By David Himbara
In his remarks of March 28, 2023, a furious General Paul Kagame talked down to the terrified men and women who run his central, provincial and local governments. The General was agitated to the point of being distraught because of what he called the spineless nature of the people of Rwanda which leads to failure to confront the wrong. This is what explains the dismal performance of his government, said Kagame. Someone, please remind him that he can’t have his cake and eat it too – or put another way, he can’t accomplish two things that are mutually incompatible. Kagame conveniently forgets that his tyrannical regime uses intimidation, terror, and the suppression of basic human rights to silence Rwandans at home and abroad. In this environment, the people of Rwanda resort the survival mechanism best articulated in the wise teachings of Confucius: See no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil.
In two months from now, General Paul Kagame will reach a thirty-year milestone of having built and led Rwanda’s security forces. The result is the omnipresent, all-seeing, and all-knowing repressive machine we see today. The all-knowing apparatus expands beyond the state, extending to every level of Rwandan society through a network of thousands of informants. Citizens pass on information to security forces about their neighbours, family, and friends.
The informers have various motives including (1) a strong belief in the ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front; (2) fear; (3) personal gain; (4) career advancement; and (5) personal disagreements especially over property ownership. That is why and how Kagame’s Rwanda turned into a ruthless competition where people will do anything, even harm their own families in order to win favours from the regime. The Kinyarwanda term is Mpemucye Ndamucye – committing evil acts to live even one day.
That is Kagame’s Rwanda best described by its largest foreign aid donor, the US government, in its 2022 human rights report as follows:
“Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful or arbitrary killings; torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment by the government; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary detention; political prisoners or detainees; transnational repression against individuals located outside the country, including killings, kidnappings, and violence.”
Now, look at Kagame’s Speech in which he characterizes the people of Rwanda as cowardly and useless
The nastiest quotes from the Kagame speech are as follows:
Stay tuned. “Hypocrisy is the ultimate power move. It is a way of demonstrating that one plays by a different set of rules from the ones adhered to by common people.” Michael Shellenberger