IS PAUL KAGAME POPULAR AMONGST RWANDANS? THE “MZEE” MYTH : DOMESTIC POLITICS.

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Peace in Rwanda must be a dialectical result of competing political parties under common broad-based democratic constitutional rules(assuming that Rwanda has a functional constitution).

But today,the Rwandan body politic seriously lacks tolerant value premises and it doesn’t seem to have functional constitutional qualities and mechanisms for accomodating more than one political party and national leader.

One who is President(Kagame AKA King Kigeli VI) behaves as if he is the only political player in the country. Some even want to treat him like he is the father/Muzee of the nation in the same way one is a father in a family. This leads to a lot of problems.

To suggest that the presidency of a nation is metaphorically equivalent to fatherhood in a family,and that citizens are equivalent to children, is a dangerous form of paternalism fundamentally in conflict with the possibility of democracy in a modern political system.

This is a failure to appreciate that the price of modern political order is not calculated on that basis,on some obscure customs of convenience. In a family(most Rwandan families) there is no competition between the father and the son or daughter. However,in our politics,one who occupies the presidency will compete with those in the opposition.

And the thinking that political participation in Rwanda is only possible within the context of the machinery of the RPF is tantamount to thinking that what is good for Paul Kagame is good for every Rwandan,a thinking that is patently false as far as what is known about the diversity of the human condition goes.

This thinking is dangerous in that Kagame have started to feel or believe that he is a political messiah whose political leadership is sacrosanctitas and should not be challenged by lesser mortals in the opposition.

As a result of this,he resorts to violence,brutality and has breached the Rwandan constitutional order to remain in power after having lost the genuine popular support that brings real leaders into power.

LIONEL NISHIMWE (LLB, HONS.)

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