Rwanda: an update on the state of political affairs

It has been nearly 23 years since July 4th, 1994 after RPF of president Kagame took power in Rwanda. A lot of water has passed under the bridge. Political leadership he put in place has disappointed in many regards. After an almost 4 years of civil war which culminated with a genocide, Rwandans hoped to see peace and reconciliation in their homes and hearts. They experienced mayhem and despair instead.

  1. Led by an unscrupulous regime, Rwanda has recorded over many years countless political assassinations of politicians, journalists, activists and businessmen; millions of ordinary citizens have been killed inside and outside the country; hundreds of thousands who didn’t make the news were incarcerated or disappeared; the aim being for RPF to restrict political space at any cost and reduce the number of its supposedly enemies;
  2. An economic miracle resembling more to a mirage than anything else has been the mantra of RPF propaganda machine; sorry for the many greedy capitalists guided by their greed who fell for it; throughout that context, lies and corruption at the highest level of the system continue defining today Kagame’s institutions; a mafia type of venture led by president Kagame monopolizes the wealth of the country;
  3. For more than two decades, we observe a Rwandan population overwhelmingly taken as hostage by RPF leadership; people appear to be struggling to cope with the never ending oppression and repression affecting their lives, even in the most private matters like relationships between couples or parents and children; fear characterises the majority of Rwandans to the point they accept willingly to be permanent victims of RPF system;
  4. A nation at the brink of explosion characterised by significant fractions of the population starving and high level social tensions, especially fuelled by dispossessions of land from their traditional owners, high unemployment, declining economy, and poor quality education for the majority of those who manage to access it; bad policies deliberately conceived to harm the masses are succeeding in their evil mission;
  5. An apartheid type of political and economic system which deprives the hutu majority of its fundamental rights at the benefit of a selected tutsi elite has divided the Rwandan nation; despite the many lies the propaganda machine does not stop from disseminating, victims and perpetrators are well aware of what is happening; we know for a fact that Kagame initiated the 1994 genocide which affected tutsis, hutus and twas, and uses it to legitimize his power and implement discrimination among Rwandans.
  6. A divided tutsi elite consisting of different factions, some loyal to the legacy of the late monarch Kigeli Ndahindurwa, whose burial in January 2017 was marked by some controversy, others clinging on the old privileges of the two dominant clans: Bega and Nyiginya, and lastly others defined by where they were before 94 (Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda, DRC and Tanzania plus elsewhere); though we note from time to time infighting among the group, victims and perpetrators generally stick together to keep political power to themselves.

Millions have been killed since October 1st, 1990. Skeletons of Rwandans (hutus, tutsis, and twas), foreign nationals including mainly Congolese, Burundians, populate tens of genocide memorials across the country. These memorials don’t honour the dead. With some hindsight on annual  commemoration events, their aim seems to shame one part of the Rwandan nation and exclude it from its leadership because there is apparently a legitimate reason to treat its members as second class citizens.

Rwanda and its regional allies, mainly Uganda, have invaded DRC several times. With the complicity of western multinationals, president Kagame’s network has plundered congolese minerals and other resources. Tens of rebel groups in DRC sometime directly managed from his entourage flourished, safeguarding their master’s interests. Rwandan hand in Congolese affairs, acting on behalf of westerners has been one of the main causes of instability in that country. Luckily, similar attempts of recent years to destabilise the neighbouring Burundi have failed.

As years passed, western close friends of president Kagame realised they had backed the wrong guy. Signs don’t lie. RPF’s decline appears today more real than at any other time in the history of its country’s leadership. Even its president doesn’t shy away from admitting publicly that it’s only a matter of when their lies will be uncovered. Overall, the state of Rwandan political affairs comes out as cheerless. And 2017 general elections, though badly needed by president Kagame to affirm again his false legitimacy, won’t change the downfall trend his regime is on; they might even precipitate it instead.

Ambrose Nzeyimana