I just saw that the lady in the picture has today made exactly five years in prison. She is called Victoire Ingabire, dressed in a female prisoners costume and with her hair forcefully shaved.
A Rwandan citizen who returned to her country in 2010 to participate in the presidential elections against Mr. Paul Kagame.
Essentially, her crime was to mention during a Genocide Memorial ceremony, that a large number of Hutu’s were also killed in the 1994 Rwanda conflict, a conflict that is commonly known as a Genocide specifically against the Tutsi.
Clearly there exists a state dogma in Rwanda that can’t tolerate the view that Hutu’s also died in large numbers during the 1994 Genocide.
Earlier this year, a Rwandan general was arrested in England and was about to be deported to Spain for a trial that could have exposed exactly what Mrs. Victoire Ingabire was discussing: The mass killing of Hutu’s as well in 1994.
Somehow the general was later set free before facing trial, thanks to Cherie Blair, wife to Former British Prime Minister Tony Blaire, who was the leading lawyer in the Rwanda government legal team.
Other reports have since indicated that the trial the Rwandan General was supposed to face in Spain has also been shelved.
A shocking development happened after Mrs. Ingabire’s appealed her initial eight year sentence.
The Supreme court issued their final verdict to that appeal on the very day that Nelson Mandela was being laid to rest in his ancestral village, and literally at the very time Rwanda’s Paul Kagame was being interviewed in Qunu, South Africa by the BBC about why African leaders should emulate Madiba.
Rather than reduce Ingabire’s sentence on appeal, Mr. Kagame’s Supreme court increased her detention from 8 to 15 years on that very day.
It was disheartening to watch Mr. Kagame discuss forgiveness, tolerance, patience and unity as the qualities that Mandela left behind for us to learn from, yet he was simultaneously increasing the punishment for his political opponent back home in Rwanda.
I thought that people could agree to disagree on certain issues, but unite on all the others that develop their nation.
There are many things I admire about Mr. Paul Kagame. Including fostering constructive discipline within the civil service, women emancipation, Information Technology popularization, broader economic development, fighting disease and his overall determination to see Rwanda succeed.
But the day Nelson Mandela was being laid to rest, is the day I found myself watching the true intolerant Paul Kagame in Qunu.
Hussein Juruga Lumumba Amin