Today, 30/10/2012, the High Court in Kigali, Rwanda, sentenced Madame Victoire Ingabire, the President of FDU-inkingi, to eight years in jail on flimsy grounds of genocide ideology and conspiracy against government through war and terrorism. The Rwanda National Congress (RNC) condemns in the strongest terms this miscarriage of justice and impunity that have now become the hallmark of President Paul Kagame’s dictatorial rule. The Rwanda National Congress stands with Madame Victoire Ingabire, her family, FDU-Inkingi and all the peace-and -freedom-loving Rwandan people in these difficult moments. In orchestrating the sham trial against a freedom-fighter Ingabire, President Kagame’s regime has demonstrated that it has now run short of options, and will continue to operate in fear till it consumes itself out of existence.
What is to be done?
1. Let us spend little time lamenting. All Rwandans should rise in courage, conquer fear and join the resistance against injustice. Fear is the regime’s principal weapon. Once we overcome fear, Kagame’s days will be numbered.
2. Hope is necessary but not a strategy to overcome dictatorial rule. Let us not sit and wait that somehow, the regime will crumble on its own. We must resist and fight with every resource we have other than weapons of war. We shall fight together, or else the regime will kill and jail us , one by one, or condemn us to eternal exile.
3. We must fight to win, and to win means ending dictatorship once and for all, and uniting all Rwandan people in freedom so that they can heal, reconcile and prosper at last. Winning calls for maximum mobilization, and smart (internally democratic and well-led) organization. We must penetrate every village, every school, every government department, every church, every RPF cells, every security organization ( formal or informal), every refugee camp, wherever a Rwandan is in jail or in jungles of Congo, in every diaspora community, and in every non-governmental organization with one message: the regime is crumbling, let us join hands to end our suffering by winning sooner than later.
4. Let us be proactive in reaching out for help from our African brothers and sisters, especially those in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo, many of whom have been victims of Kagame’s brutal regime. Let us tell them that Kigali’s regime is dangerous to Rwandans and to all our neighbors as well, and seek their co-operation to build lasting peace, security, and stability in our region and Africa.
5. Let us be proactive on the diplomatic front, and seek the help of the international community to end President Kagame’s brutality and war-mongering against Rwandan and Congolese people. To the international community we must say: it is time to get it right. The guilt of 1994 must end with a right decision to be on the side of the Rwandan people instead of investing in the bloody rule of one man, his family and a small clique drawn from one minority group.
6. The post-Kagame era has begun, for it must grow in the womb of the rotten regime like a small plant that germinates out of the decaying seed. Nothing that Kagame does now will save his regime. He has reached a point of no return. He would rather have the whole country go on fire rather than have Rwandan save it. Each one of us must search our heart and examine what sacrifice we can give to rebuilding a broken Rwanda. That must begin here, and now, wherever a Rwandan lives or works. We must reach out to each other, and overcome the barriers of ethnicity, region, class, gender, etc. The new Rwanda must begin with each one of us, and spread to our immediate family, community, nation and the world. Our legacy must be that we are the generation that built the foundation of a free, united and prosperous Rwanda.
7. We must invest out time, money, talents and relationships in this peaceful revolution if we are to win, and win sooner than later. Rwandans must invest their resources in the future of their children and their grandchildren. Giving their money to Kagame’s Agaciro Development Fund is not only a waste, since it won’t stop Rwandans match forward, but dangerous since Kagame uses your money for private use, sustaining his dictatorship, killing and jailing opponents, and making war against neighbors. Let us be smart and spend our money wisely by investing it in the revolution for peace, freedom and shared prosperity.
Martin Luther King Jr once said that the arc of history is long, and that it bends towards justice. It is true for Rwanda as it is for all peoples and all time. It is our duty and patriotic obligation to use every hour, day, week, month, and year to get Victoire Ingabire, other political prisoners, and indeed all Rwandans, out of bondage and exile.
We are on the move and nothing shall stop us. We shall never give up or give in.
We shall win!