By David Himbara
The head of family, Assinapol Rwigara, died in a mysterious automobile accident in 2015. The Rwigaras sought justice by requesting a thorough investigation from the government of General Paul Kagame.
Kagame instead demolished their hotel in 2015. Fast forward — Diane Rwigara sought to compete for the presidency of Rwanda in 2017. Her mother Adeline Rwigara and her Bible stood by her daughter.
Kagame instead locked them up in 2017. Then Kagame auctioned the Rwigaras’ Premier Tobacco Company in 2018. But Kagame was not yet done — his courts proceded to hand Diane and Adeline a 22-year prison sentence.
The Rwigaras’ did not lose hope. On the contrary, their determination and dignity won them considerable global support. Even United States’ congressional leaders decried Kagame’s iron-fisted injustice. The young leader and Bible-holding mother were subsequently released on bail in 2018.
And then this — on January 9, 2019, Kagame’s prosecution authority withdrew its appeal against the acquittal of Diane and Adeline.
Daughter and mother are free at last. This remarkable story of two courageous women who made an ironfisted dictator blink should inspire more Rwandans to reject fear.