«To swallow fire or spit a delicacy? »
This is the question that overwhelms the minds of Kagame and his clique until the end of his last term in 2017.
Kagame and his clique badly miscalculated.
Back to 2003, when the Constitution was enacted, why didn’t they anticipate and plan for the future the way Museveni did and make sure there is no limit to presidential terms for Kagame ?
What went wrong? This is why I say Kagame and his clique did indeed miscalculate!
It started when the strongman Kagame ousted President Pasteur Bizimungu in 2000, three years before the enactment of the current Constitution and the first post genocide presidential election.
Kagame must have thought that 3 years before the elections plus two times 7 years would make a total of 17 years and that it would be enough and more than enough, so he probably never considered 2017 because for him and his clique it was very far time wise or that something unexpected, a miracle or providence would cater for the future.
This providence, that chance is the beginning of our ordeal.
1. To swallow fire or spit a delicacy?
Many may wonder why Kagame does not stand before the Rwandans to say, “in 2017, I will have completed the mission you elected me for, be prepared to choose another Rwandan who will lead you ! ”
In normal circumstances, Kagame would be seen as an outstanding by his fellows Rwandans and even as a symbol of democracy by the entire international community, some even say that he would be considered like another Mandela. You must be wondering why it isn’t going that way.
Many can be misled in thinking that it is the lust for power and sweeter side of it that motivate Kagame.
Kagame personally accumulated a large amount of wealth so that he no longer needs to remain in power for material comfort. In the video below, you can see him very irritated by a question about the third term to which he replies he doesn’t need it at all.
Kagame’s motivation is essentially what makes me compare his situation to that of having to choose between “swallowing fire or spitting a delicacy”.
Kagame does not know where to turn, whether to serve a new term or allow democracy to really prevail for the first time in the country.
2. Kagame’s negative record
The main reason for Kagame not to leave power in 2017, is his very negative record in terms of abuses of human rights since the beginning of his tenure.
These serious crimes remind us of what happened to former Liberian President Charles Taylor, who was imprisoned by the relevant court as soon as he lost the immunity as head of state.
Kagame knows it very well, he knows what he did and he knows that it is known by many people. He is sure that after 2017, he will have to answer for the negative record of his presidency.
It is also for this reason that maneuvers are undertaken to ensure that the Constitution allows Kagame to run endlessly for the President’s Office and he enjoys immunity as head of state for life. Kagame has begun to make every effort possible to retain this immunity after 2017.
3. With the campaign for Kagame’s 3rd term, even the illiterate can write now!
The current schemes consist in forcing people to write letters demanding the Constitution to be amended so that they can again vote massively for him and he can claim that they voted for him as they claim they want him to remain in power.
It is a shame to see the elderly who cannot write and do not even know what people want to change in the Constitution, joining others in sending letters requesting the modification of the Constitution.
The comedy being played in Parliament is pitiful: its leaders receive boxes full of letters written by Rwandans asking for changes in the Constitution.
In this rush to demand the modification of the Constitution, it is laughable that people sentenced to prison are the more vocal to show that they want President Kagame to remain in power because he did not kill them.
It’s really unbelievable to hear that the infamous Tutsis genocide convict journalist Valerie Bemeriki of the killing Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) is a leading supporter of Kagame’s 3rd term !
The singer Sankara wrote a song in Kinyarwanda in honor of late General Fred Rwigema and the title is “Nzababaza ubwoko bwanjye mwishe” which can be translated “Tell me about the people of my ethnic group you killed” and Sankara explains that “Those who killed you (Rwigema) and those (Hutu) who killed us (the Tutsis), are united to finish us off… “. It is still the case today.
Hopefully, in the coming days we will not see widows and orphans of Kagame’s wars also writing to request that he continues to lead and make Rwandans suffer.
We should not blame them; these poor fellows have no alternative: Kagame has always required many sacrifices from them but he never gave them anything in exchange.
4. Kagame’s 3rd term campaigners
As part of manipulations preparing the ground for the referendum on changes of the Constitution, journalists are not the last to organize debates that attracts a lot of people, the main objective is always to state that the rules on the presidential term should be amended; in these discussions, there is always only one person who declares that the change of the Constitution is not appropriate.
But when you listen to ordinary citizens who call in radio shows, many of them argue that section of the Constitution on the presidential mandate should not be changed.
When you look into the work of the 3rd term campaigners and who prepare those discussions, you understand their methods and their goal. Most of the time, in the conclusions of these discussions, people like the RPF commissioner and chief ideologist Tito Rutaremara and Moussa Fazil Harerimana, the Minister and Chairman of PDI, a junior member of RPF coalition say it is clear that Rwandans are divided in two categories:
-Those who want the Constitution to be amended
-Those who do not want to hear about changes in the Constitution.
In their set up, this is the basis of their argument that Rwandans need a referendum to deal with this division.
And that’s why you saw that what followed are these theatrical scenes of convoys bringing letters supposedly written by ordinary Rwandans asking the Constitution to be changed.
Don’t be fooled by these debates, their sole purpose is to prove that a referendum is necessary.
Kagame can thus show that Rwandans themselves requested it.
Kagame who manages to win real elections through fraud, will have no difficulty and will not hesitate to manipulate a referendum in which you just say YES or NO.
5. Kagame and his captives
Normally, the main objective of a political party is to come to power and then implement its program.
We continue to be amazed by the behavior of the Chairpersons of political parties in Rwanda starting with Moussa Fazil Harelimana of PDI, Vincent Biruta of PSD and Donatille Mukabalisa of PL who continues to act like people defeated by Kagame and subservient to him.
After all this, Kagame will exercise all means necessary to keep his immunity that allows him protection against prosecution for all the serious crimes he has committed and continues to commit against every Rwandan.
Some of the actions Kagame will try to carry out to cling to power:
6. Kagame in the Putin / Medvedev scenario
After Kagame’s failure to amend the Constitution, he might consider a trick like Putin’s of Russia who placed his agent Dmitri Medvedv in the presidential seat pending his return.
This arrangement will be a difficult transition as it would require changing the Constitution; which does not allow anyone to go beyond two presidential terms.
7. Kagame’s Presidential Tool
As Kagame is under the risk of losing his immunity at the end of his term in 2017, he will ensure other means to sustain his protection and immunity. Kagame will instill his confidant into power in Rwanda who will ensure safety against the international courts for the atrocities committed as president.
This attempt will be designed below:
7a. to campaign for a close and reliable person as presidential candidate
For fear of being prosecuted the day he no longer enjoys the immunity as a head of state; Kagame will try to appoint a trusted person loyal to him who will make the transfer to an international court very difficult.
But Kagame cannot be 100% sure because when that trusted person becomes head of state, sooner or later he might seek to assert himself. If necessary, he could one day hand Kagame over to international justice.
7b. Kagame and his wife as presidential candidate
If Kagame was replaced by his wife, he would be sure that he would not be brought to justice to answer for his actions because his wife is the only person who would resist tooth and nail against his transfer.
In both cases, to be replaced by a trustworthy person or by his wife, Kagame would be like a prisoner within the borders of Rwanda because when abroad he might be arrested anytime and brought to justice.
That is why Kagame will try everything possible to avoid being in this situation.
Women and men from Rwanda, be vigilant, condemn and fight against the ongoing manipulations designed to amend the Constitution, so that Kagame stays in power.
Let us stop behaving like captives.
Les us reject the referendum.
If genuine elections can be manipulated and their results arranged, it will be easier with a referendum in which voter’s just say yes or no.
It’s time to say No to Kagame, now is the time to tell him that he has no right to treat us like his captives.
It’s time to say to Kagame “It’s over, we don’t want this anymore! “
Let us fight for a lasting peace.