remain murky links between Kagame, the RPF and Crystal Ventures - Rwanda's largest investment firm, which has equity in many of the country's biggest enterprises and sizable foreign assets in biotech, telecom and real estate. Though Kagame has long been fêted for his spotless record on corruption, Nyamwasa has called his accountability demands on others a "farce, demagogue, and playing to the gallery."
    "All of this will continue creating cracks in Kagame's inner circle," Okumu told ISN Security Watch. "At the moment the falling out is very bad."
    'Genocide ideology'
    Far more visible to the public eye is the threat of a return to ethnic violence in a country just 16 years removed from genocide.
    Today, while ethnic antagonism is muted, even the young and well educated admit it will be long before Rwandans shed their Hutu and Tutsi identities, putting Kagame in a precarious situation.
    Though 85 percent of Rwandans are Hutu, Kagame, the bulk of the RPF hierarchy and much of the country's brightest young talent are Tutsi who grew up as refugees in the Diaspora. This leaves Kagame - and Rwanda's stability - vulnerable to critical media and opposition politicians that decide to play the "ethnic card."
    This is one explanation for the recent closure of anti-government newspapers and the arrest of opposition leader Victoire Ingabire. Charged with ‘divisionism,' and ‘genocide ideology,' the Union of Democratic Forces chairwoman remains under house arrest and blocked from contesting the election after speaking publicly on numerous occasions in a manner said to stir up ethnic sentiments. In particular, she has called for investigations into genocide-era crimes committed against Hutu and warned of future violence if Hutu are not given more political space in a system she deems repressive.
    Many who lived through the genocide agree that Rwanda is not ready for such ethnically charged dialogue. Yet others say government's uncompromising response to its critics is just as threatening, and that suffocating free speech may eventually backfire.
    "There are other measures to deal with dissent in less harsh ways," says Carina Tertsakian, Senior Researcher at the advocacy group Human Rights Watch. "I would question what kind of stability this is really, when people cannot express themselves," she told ISN Security Watch.

    "The reaction we have seen by Kagame's government to its critics shows signs of weakness and shakiness in the regime," adds Okumu. "He would win the election anyway. He is trying to kill a fly with a sledgehammer."

    Critical juncture
    It is this type of intransigence that many account for Kagame's success since the RPF captured Kigali and began the mission he had long dreamt of while a refugee in Uganda: building a stable, prosperous nation in his birth land.
    Yet as recent events suggest, these same qualities may hold the key to his undoing - and with it the future of his grand Rwandan project.
    Once re-elected, Kagame will begin a new seven-year term, and has pledged to step down when it ends in 2017. Yet with no likely successor in tow, some believe he will renege on his promise and stay in power, following the precedent of many African heads of state, including Uganda's Yoweri Museveni, for whom he once served as chief of military intelligence.
    Others suggest a Putin-like maneuver, where Kagame would rule indirectly from an office other than the president's. He essentially did this before - as vice president and defense minister from 1994-2000 under the puppet Hutu president Pasteur Bizimungu.
    Whatever happens in 2017, Rwanda has considerable progress to make before it is ready for its post-Kagame era. Despite its dramatic re-birth since the genocide, Rwanda remains a nation that is built upon the cult of one man and a state devoid of institutions that are strong enough to outlive him.
    For now, the country remains stable, and the main uncertainty in advance of the election is whether Kagame will garner more than 95 percent of the vote - a figure he won in 2003 after blocking critical opposition from the race, much like he has this time around.
    Kagame's real test will be the next seven years and whether he can muster the courage to slowly release his tightly clenched fist, allowing the opening of political space without sacrificing the order and efficiency for which Rwanda is so admired.
    The stakes of this new challenge could not be higher, as this period may well determine whether today's Rwandan children will be citizens of Africa's first Tiger economy, or party to another wave of gruesome, incapacitating violence.

    Jon Rosen is a freelance journalist focusing on East and Central Africa. He holds an M.A. in International Affairs from the Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and has spent the last several months reporting from Kigali, Rwanda.
  8. Ghost

    Ghost JF-Expert Member

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    A country to develop, there has to come a dictator to make things happen. You can't have it all...DEMOCRACY and DEVELOPMENT...Never. One at a time.:nod:
    Kagame ameanza na Development... Kwa hiyo mtu mwingine labda ndo ataleta Democracy...
  9. K

    Koba JF-Expert Member

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    Kagame, economic visionary or flawed hero


    KIGALI, Aug 8 - Paul Kagame, Rwanda's 52-year-old leader who looks set to get another term in the August 9 poll, is an economic visionary to his admirers and a despot who will brook no opposition to his detractors.

    Described as "unapologetically authoritarian" by the writer Philip Gourevitch -- who authored "We wish to inform you that tomorrow we will be killed with our families" -- Kagame is referred to by many in his entourage as "the Boss".

    All who know him recognise that Rwanda's president is a remarkable man, but the gap between detractors and fans is growing, with human rights defenders increasingly critical of his recent opposition crackdown and business gurus ever more vocal in their praise of his vision and achievements.

    The lanky former rebel leader has turned Kigali, a town of two-storey shop fronts and modest tin-roofed dwellings, into a capital fit to host international conference delegates.

    Kagame, a keen tennis player and football fan, counts among his admirers Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Paul Farmer, the Harvard doctor who founded Partners in Health.

    "He's someone who builds," a former advisor said.

    Kagame was just 36 in 1994 when his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) rebel army routed genocidal forces who had killed an estimated 800,000 people and he took power in Rwanda.

    Officially at that time only vice president and defence minister, he was already the de facto leader of a nation with little in the way of natural resources and where everything had to be rebuilt.

    Economists praise a man who aims to turn a land of subsistance farmers into a middle-income country by 2020.

    "President Kagame believes that poverty is not just low incomes. Poverty destroys trust and tolerance for those who think differently; it destroys hopes and aspirations for a better life," said Michael Fairbanks of Social Equity Venture Fund (SEVEN), the Cambridge, Massachusetts-based body that promotes enterprise solutions to ending poverty.

    Fairbanks serves on the Presidential Advisory Council, a body made up of unpaid foreigners prominent in various fields that advises Kagame on strategy.

    Kagame, Fairbanks said, grasped "that poverty is caused by the exclusion from global networks of trade, investment, and learning."

    Kagame's personality, like that of many RPF officials, was forged by growing up in exile. In 1960, when he was three, his aristocratic Tutsi family fled into exile in Uganda to escape pogroms.

    There they were out of danger but suffered years of discrimation and persecution that nourished the dream of going back to the homeland they idealised.

    After a spell in Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni's NRM (National Resistance Movement), where he served as intelligence chief, Kagame took over as leader of a small force of Rwandan exiles that had crossed back home with the intention of overthrowing the regime of Juvenal Habyarimana.

    But Habyarimana's death in a plane crash triggered three months of genocide, which were ended by Kagame's rebels.

    The only world leader known to have undergone military training both in the US and in Cuba, Kagame is criticised for being dictatorial.

    "Kagame allows less political space and press freedom at home than Robert Mugabe does in Zimbabwe," The Economist charged recently.

    Gerard Prunier, a French academic who admits his perception of Kagame and his RPF has grown markedly more negative, acknowledges the Rwandan leader's "intelligence and his ruthless determination" but says the second DR Congo war in 1998-2003 was a turning point.

    "Before 1998 Kagame could count on almost unlimited sympathy from the international community, which felt guilty for its neglect during the genocide. Today, his moral credit has been seriously damaged by the horrors committed in the Congo during 1998-2003," writes Prunier.

    Portraits show a thin man with a piercing gaze that cuts through rimless spectacles -- what official biographer Stephen Kinzer calls a "stern aloof intensity". Critics say Kagame, the father of four children, does not like sharing the limelight.