By David Himbara
Kagame has gone totally rogue. Look at his actions in the past two months – February and March, 2018. First he killed Congolese refugees protesting against hunger. Then Kagame descended on Rwandan churches without mercy. He shut down 714 churches supposedly for operating in sub-standard structures that did not meet sanitation requirements.
Kagame was not yet done – he arrested six church leaders. The six leaders are considered to be the “ringleaders” that are mobilizing the clergy to oppose the regime’s attack on Rwandan churches. In the words of Kagame’s security forces, the arrested church leaders are saboteurs:
“They are suspected of forming illegal groups and conducting unlawful meetings with the intention of sabotaging or blocking an ongoing government exercise.”
The jailed church leaders are as follows:
- Bishop Innocent Rugagi
- Pastor Charles Rwandamura
- Pastor Fred Nyamurangwa
- Pastor James Dura
- Pastor Emmanuel Shyaka Kalisa
- Pastor Emmanuel Ntambara
And now, Kagame has expelled Human Rights Watch (HRW). This is the official explanation of why the regime has shut down HRW:
“They rush to publish reports that tarnish the image of the country instead of recognising the efforts made in terms of human rights.”
In other words, the regime would rather that HRW sings praises to Kagame – as opposed to reporting on human rights atrocities. With HRW now expelled, there is hardly any agency – domestic or international – left to report on Kagame’s terror.
As for Kagame’s brutality on religious leaders, this is not new. Kagame’s rise to power in fact began with atrocities against religious leaders. Back in 1994, Kagame’s army wiped out three bishops and a dozen church leaders. The massacred church leaders included Mgr. Thaddee Nsengiyumva, the Bishop of Kabgayi; Mgr. Vincent Nsengiyumva, the Archbishop of Kigali, and Mgr. Joseph Ruzindana, the Bishop of Byumba.
As we progress into 2018, the Rwandan dictator will plunge into deeper paranoia, leading to attacks on anything that moves. Even Kagame’s own shadow is not safe from him.