By The Rwandan Analyst
Philippe Mpayimana former candidate for Rwandan presidency accused political opponents to base their political positions on the will of imperialist states of the west.He therefore denounces politicians living abroad and politicians living inside namely INGABIRE Victoire Umuhoza and Me Ntaganda Bernard.the issue to analyze hereby is to know is whether this politician really belongs to opposition or under RPF influence.
Philippe Mpayimana is an independent candidate and journalist by profession, who lived in Europe before running for President in this election. Mpayimana fled Rwanda during the genocide as Paul Kagame’s RPF advanced on Kigali, an experience he wrote about in his book “Réfugiés Rwandais, entre marteau et enclume“, and has lived in exile since 1994, mainly in France and Belgium.
He is hopeful of getting votes from the diaspora and believes that the stability of a country depends on the alternation of power. He has pledged to continue to the efforts of the Kagame government, especially in the agricultural sector, and to improve standards of living, including by providing free water for all. He is also planning to tackle population growth by vowing to impose a three-child policy. He stated that families that have more than three children would not get any free social amenities.
INGABIRE Victoire Umuhoza
In January 2010, I made the decision to leave my family and career in the Netherlands and return to my beloved Rwanda. I intended to register my party, the United Democratic Forces of Rwanda (UDF-Inkingi), and to contest the 2010 presidential elections. But the Rwandan government does not tolerate dissenting voices. I was arrested and dragged into politically motivated judicial proceedings. After I was sentenced to eight years in jail by the high court, I appealed to the supreme court and the sentence was increased to 15 years. The African Court on Human and People’s Rights cleared me and held that Rwanda had violated my rights to freedom of expression as well as to adequate defence. After eight years’ imprisonment, I was released under presidential grace in 2018.
In 2019, I received an international award from the Association for Human Rights of Spain (APDHE). I couldn’t travel to Spain to collect the prize because I had no right to leave Rwanda without permission from the justice minister. Two requests to do so have received no response from the authorities. I have not seen my family in the Netherlands for more than 10 years.
There is a pattern of limiting political participation to those affiliated to the ruling party and excluding serious contenders in Rwanda’s presidential elections. This is done by fabricating charges and abusing the judicial system. These acts represent a violation of Commonwealth core principles.
The two politicians have expressed divergent views on Rwandan political governance that deserve hereby to be succinctly highlighted before their objective assessment
Mpayimana vs Ingabire
Former presidential and parliamentary candidate, Philippe Mpayimana, has rebuked a section of Rwandans in the Diaspora who continue to promote ethnic-based politics.
He said that this is the kind of western-inspired politicking that continues to derail the journey of Africa’s transformation as a whole.
Mpayimana said this through a statement he distributed to the media on the occasion to mark the International Day of Peace, yesterday.
The former presidential hopeful, who returned from France last year to officially launch his career in politics noted, without revealing names, that some Rwandans in the Diaspora continue to promote ethnicity and are willing to support terror groups against their country. Instead, he said, they should invest their resources in socio-economic transformation of their country.
Mpayimana gave an account of how bad politics in the post-colonial era led to the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi that killed over a million people, left behind thousands of orphans, and widows, while other Rwandans had to flee their country, among other consequences.
He noted that, at the onset, post-colonial politicians in Rwanda made a sequence of grave mistakes.
While the rest of African leaders were pushing colonisers out to gain full democracy and political independence of their countries, Rwandan politicians were busy promoting ethnicity and forcing some people out of their country, he said.
“I condemn the politic of divisionism and urge Rwandans in the Diaspora to shun this type of divisive politics and embrace consensual politics,” Mpayimana said in his statement.
He added, “This is why I fully support our sovereignty, home-grown solutions without any external influence and in so doing, we come up with the style of governance that best suits us, which is indeed true democracy.”
“Our country is concerned about some elements who are promoting ethnic-based politics, those who don’t support Ndi Umunyarwanda programme. They want to take us back to the dark days. Rwandan clans are way stronger that the Hutu-Tutsi ethnic classes which were promoted by the colonialists.
“Most Africans in the Diaspora back extremist rebel groups against African governments, instead of investing their resources in economic transformation of their countries of origin or working together with political parties back in their countries.” Mpayimana stressed.
He also urged whoever is willing to start a political organisation to register officially instead of engaging in confrontational politics.
Meanwhile, Mpayimana, who contested as an independent candidate for the presidency and parliament but failed on both attempts, also called on the newly elected parliament to champion reforms within the electoral law.
He said the law should be modified to make it easy for independents to have a shot, especially in the parliamentary elections.
“Rwanda’s electoral law doesn’t provide fair opportunities to independent candidates,” Mapyimana said, adding “that is why I appeal to parliament to revise this law so that independent candidates don’t contest in the same way as political parties.”
Under the current law, during parliamentary elections, independents, just like political organisations, are required to garner five per cent of the vote to be able to secure a seat in the Lower House.
None of the four independents, who contested in the parliamentary elections earlier this month could get even one per cent of the vote.
Even if the political platforms of Mrs INGABIRE Victoire Umuhoza i.e FDU Inkingi and DALFA-Umurinzi are not recognized by the Rwandan government, this bad intentioned state position does not prevent her to be a politician with a society project to mainly insure rights of the poor classes of Rwandans in all sectors of economy, health, education, political rights, all but a few and fearlessly she daily afford the RPF regime to denounce injustices it commits and violations of fundamental rights it carries out against political opponents. The fact that she and Me Ntaganda Bernard wrote to the direction of the commonwealth organization requesting to not elect Rwanda as the venue of its summit is part of their rights as they motivated their proposals. Besides, the fact that she blamed France to have put aside Hutu victims of RPA is also her right especially as even the President Kagame later recognized that there are civil victims who lost their lives in Rwanda and in RDC. Finally, the fact that she shares her political views with most of international observers does not constitute a treason crime but it may contribute to push the Rwandan government to revisit its methods of governing and stop violations it accused of and evidence of those regrettable infringements are available.
Regarding MPAYIMANA Philippe, contrarily to Miss RWIGARA Diana; BARAFINDA Fred and MWENEDATA Gilbert whose files were rejected due to alleged reason of not fulfilling the requirements, he had the chance to run for the presidency and failed. His situation may be suspected of different scenarios. First, the book he published while he was still a refugee may occasion to think that he is a fierce opponent against the regime of Kigali because it is the APR which was chasing Hutu refugees to whom he was belonging. Second, the acceptance of his candidacy proves that he was deemed ready to make allegiance and play the game of RPF as did BAMPORIKI Edouard the current state minister whose father committed genocide. Third, the fact that he is blaming opposition platforms to fight the RPF regime for only the various weaknesses and putting aside its achievements makes him an active defender of this regime and there is a high probability that he is acting under its mission to divide the opposition in accordance with the principle of “divide ut imperas” which is crucial for this government. Proofs of this practices are numerous given the number of informants it daily deploy abroad pretending to have been persecuted and are maliciously integrated in the coordination of opposition parties and succeed to weaken them by all means comprising money, poisoning, etc..
Opposition parties have to pay attention because the RPF regime plots a series of strategies to destroy them including infiltrating them or raising some of their members against their colleagues on its hidden invoice and they will realize when their secrets are unclosed at Kigali. This is a general practice even for armed rebellion whereby elements who assassinate their leaders are elements recruited and sent by RDF and pretending to have been persecuted by the regime. Philippe MPAYIMANA seems to be one of such RPF latent spokespersons.