Today, 1st July 2017, on Rwanda’s Independence Day, our two political parties, namely, Mouvement National Inkubiri and New RNC-Ihuriro Rishya henceforth declare their merger into one political movement, Ishakwe-Rwanda Freedom Movement(RFM)
Since July 2016, the two political parties announced publicly to all Rwandans and the rest of the world a commitment to work together, based on a common vision, ideology and strategic plans that each side subscribed to. Both parties embarked on unconditional bilateral talks, as well as joint actions that have characterised the intervening months.
Since that time, the two parties have had deep and comprehensive talks on Rwanda’s history; ethnic challenges among Hutu, Tutsi and Twa, that have characterised our mutual history during successive changes of power; problems of regional divisions; relentless and often bloody struggles for power; the capture of security institutions by cliques; discrimination, injustice and the culture of impunity; war and genocide; national governance; the chronic problem of refugees; Rwanda’s relations with the rest of the world based on people’s and national interests; and, promoting sustainable development based on the interests of the Rwandan people.
Our two parties concur that Rwanda’s history was characterised by the following:
The rule by cliques from Monarchy to the Republics. Clan-based (Tutsi) monarchical rule was replaced by Republics (Hutu and Tutsi) but the structure of power has not changed for centuries.
In Rwanda’s entire history, Rwandan citizens have never enjoyed freedom.
In particular, the interests of the ordinary citizens-whether Hutu, Tutsi or Twa- have been marginalised by successive regimes of elite whose interest has always been to capture, monopolise, and retain power by dictatorial means at all costs, until removed by violent means, with incalculable loss of Rwandan lives.
Institutionalization of ethnic divisions and regionalism by cliques in power, to the extent that many Rwandans have become hostages to their ethnic group, instead of a common sense of culture, national belonging, and destiny.
Successive regimes have entrenched and maintained state power through deception and myths, thereby denying the opportunity to Rwandans for organizing civil society as a pathway to enjoy fundamental freedoms.
Foreign interests have connived with, and manipulated, the cliques in power against Rwanda’s and people’s interests.
The continuing legacy of dictatorship and its tragic consequences to all Rwandans is now being re-enacted in the de-facto crowning of President Paul Kagame as life-President in the upcoming sham elections.
Fear, divisionism, a slave mentality, and a cruel pursuit of power without values and accountability have driven Rwanda and its citizens to repeated cycles of death and destruction. Since power is obtained and maintained by violent means, not by people’s sovereign choice, every successive regime has usurped people’s power, and appropriated enormous power to rule with impunity, deployed state machinery to amass wealth, and banished people’s interests to fringes of society. Many Rwandan people have been coerced or lured into being blind followers, clapping masses, and hostages to ethnicity. Sadly, many Rwandans are yet to recognise that every citizen has an inalienable right to life, that all Rwandans are equal before the law without discrimination, and that no one ethnic group or region should claim rights superior to, or above and beyond, those extended to every Rwandan citizen by law. This state of affairs accounts for the vicious and bloody cycles of violence before 1959, during, and after the 1959 Revolution, and in every decade since then until 1994 when a clique of Hutu extremists in power committed genocide against Tutsi. On their part, Tutsi extremists in RPF’s army, through its notorious Directorate of Military Intelligence (DMI), committed genocide, war crimes, and crimes against Hutu. DMI’s killing spree has now become an enterprise without borders, extended to all ethnic groups without discrimination.
Both parties had enough time to reflect and share the lessons learned from the struggles they have gone through. In particular, they shared their common vision to build a society which guarantees the interests of every citizen, and promotes sustainable development for all citizens in all spheres of their lives.
The bilateral talks ended with a commitment to work together, including plans to harmonise ways and means to make the struggle more efficient and effective.
Just as the leaders of both parties struggled to make the international community accept genocide against Tutsi, they again rededicated themselves to extend their struggle to make the United Nations and the rest of the international community accept genocide against Hutu. They also agreed to promote the right to remember genocide against Hutu, and all victims of war crimes and crimes against humanity. Both parties committed themselves to struggle to bring all perpetrators of these crimes, be they some former members of MRND/CDR or RPF/DMI, before the will of the Rwandan people and justice.
On 25-26th March, 2017, both parties attended, in Brussels, Belgium, the First International Conference on Genocide Against Hutu that was convened by the Rwanda Truth Commission. On 8th April, both parties attended the joint commemoration of genocide against Tutsi and genocide against Hutu in Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Both parties were already involved in joint activities on other fronts like diplomacy, information, and advocacy on matters regarding Rwandan refugees.
Throughout their deliberations and actions, it was clear that there was common ground in thought and action with regard to Rwanda’s history, the recurrent problems that have corrupted relations among the people, a vision for change, and the way forward to redeem our nation and people. Both parties reaffirmed a commitment to struggle to establish good governance anchored on the foundation of people’s interests rather than on the power of cliques and their clients, power that is inclusive and protective of all, and institutions that afford equal opportunity to all citizens without discrimination based on ethnicity, region, gender, class or other forms of division.
For all the reasons mentioned above, both parties have therefore decided to merge into one political party, ISHAKWE-RWANDA FREEDOM MOVEMENT, with effect from today, 1st July, 2016.
A free, united and prosperous Rwanda.
Promoting our common humanity; community; valuing all Rwandans without discrimination; right to remember all victims of genocide and other crimes; sanctity of life; empathy; respect for all fundamental human rights; equal participation in all aspects of the nation’s life; equal opportunity; mutual respect and tolerance; promoting Rwanda’s interests; and truth.
To work with all Rwandans to overcome all forms of dictatorship after a long and tragic history, by promoting truth-telling, remembering all victims, doing everything possible to give “never again” its authentic meaning, and being the vanguard in the struggle to build together a free, united and prosperous Rwanda.
Promote the unity of all Rwandans and banish all forms of discrimination. We shall proactively and relentlessly promote the building of an inclusive and harmonious society comprising of all ethnic groups, regions, religions, gender, and all other diversity so as to defend, protect, and promote all Rwandans everywhere.
Promote freedom of all Rwandans without discrimination.
Promote the creation of a nation in which the security of all citizens is guaranteed, based on the rule of law, democracy, inclusiveness, consensus, and participatory governance.
Promote a culture of truth-telling on the shared trauma that has impacted, and continues to afflict, all Rwandans. Only truth will save Rwandans from mutually assured destruction and create opportunities for genuine unity, reconciliation, and healing; eradicate the culture of impunity once and for all and establish restorative justice; encourage Rwandans to remember together all the victims of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity; assist all survivors without discrimination; and, promote healing for individuals, families and communities suffering from pervasive trauma.
Promote ordinary people’s interests through inclusive, innovative, and wealth-creating mechanisms, and deter parasitic elites who plunder and redistribute wealth by controlling the state.
End the chronic problem of refugees once and for all.
Promote reconciliation, cooperation, and integration among the peoples of the Great Lakes region of east and central Africa.
Promote the unity, pride and interests of Africa in the international community, especially on matters of sustainable development and climate change.
Promote world peace and security, international justice, and international solidarity.
Sow the seeds of enlightenment and renaissance in Rwanda, the Great Lakes region and Africa.
A Board of Trustees is the supreme organ of the party.
In the day-to-day running of the organization, the Board of Trustees is assisted by the Executive Committee.
The Board of Trustees is a collegial body, and makes decisions through consultation, consensus, and a spirit of brotherhood/sisterhood.
The Board of Trustees determines all other structures of the organization, their functions, and management.
Every Rwandan, except those who benefit from the deadly chaos that has ravaged our nation, dreams of peace, freedom, unity, shared prosperity, and unconditional right to life. Let us unite to struggle for what is ours.
We call upon all Rwandans to unequivocally condemn the evil that has ruined Rwanda for too long, speak truth to power, and seek to eliminate all forms of divisions that dictatorships have thrived on for centuries.
Let us dedicate ourselves and future generations to build a truly dynamic and progressive Rwandan culture at the heart of Africa, taking pride in doing the right things, and doing them right. We refuse to be the region’s, Africa’s, and the world’s guilt-ridden ‘enfant terrible’, notorious for inflicting death and destruction on each other.
Let us uproot, once and for all, the hatred and divisions that underlie the extensive and continuous trauma that Rwandans inflict on each other.
Let us undertake to build a Rwanda that is under people’s sovereignty, under the rule of law and institutions, rather than the bloodied hands of cliques.
As citizens of Rwanda, it is our obligation and duty to save, build and heal our country. There are no other benefactors who will do this for us. It is our choice to stand up and be counted as truth-bearers who will build a nation that never discriminates among its living and the dead; a nation that is at peace with itself and her neighbors; a nation whose leaders are servants of the people; and, a nation in which all citizens have equal opportunity to live long, healthy and productive lives.
That is the nation that ISHAKWE-RWANDA FREEDOM MOVEMENT(RFM) is building with effect from today, here.
Wishing all Rwandans Happy Independence Day!
1st July 2017
FOR THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, Chairman Mr. Eugène Ndahayo, Vice Chairman
Mr. Sixbert Musangamfura Mr.Jonathan Musonera
Secretary General Deputy Secretary General
Dr. Nkiko Nsengimana
Head, Strategy, Legal and Consitutional Affairs
Head, Radio Ishakwe, Information and Communication