By David Himbara
General Kagame keeps tightening his control over all aspects of Rwandan life ever so tight. He just ordered all public servants to follow him on Twitter. This is totalitarianism, defined as a mode of government which exercises “an extremely high degree of control over public and private life.” Put in another way, totalitarianism is the most extreme and complete form of authoritarianism. Political power in totalitarian states lies in the hands of a single dictator who uses any means to control citizens through mass surveillance and state terror. The order to follow Kagame on Twitter brings totalitarianism in Rwanda to a whole new level.
Rwandan public servants ordered to follow Kagame on Twitter
Rwandan public servants, including at all local levels have been given a week to start following Kagame on Twitter. Here is one such order.
The English translation of the above order is as follows:
Republic of Rwanda. Huye, Nov. 26, 2018, No 4538/02/04, Southern Province, Huye District, P.O Box 35 Butare, E-mail: email@example.com
Ref: Public Relations and Communication
Madam/Sir Executive Secretary of Sector …………………………..(All)
*Subject*: Use of “tweeter”
Reference to the letter No 0662/07.02 of 11/07/2018 written to me by the Honorable Governor of Southern Province, requesting all of us to use the social media tools, especially the “tweeter”, to implement the decision of using the social media tool, as agreed during the Retreat of 04.11.2018.
I write to you requesting that you start use “tweeter” and the same to all of Sector’s employees that you manage. I especially request that, you and all employees follow the tweeter account of His Excellency the President, that you represent, and all other high officials of the State, also the Huye District account (@huyedistrict). Employees of institutions located in your Sector, must also start use the tweeter.
I request you that no late than a week starting the day you received this letter, you ll produce a report detailing how all employees of your Sector and Institutions located in your Sector, are using the tweeter (With all employees tweeter accounts).
Thank you for your consideration.
Mayor of Huye District*
- District Vice Mayor (All)
- District Executive Secretary
What will Kagame order next? This is totalitarianism gone mad
You have to pity especially local government officials given just one week to follow the ruler on Twitter. Notice that the folks being ordered to follow Kagame on Twitter can’t even spell high-tech terminologies — Twitter is misspelled as ”Tweeter.” We pray for these public servants who must surely be terrified by these new orders.