Kagame isn’t the right person to lecture about tolerance, democracy and dialogue

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In a recent meeting called Tana High Level Forum (THLF) on security in African, which took place on 18th April 2015 in Addis Ababa the capital of Ethiopia, where Rwandan President Paul Kagame was among the speakers. His speech left many questions when he began lecturing the world about things beyond his ability of governance.

In his presentation, President Paul Kagame stated that “Governments have a responsibility to protect citizens without discrimination; there are no two ways about it.”  He continued to say that they should allow and encourage dialogue even in the most difficult issues; there must be tolerance and constitutional political rights.

The first question that came to my mind was ‘Is this Kagame lecturing about dialogue? Did someone ask him why he has never had a dialogue with his opponents?’

President Kagame is known as a person who loves to solve problems by use of violence, yet, he’s telling the world that there must be tolerance and dialogue. Kagame is exhibiting hypocrisy of a high calibre by stating this directive.

President Kagame is talking about rights of political practices, but he exposed his cowardice to the world as a dictator when he imprisoned the only woman in Rwandan history who was determined to challenge him democratically during the 2010 elections.

Under Kagame’s leadership, he has made it clear that all citizens who do not support his government must be killed. Kagame incites violence in public whereby he once in parliament said that if it will require him to kill a fly with a hammer he would do it. He was referring to his opponents simply because they don’t see things the way he does.

Kagame has become an expert in terrorizing his own people all over the world and violating other countries’ sovereignties. There are well documented examples whereby  courts of law in South Africa, beyond reasonable doubt, convicted his government for smuggling it’s killing squad into South Africa to kill General Kayumba Nyamwasa who is a political refugee in that country.

Violence is his slogan and that’s why he publicly threatened to kill President Kikwete of Tanzania by stating that he would wait for him in a right time and a right place and hit him, reason being that he requested him to have a dialogue with FDLR of which he thought was the only solution to solve the problem peacefully. Mr President, is that the tolerance you were preaching to Rwandans and young generation of tomorrow?

Under your leadership, in the history of our nation, Rwandans lives in fear. Rwanda has become a police state to the extent of parents fearing children and children fearing parents, husbands fear wives and vice versa, because we have seen many examples where your government has tortured and forced people to pin their family members in your kangaroo courts and this happens only in political cases.

Mr President, you do not even fear God to the extent that even when you gather with other government officials with a purpose of praying for the nation, you encourage people to kill yet you know very well that that is violation of the sixth commandments of God.

However, that does not surprise me because of your name. The history of your name ‘Paul’ from the beginning was not in good books with God because Paul, who was known as Saul, persecuted the disciples of Jesus just because of their beliefs but later on God overpowered Saul and transformed him.

This reminds of a group of Catholics who came to you in the year 2013 with a message from God according to them. Due to their message you ordered their arrest and sentenced them for 5 years in prison. When journalists asked you about their imprisonment, you arrogantly replied that God should talk to you direct instead of sending message through others.

Nevertheless, Mr President I pray that God will overpower you in the name of Jesus Christ.

Nelson Gatsimbazi

The writer is a Rwandan Journalist living in exile in Sweden

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