Padri Thomas and his comrades had documents like Rwandan passports – expired or not – that is admissible evidence that they are Rwandans

I understood you correctly, Olivier Nduhungirehe. But I argued that you are (1) mistaken about the rights your country’s Constitution grants to its citizens and, (2) You make a very big statutory interpretation rules as the apply to Law no. 04/2011

Law no. 04/2011
Provides for two categories of people ( foreigners and citizens) and how each category may be admitted into the country.

Law no.04/2011, as you cited it, provides that “…the documents needed to enter the country includes,

[1] for holders of a foreign passport [ foreigners], a valid visa and

[2] for Rwandan citizens, a valid travel document OR other acceptable proof that you are Rwandan …” Padri Thomas is both French and a Rwandan citizen at the same time.

Therefore, upon arrival at any Rwanda border entry point, the two options are available for Padri Thomas to be allowed entry. That’s to say Padri Thomas had two options (i) to enter as a foreigner, in which case he would have to show his foreign passport and a valid visa or, (in) to enter as a Citizen in which case he would be required to show a valid travel document ( his French passport) or he would present any other acceptable proof that he’s Rwandan. That’s how the law you cited is written.

Padri Thomas and his comrades had their valid foreign passport and East Africa Visa which allows its holder to enter Rwanda. Therefore, they had what the law requires of foreigners ( if they opted to enter as foreigners). Each of of them had documents like Rwandan passports – expired or not – that is admissible evidence that they are Rwandans; they would qualify to enter Rwanda as Rwandans. Upon entry into Rwanda, whether they entered as foreigners or as citizens, because they are citizens of Rwanda, they would start enjoying their rights as citizens.

Your argument that he lied to the Embassy officials by applying for a Tourist visa yet he was traveling to Rwanda to ” do” politics, renders his visa invalid is absurd. Why?

(a) as a French citizen, he had a duty to acquire a visa that would facilitate his movements while on transit in Kenya. He probably has friends he had to meet anywhere in the region.

b) even if Padri Thomas had used that visa to enter Rwanda, to the extend the Constitution of Rwanda allows him to enter Rwanda freely, as a citizen without a visa, he did not need that visa. Therefore he did more than what the law requires him to do. That’s not a crime.

c) Assuming, arguendo, Padri Thomas committed fraud, as you claim, the constitution of Rwanda provides that any person that’s accused of a crime has a right to be tried by the appropriate court of law. How does your government condemn Padri Thomas for Fraud, without trial, yet the Constitution of Rwanda provides that ” every person is presumed innocent until proven guilty?

Dr Charles Kambanda

Dr Charles Kambanda