IN RWANDA THERE’S NO FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION, THE PEOPLE ARE FROZEN WITH TERROR.

The west has covered up Kagame’s crimes and praises him as a great humanitarian who resurrected Rwanda from the demise of the the 1990s. The paramount truth is that Kagame is a totalitarian combination of the past and of the contemporary age. Kagame has used all possible means of terror to suppress the freedom of expression in Rwanda and truly speaking, none of African dictators has ever went this far.

Since twenty-four years ago the power and performance of Rwandan media has lacked in professionalism. All the programs delivered on our radios, TVs, newspapers and Internet deal with music, sport, the whirligig of fashion and the brave new world of technology. Rwandan journalists work in cliquish unanimity where they cancel every reality that may reveal to the people how the emperor has no cloth.

Even our journalists can’t report any case of crying injustice. Hence, our media works on topics that propagate the RPF regime’s hare-brained schemes to divert people’s attention and prevent them to think about political stuffs. Rwandan media employs political propagandists as journalists. All the time you will hear those journalists exalting President Paul Kagame and his administration. However, a pity is that what these men say differs from what they believe. After all, nobody can ignore the plagues of ethnic discrimination, abject poverty, dictatorship and alarming oppression that are devastating our nation.

In Rwanda both rights and liberty of individuals has disappeared. No dissidence and resistance exist because the opponents are nipped in the buds. In that armpit of the world, the courts grant injunctions not according to the gravity of the offence but according to the orders of Kagame and close members in his oligarchy. People are put in prison even executed without due process of law and Rwandan people try to remain silent lest they drink from the same cup of bitterness.

The authorities of Rwanda, namely the President of the Republic and his junta, detest any form of criticism. They believe that the role of the critics is to oppose them but it’s rather to expose their mistakes; to denounce not to overthrow. When you allow people to criticize you, it becomes easy for you to know that you’re doing a good or bad job. Be it admitted that most criticism is at least partly ill-motivated but it’d be remembered that criticism is the right hand of any functioning institution.

Many media agents in Rwanda supinely write what RPF wants them to, even when they question its contradictions, reversion of facts, misquotes and inaccuracies. Surprisingly enough, a great deal of very well-educated Rwandans, like judges and public workers, seem to have very little grasp on the regime’s restrictions toward criticism and they blindly lean on the side of the government. It’s rare to see Rwandan intelligentsia taking a stand for the freedom of thought. Then, if the country is like a boat with us the nationals aboard, what will become of them if they don’t reckon with its gradual sinking?

It is self-evident that any system of government that’s afraid of letting people judge the truth and criticize its errors in an open arena it is a proof that it continually feels the pangs of its guilty conscience. No country can advance nor administration can succeed without debate and criticism. That’s why Rwanda under zero freedom of expression is heading to nowhere. President Kagame should have learnt that the goal of a rebellion is not to take power. The goal in the end is to bring desired change embedded in democratic principles.

Written by:
Jean Rukika
A London-based independent activist
Wednesday, 4 April 2018

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