By Dr David Himbara
A while back when the presidential candidate Padiri Thomas Nahimana arrived in Kenya on his way to compete against President Paul Kagame, the Rwandan general closed the airspace. Next, Nahimana could not even board a Rwanda-bound flight from a European airport. The good Rwanda general had once again locked him out.
And then another candidate surfaced, this time from within. Enter Diane Rwigara. Unable to lock her out, Kagame unleashed his character assassination squads, splashing nude pictures across the internet.
Diane Rwigara, methinks you have already made a mark. You dared demystify the Rwandan crude politics by exercising your right to run for the presidency. When most Rwandans hide under their bed whenever the name Kagame is mentioned, you said no – “I am going to challenge this man.”
Diane Rwigara, go on with your journey. Forget the nude pictures. Don’t be intimidated by childishness. Who came to this world fully clothed? What’s wrong with a naked human body anyhow?
Focus on your message. Develop a thick skin. The incumbent is terrified. I am reminded of Sir Winston Churchill’s quote on how fearful dictators are about the power of ideas:
“You see these dictators on their pedestals, surrounded by the bayonets of their soldiers and the truncheons of their police … yet in their hearts there is unspoken fear. They are afraid of words and thoughts: words spoken abroad, thoughts stirring at home – all the more powerful because forbidden – terrify them. A little mouse of thought appears in the room, and even the mightiest potentates are thrown into panic.”