CHOGM 2021 postponed due to COVID-19 pandemic or other reasons?

By The Rwandan Analyst

Having reviewed all available evidence and risk assessments including with the World Health Organization (WHO) and their risk assessment tool, and after close consultation between the Commonwealth Secretariat and Member States, the decision has been made to postpone the CHOGM in Kigali for a second time. the official reason of this adjournment is covid-19 restrictions but really the hosting country was poorly assessed on the level of principles governing members of the Commonwealth as far as democratic rules and fundamental rights of citizens are concerned.

1.Facts

 The decision to postpone CHOGM for a second time has not been taken lightly.  The health and welfare of all Commonwealth citizens at this critical time must take precedence. We look forward to welcoming the Commonwealth family to Kigali for CHOGM at the appropriate time.” dixit President Kagame. We know that the COVID-19 pandemic is continuing to have a hugely damaging impact on our member countries, many of whom continue to face huge losses to lives and livelihoods. And while it is with deep disappointment and regret that we cannot bring Commonwealth leaders together at this time to discuss many of these critical issues, we must be mindful of the huge risks large meetings pose to all, stated Commonwealth Secretary-General and ended up the declaration thanking  the Government and people of Rwanda for their professionalism, support, patience and their impeccable readiness to hold CHOGM. she thanked also all member countries and, in particular, the United Kingdom as their Chair-in-Office and India, who have suffered so grievously in these trying times. 

2. Issue of massive violations of human rights

A series of events occurred in Rwanda which prove that this country does not comply with commonwealth principles especially democratic game and respect of fundamental rights.

Rwanda does not tolerate opposition and imprison political opponents, cooks crimes for them by bias interpreting their political speeches; those who crossed the red line are killed. Examples are numerous: INGABIRE Umuhoza Victoire then president of FDU-Inkingi was sentenced to 15 years; won the cause before ACHPR and was released by the presidential mercy after 8 years of jail; Me NTAGANDA Bernard was sentenced to 4 years and underwent them;  MUSHAIDI Deogratias is suffering life imprisonment; Dr NIYITEGEKA Theoneste was convicted for genocide on political grounds as charging proofs were swept;Lt Colonel RUGIGANA Ngabo jailed really for being the brother of the dissident general KAYUMBA Nyamwasa who fled the country and founded the opposition platform RNC.

The star gospel singer Kizito MIHIGO and Me MUTUNZI Donat allegedly died by suicide; Me Toy NZAMWITA was shot for infringing road traffic rules; IDAMANGE Yvonne is detained and risks many years of prison for having expressed injustice suffered by Rwandan citizens in general and genocide survivors in particular; KARASIRA Aimable and Dr KAYUMBA Christopher former lecturers at University of Rwanda were dismissed from their posts for having expressed ideas disapproving the RPF governance; Alfred NSENGIYUMVA. Former executive secretary of Cyuve Sector in Musanze District and Dr KASAKURE personal physician of President KAGAME Paul were shot allegedly escaping from the police; the poet BAHATI disappeared; the list is not exhaustive.     

Conclusion 

The commonwealth courteously rejected the candidacy to host CHOGM by motivating the cancellation on the sole reason of covid-19 while the proposed hosting country is meantime a bad pupil in the lessons of democracy and human rights which are required sacrosanct principles of the organization. Time will tell

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