By Erasme Rugemintwaza
On last Sunday, August 01, 2021, in an ordinary program of Rwandan Television in Kinyarwanda “ISHUSHO Y’ICYUMWERU” (Literally “THE IMAGE OF THE WEEK”), hosted by the journalist Divin UWAYO, Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA, usually known for his outspokenness, made some very serious ramblings but which reveal what is being said behind the scenes.
Let us quickly recall that the current Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA, is a lawyer by training, who fled into exile after the failure of Faustin TWAGIRAMUNGU in the Rwandan presidential elections of 2003. He was in the top management of the campaign of TWAGIRAMUNGU Faustin. In exile, he never ceased repeating that Rwanda is occupied by a group of gangsters, terrorists under the name of the RPF-Inkotanyi. But like many others, including Senator BIZIMANA Evariste, who threw rotten eggs at Kagame in Europe, like Christine NYATANYI not only daughter of Captain NYATANYI who inflicted a crushing defeat on the INYENZI in the 1960 years but also Member of the Committee of ALIR, Evode UWIZEYIMANA was bought by Kagame and returned to the country to occupy high paying political positions. These positions, especially because he takes himself for a scholar, surprise and torment more than one, and even the supreme leader, Paul Kagame who one day did not mince words to blame him and publicly dismiss him from his post of State Minister to the Ministry of Justice. Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA was at the center of two major incidents, one of which was at the base of the creation of a Kinyarwanda jargon “Kuvodavoda”, a verb that comes from his name Evode, meaning “to speak loudly, with disdain and soulless”, because he once publicly and shamelessly insulted the amiable Catholic Bishop Servelian NZAKAMWITA. He then publicly dehumanized a woman in charge of security, which entailed his resignation. He experienced some time of disgrace to finally be named Senator. Now on that Sunday, August 01, 2021, he was at the microphones of RBA with his innate disdainful gaze. What did he charge?
The program scheduled for 52-minute and 20-second had two headlines: the Pegasus scandal and terrorism in Mozambique. The center of interest being Rwanda in these two cases. Next to Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA, there was also a man named Alexis NIZEYIMANA, who said almost nothing because not only Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA did not give him time, but also the subjects in question required a lot of caution. Here is what Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA, in his excess of zeal and his ramblings, revealed to the public.
Senator Evode UWIZAYIMANA confirms that Rwanda uses Pegasus
The question everyone is asking is whether espionage is regulated by any laws of Public International Law. The answer is no, because espionage ipso facto violates territorial sovereignty, state rights and diplomatic rights. No convention is known on espionage. But there are also no legalized prohibitions, and the principle states that what is not prohibited is allowed. However, some case law to settle cases of espionage does exist and can thus serve as guidelines in the matter. But paradoxically, espionage exists and it is the prerogative of states and multinationals. There are many methods: humans, pigeons, drones of all kinds and software like Pegasus. And there is no limit: the target must be controlled to get a lot more information. Since 2019, NSO Group has been at odds with Amnesty International, which accuses it of allowing certain states, customers of its Pegasus spyware, to violate the privacy of people who naturally should not be the target of espionage. How are Emmanuel Macron, Cyril Ramaphosa and others being spied on by software that is made in the political context of fighting terrorism and criminality. Here the NSO has said that only the client who abuses Pegasus will be responsible for their actions. And how is this very expensive software used by poor countries like Rwanda? Rwandan Ministers Johnston BUSINGYE and Vincent BIRUTA have indeed refuted the use of Pegasus, but Evode UWIZEYIMANA has just confirmed it. With excessive admiration, he talks about Rusasabagina’s arrest and ends up saying that all of this couldn’t be possible without the use of Pegasus.
He accuses the United States of creating and supporting a terrorist group
Everyone who followed Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA well does remember something that has a deep meaning. He rose up, at loggerheads, against the fact that a few United States Senators had twice written letters demanding the release of Rusesabagina, an American plenipotentiary resident. The Senator finds it impossible for a Senator to write to the President. This is part of the culture of deification that people of his caliber keep vis-a-vis in President Kagame! Even if the subjects of Public International Law are states, but that cannot prevent anyone who wants to write a letter to any president exposing his or her problem. This shows that this representative of the people does not even know his main attribution which is that of representing the people. But what is pernicious is his way of wandering and seeing in this form of Western civilization, a very ungodly thing. Here is his fallacy: If Rusesabagina is a terrorist, and US senators write a letter demanding the release of Rusesabagina, their hero, it is because it is in their mission to create a terrorist group. How can a lawyer and senator in addition be so low! First, it tramples on the principle very crucial to jurists worthy of the name: the presumption of innocence. Second, he advocates the abandonment of a citizen whom he is supposed to represent simply because he is accused. How does this legal “scholar” view his peers who assist criminals? For Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA, whoever legally assists a criminal is also a criminal. He must be reminded that among the fundamental values of the United States, and other states respecting the rule of law, the defense of citizens in danger is “All means necessary!”
He decreed the death penalty against Rusesabagina
That Sunday, August 01, 2021, Evode UWIZEYIMANA, contradicting the court, overturned Paul Rusesabagina’s verdict: death penalty! He berates the Rwandan government wondering how they wasted their time bringing this terrorist back to court. Because he had made himself a military target, he should be shot, said the Senator-Lawyer.
What a waste of common sense, I’m afraid to call it madness! A lawyer, a representative of the people, thus decides on a case still in progress! First as a lawyer, who was a state minister at the Ministry of Justice, a Senator, he should know that this penalty was abolished in 2007. He should also know as someone who participated in the reform of a lot of laws, and especially the superior law that is the constitution, article 27 of the Constitution of the Republic of Rwanda of 2003 revised in 2015 (Right to the due process).
But as a lawyer, it seems that instead of wasting time with a trial that takes months, he preferred to advocate Rwandan informal caselaws on the matter, instead of written law. He wants to suggest that the regime of which he is a senator has made similar judgments and the cases are legion to give him the reason: from Seth Sendashonga through Lizinde, Assiel Kabera, Karegeya Patrcik, Kizito Mihigo, Ben Rutabana and others, were shot in the head or suffocated as a judgment advocated by Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA.
He is not at all happy with the victory of the RPF-Inkotanyi over the Ex-FAR
What follows is a testimony of a totally out of phase man who pushes his zeal too far but does not know how to count the words he speaks. Towards the end of the show, speaking of Mozambique’s hope for bringing peace to Cabo Delgado, Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA did more than slipping. Always keen to kick the censers, he said the presence of the Rwandan military ipso facto signifies success. Let him recognize the bravery of the Rwandan soldiers. He could stop there, but he wanted to rectify a little and adding that the Rwandan soldiers he is talking about are Inkotanyi, because there are other Rwandan soldiers who are cowards, he was talking, without mentioning them, about the ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (Ex-FAR). For him the defeat of the ex-FAR is to blame, which means he did not want to see the Ex-FAR fail. He added that the intervention of the international community in Mozambique will certainly solve the problem of the insurgents, and the country will regain its authority over the province of Cabo Delgado.
He says with regret that if this had been done in Rwanda, things would not have ended the way they did. That is to say, like the Mozambican insurgents who are doomed to fail, the FRP-Inkotanyi, too, would have failed. The Senator takes this opportunity to talk a bit about geopolitics and explain how two groups that do the same thing can be given different qualifications, depending on the game of interests: one terrorist and the other liberator. Thus, the RPF-Inkotanyi, whom he has long described as a group of terrorist bandits who roam the villages, had the blessing of being called liberators and are currently his bosses.
He describes President Macron as an amateur who is difficult to secure
For the good palate, here’s a surprising thing: Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA called French President Emmanuel Macron a young social media lover with a Telegram email account. He said loudly that it is difficult to ensure the safety of such a president’s phone.
The Pegasus scandal is a fact of the day, but also a reality. We must not be fooled or obsessed by the alibi of prices raised and naively believe that states like Rwanda cannot use this technology. In addition, President KAGAME is not only a professional spy but also a president of a Tutsi minority regime against which the majority of the population, which is Hutu, has many grievances. Kagame must then militarize the regime and use all means to terrorize and silence any inclination. And besides, a country that has the first gold refinery in Africa when it produces no ounce of it, shouldn’t it do everything to be secure? In short, the Pegasus software is inexpensive compared to its importance to Kigali: the survival of the regime. And Kagame says he will do anything, that he will give anything to eliminate the enemies of the country.
Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA reveals what Ministers Johnston BUSINGYE and Vincent BIRUTA have not said openly. Pegasus was bought and used by Rwanda and especially against Rusesabagina. The Senator is slavishly proud that a small country like Rwanda can have this sophisticated technology and thus challenge the great powers which believe they have a monopoly. Note that Senator Evode UWIZEYIMANA has said that he has a reliable source on Project Pegasus. But the hatred he has for Rusesabagina is beyond human comprehension as he makes himself a judge and sentences him to a death penalty which is lapsed in Rwandan law. Would it be a disappointment like the one he tacitly showed for the ex-FAR? Times will one day be able to unravel the mystery of this man who made a political retraction to turn backbiting into praises!