By David Himbara
“Rwanda is a country of sheep without a shepherd” – so says Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne who has taken Rwanda by the storm with her courageous and extraordinary speech on the ills of Rwanda.
Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne’s Speech translated from Kinyarwanda into English
How are you Ladies and gentlemen, Rwandans? I am happy to have this opportunity to interact with you, but kindly let me first introduce myself to you, because it is good if people go together knowing each other. It is not good that I just come and start talking to you without introducing myself to you. I am Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne, I stay in Kigali city, in Gasabo District in Kimironko Sector, I am Rwandan. In my ordinary life, I was born in Kamonyi District, in the southern province, in Rugarika Sector where they commonly call it Kigezi. That’s where I did my primary school studies and I continued with my secondary school studies in Kansi in Butare, and graduated from ECOS Musambira. That’s where I completed my secondary school studies. I pursued my University studies in Kigali Institute of Management (KIM), and I did my Master’s degree at ULK. Then, I am parent and mother of 4 children. I would like to talk to you as my fellow Rwandans, as a Rwandan woman who loves my country and who strives for the pride of my fellow Rwandans.
There are then some key points on which I would like to focus on now as I am talking to you, I wish that we tackle many things but I cannot finish it all at the same time, but there are some key points I really want that we talk about. The first point I wish that we talk about is the point stating the right to live as it is necessary. The second point is the point about Education in Rwanda. The third point is about the right of faith for a Rwandan. The fourth point, which is likely to be the last is about knowing if we Rwandans are not being led as sheep without a shepherd!
Allow me the to start with the first point about the right to live as it is necessary for a human being. Maybe many could be wondering why I am talking to you about the right to live as if we do not live, there is to live just pretending to, but there is also to live as it is necessary. In the right that we have as humans to live, there is the right we got from God, that no single human being should prevent it from us. Let’s say for example the right to breathe. It is only God who gives us the oxygen that we breathe. No single person can prevent you from breathing, apart from God who gave you that right. Now, as I choose that we talk about the right to live as it is necessary, in our country, it’s a long time ago that we have problems, it’s even all the world over, related to the coronavirus pandemic, but very often, for us Rwandans, this pandemic comes and we fail to deal with it, like just for the first time, we automatically urge the citizens to stay home. To stay home while people have not prepared themselves, what we can compare to when it rains while people have not seen any sign that it’s going to rain.
Just the Cabinet Council takes place and they decide that all the Rwandans must stay home. Such decisions are taken late in the night, when some people are already sleeping, having programs of the following early mornings, and when they wake up, they realize that all the programs have changed. These decisions are taken while there are citizens who did not take time to collect some funds, and who subsequently have no single coin at home to take care of the family. Those decisions are taken late in the night. Truly speaking, I did not come here to oppose the fact that Rwandans must fight against coronavirus, no, it’s a pandemic that is real, I do accept it, but what I am requesting our Government of Rwanda is that, we be able to fight against coronavirus and successfully manage it, instead of having it managing us, pushing us to stay hidden at home, making us live under pressure, everything becoming coronavirus, the life of citizens stopping because of coronavirus.
It’s true that I agree with the fact of washing our hands and respecting the social distancing measures and not scattering everywhere, but however not forgetting the life of Rwandans. If the Cabinet Council decides that Rwandans should stay home ignoring that there are Rwandans who do not have what to eat, ignoring that ¾ of Rwandans get what to eat because they have gone out to work, that citizen you are taking care of facing coronavirus will die of hunger. What is the importance of that? You say that you assist us, you assist citizens when you urge them to stay home, what do you give them? The rotten bitter flour? Let me tell you that they cannot even make bread from that flour. Instead, they boil porridge from it because it has been impossible for them to eat bread from it. Do you really think that you are assisting that citizen or it’s the punishment?
Or you give them a kg of beans, a kg they are going to struggle cooking, having to buy charcoal of RWF 2000 to cook 1 kg, are you really helping this citizen or you just send them to stay home? Whether they survive or die, you don’t care. Dear Managers, these food items you’re giving to Rwandans, this maize flour, these beans, is there any one of you who can take it home and feed the family with it? It is necessary that we take decisions taking into account the life of ordinary Rwandans citizens. Not all the Rwandans have the same life standards, therefore, it is not fair that Europe decides to urge the citizens to stay home, America the same and Rwanda does the same without giving them initial livelihood items. When these countries make their citizens stay home, they feed them. No single citizen can die of hunger. Maybe some of them will not agree with this. For example I heard Minister SHAKA uttering that, ‘I’d rather die of hunger than dying of coronavirus’, but Minister, when do you expect hunger to kill you, truly speaking? You’re the minister, your monthly salary is always on your account, whether you work or not, whether you urge the citizens to stay home or not, you salary is there. When will hunger kill you? You’re only hurting citizens by saying that you’d rather die of hunger than dying of coronavirus.
Some other times you say that even those vendors who spend time moving around with baskets on their shoulders, we must urge them to stay home, but Minister SHYAKA, let me ask you, as you were not born in New York but were born here in Rwanda as all of us were born, do you ignore that an ordinary citizen has to run with a basket on shoulder to survive? If he/she is not able to gather food in the storeroom at home, or to purchase food with a car as you do, they have to move with a basket on shoulder to survive because that’s how their life style is and we will never be able to live the same life style. Rwanda is not only a country of rich people only, but it’s rather a country of both rich and poor people. We must have the same rights. The two bundles of banana you’re mentioning, that’s only what they have been able to get. If they have been able to get it, there are even others who have not been able to get it, who are sleeping home, dying of hunger. The reason why you mention it is because your children have eaten, it’s because you have never felt the hunger you’re talking about.
Those ordinary people, when they go out, are asked where they go, but you, no one asks you where you’re going. That is why you underestimate the problems of Rwandans. Those are words frustrating Rwandans, they are not words of a leader standing for Rwandans, you utter it while there are many who are hungry and have no way out. Therefore, for this issue of urging Rwandans to stay home, I as a Rwandan who dares to speak up, because I know there are so many who wish to say something but are afraid, I as a Rwandan who has overcome fear, I request the Rwandan Government to open doors for us so that we go out and work, and subsequently we care for ourselves and not depend on those minor quantities you are giving us, which are received but some and others are not reached. We really request you to open doors for us so that we live homes and go out. Like you Minister SHAKA, I keep on talking to you, I heard you telling people to practice sport at home and not to go out. SHAKA, who told you that all the citizens stay in their own compounds? There are citizens who do not have their own compounds large enough to practice sport inside. And if coronavirus comes and is attacking people through respiratory areas, why do you prevent us from breathing? These people are going to be victims of other diseases because of being obliged to stay home. You oblige people to stay home while their businesses are going bad, they have spent much money, they owe banks much money, tomorrow banks will be running after then, you as the government have never stopped the Rwanda Revenue Authority from collecting taxes, they are paying taxes, they will have to pay rents for spaces they rent, the banks will come to take their goods because of unpaid loans, how will they be able to sleep if they are locked inside their homes waiting for coronavirus?
There is an initial life that you need to let people live. You take decisions that have been taken by Europe to urge people stay home because they are able to feed them and you do the same here in Rwanda. We have our own life style, we know how we live, it is far different from the life style of Europeans, again, we need to remember that we are no longer under their colonization. We need all to know that we are no longer colonized in such a way that they decide to take decisions and we implement it here. If it is like that, the democracy we have been fighting for would have no value. As far as I am concerned, as a Rwandan who loves Rwanda my country, I would like to request you, on behalf of my other fellows Rwandans to allow us go out. If it is not the case, people will die from depression. They will go home, sleep and think about the problems caused by the lockdown and die from depression and heart attacks. We know that coronavirus is a real disease, but please, do not make it a game, pardon us. Coronavirus is not the only pandemic disease that breaks out here in Rwanda. There has firstly been cancer, there have been many diseases that killed many people, there has been AIDS that took many lives, but there has never been lockdowns. Please, open doors for us so that we go out, work, take care of our families, and fight against coronavirus. Please, pardon us, stop putting us in these jails a fact for which you never tell us crimes we have committed.
Without forgetting that there are many families you have been separating, there are some people who had gone in provinces, there are others who had come in Kigali city while they wanted to go home. These people have been separated from their families and it’s their right to live with theirs. Please, do not underestimate this right of the family. And kindly consider all this period of loss and drop all the taxes so that people get time to work, rebuild their businesses and then later pay taxes. Telling somebody to close the business at 6 PM before the lockdown and then later tell them to pay all the taxes, where will they get money from? Please, take this into account and stop telling that there has been a Cabinet Council and such decisions have been taken, a decision that all citizens must stay home has been taken, what you tell us with much arrogance and humiliation towards us. Rather, tell it to us as Rwandans, as a country that is founded on democracy. Our wish is justice. We wish to live in a way that each one has their right to live. This point, I could go on talking about it, but what we wish is that you open for us so that people go out and work and be able to live, and not just depend on those items you give us, which you cannot consume and cannot reach all the citizens, and enable the Rwandans not to die from hunger.
Another point I am going to mention is about Education in Rwanda. This is the second point. Ladies and gentlemen Rwandans, I am not sitting here afraid to talk about it because I told you that I have no fear. I am not afraid of guns, because I said I have a gun here (lifting a bible). I am therefore not afraid of guns. Let me tell you, the problem of education here in Rwanda is very worrying. And the main reason why it is worrying is that it frightens one part of the population while the other is not. However, the part that is not worried is the one that has power. If we talk about education in Rwanda, many people suffer deep down in their hearts because the sector of education died long ago, not today. It died the day someone woke up and decided, if it’s from their dreams or thoughts that now I cancel the French language, now pupils will be educated in English. That was a very strong threat in Education. It is not because we were not willing to know English because we know that it is likely to become the first international language. Not, but, a language is not cancelled one day. It’s a process. Because, cancelling a language in schools, while even teachers likely to teach the new language do not know it, honestly speaking who were the Rwandans who were able to use English when French was cancelled? Who were the teachers who were able to teach English in schools? There were not any. That is how Ugandans, Kenyans and other foreigners came in our country and negatively impacted the Education of our children, because they had no patriotic spirit to love our country and they were not obliged to. They were just teaching them how they want, not caring they are understanding or not. Those teachers were only teaching in international schools paying them much money, not in public schools. Thus, we could realize that the education sector is being paralyzed. A citizen has their own way of teaching the children of the country, because they decide to inculcate knowledge in them to prepare them for what they will come tomorrow for the development of the country, but a foreigner just comes for the sake of money. That’s the only reason why they come. You find a Ugandan teaching the Geography of Rwanda, where do they know it? A child will tell you that they did Geography and they graduate without even being able to tell you a crop that is grown in their country because they have been trained by a Ugandan or any other foreigner. They came and they teach the history of Rwanda, where do they know it? Just because they are the ones who know that language. We will not delay on this point, but what I wanted to tell you is that the education sector died long ago. In Rwanda, it has died a long time ago. A minister can be appointed and substituted, there are even those who stayed less than a year. One minister is appointed and brings their own system, another one is appointed and brings theirs, all this being applied on Rwandan youth and their intelligence. The education sector became as playground and you forgot that you’re playing on the youth of Rwanda, and a country that does not have children has no chance to develop and you forget the youth is the Rwanda of tomorrow. You forgot that you who are doing this are getting older and the youth you are playing on are the ones who will come and replace you and develop the country.
The education sector is dying, and the reason for this is that the children of leaders do not study here, those who would speak for others do what I have mentioned above and send their children to study abroad. When they graduate, they enroll them in good schools with international systems and this education sector was not concerning them because their children were not being trained in it.
But leaders, let me tell you that is a bad habit of not loving your mother land, it’s a bad habit of not loving the citizens and know how to search for them what they deserve. The extra thing I would like to tell you on education is that our children are going to spend 2 years at home. Since the outbreak of coronavirus, the first action was the closure of schools. A whole year has gone, children of the country being at home, while other children who are in international systems are studying and advancing of classes with not difficulty. But the children who are in the Rwanda’s system, recently we were proud that school opens, but just in less than two months, school closes. Recently there was an announcement to parents to prepare themselves that schools are going to open on 18th, those in lower who had not yet begun, parents prepared themselves and sold all they had, others borrowed money and went to pay school fees, school uniforms, they went to buy school materials, and the date to resume school that was on 18th, on the same date 18th of January, that is when they stopped all the schools even those that were operating. Can you imagine how it hurt a parent who had made all those expenses for a child but who is sitting now at home with the child! Leaders you should think about how hurt the parents are who are sitting home for two years with children, do you think about the future consequences on those children or those they have already undergone?
Last year, they were counting bigger number of girls who had undesired pregnancies during the lockdown period. I do not know if Mrs. Janet Kagame ever heard of those numbers because I heard that in her initiatives she has an institution to advocate for girls, to help them move forward, I used to see her dealing with such works if I am not mistaken. But they are not things you do in a formal way and show the Nations that you advocate for girls, is there something you have prepared for those girls Mrs. Janet Kagame? I am talking to you personally, I do not know if you will give us a feedback, but even if there would be no feedback, I wish you would think about it, and I hope that you will do something for them, because, now what has followed is that you have brought them back home again, and even those who had not given birth are probably going to give birth or even those who had given birth are going to get pregnant again, and this because the Rwandan children are not studying, children who have already been accustomed to working for money, are these children going to go back to school, respect the teacher and follow lessons in a humble way as you know that studying is challenging and not something to be taken for granted? Kindly think about this.
There are children in age of starting nursery school who are at home, there are others who were in nursery school who are now at home, and we all know that in Rwanda, numbers of children especially in public schools increase very quickly, what are you going to do with these children? Are you going to make some children in school age stay home, are you going to put them in the same classes? I really do not know how you will deal with this situation, but as parents and Rwandans who love Rwanda, we wish that you clearly explain us how you’re considering to resolve this education challenge, because as today Kigali is in the lockdown, in provinces they are studying, and we as Rwandans are thinking about that. How will they do the national test? Will you prepare a national test for provinces and a national test for Kigali city? Or will you let the children study and complete their studies and give them certificates? You should clearly explain us how you will manage this situation without using the expression “we shall see how to manage it” because this expression entails many things, which can be positive for parents, without forgetting that they could even be negative and have consequences on our children. Explain us how you will manage it. Those children who are at school while others are not, are they going to sit together for exams? Are they going to have the same program or there is going to be a change in Rwanda and we shall have a province program and Kigali city program? Thank you, but I would request our leaders to help us understand this education related challenge, because education in Rwanda has been like a playground, please kindly stop playing on the education of our youth, because your children are studying without difficulty, kindly be patient and help us.
Let me end this education point here, but I was concluding without mentioning the Rwandan children who are in boarding schools until today. There are children who went in provinces who are in boarding schools and they are numerous and there are even those who are in boarding schools within Kigali. Fellow Rwandans, those children have been like those who committed crimes, they are like those in jails, and they have been separated from parents. Leaders, you have forgotten the rights of the family, you have forgotten that children need to know the news from their families, you have ignored that parents need to know the news from their children, imagine for example if we take you Minister or Janet, put yourselves in the place of parents who have children in boarding schools. If you were to be taken and separated from your children, if they were put in a boarding school and you are not allowed to go and visit them, you do not know how your child has been, and when you ask they only tell that your child is there, only that.
Still on the same point we were tackling of keeping us home and wearing masks where it is not necessary, we could add another problem of vaccine. There is currently a vaccine that is already here in our country in such a way there are some people who have already come in order to be vaccinated. Those include medical staff, old people and those suffering from chronic diseases. We do not oppose the vaccine, I do not even come here in order to prohibit you to accept the decision because the disease is there I do accept it, but there is something toward which we need to be careful. Vaccines in ordinary life have a testing period which is enough so that they do not have consequences on those who are going to use them.
Ladies and gentlemen, it’s only less than a year that these coronavirus vaccines have been made and tested if we consider the time at which coronavirus broke out. Then, being sent to our country and automatically implemented, I believe it is frightening for any thoughtful Rwandan, because, even those who sent it to us, it is like they do not trust it, they do not believe in the way it works, they do not know its consequences. Another aspect which is frightening is how it is done so quickly. From long ago, there have been diseases like diabetes, AIDS, cancer, they have never sought for a vaccine in an urgent way, but the vaccine of coronavirus is found within less than a year. We need to be very careful with that because, bodies of Rwandans should not be bodies of test to affirm the effectiveness of vaccines. They are not bodies of worms or of rats for tests of coronavirus vaccine. We do not refuse the vaccine, but the government should deal with it slowly and not just start applying it on people’s lives. Each person who will be vaccinated whether they do it willingly or not, let me hope that this vaccine will never be mandatory. The first mistake of making it urgent has been committed, but let me hope that it will never be obligatory here in Rwanda. Sometimes we can say that it is not obligation while it is in a way that is not clearly visible. It can be indirectly obligatory, say, if it’s in a given work place, they state that each person going there must be vaccinated. And the person who is there, instead of taking time to consider it and think about it, they just tell them that they are not allowed to be there because they can contaminate others with the coronavirus. In this way, there will be injustice for Rwandans, vaccines will have been made mandatory in a way that is not visible.
If someone can go to ask for a given service whether it’s within a bank or at hospital and they tell him that they cannot enter without showing a given required document, or you cannot take a taxi without showing a certificate that you have been vaccinated against coronavirus, in this way, we will have made it an obligation. That is why I am appealing to my fellow Rwandans to be patient, to leaders to make sure this vaccine is not obligatory. We do not yet know about it, sometimes, even pharmacists manufacturing them just focus on money gains and they forget that it’s about protecting human life especially that they usually do not care about Africans. Then leaders should pardon us and organize it well in such a way that whoever feels fear and is in need of being vaccinated can go on their own will, but for someone who is still considering it, please pardon us, do not oblige us and tomorrow we start seeing people joining us home coming to vaccinate us as if it is the only disease that has ever existed. Until now I have one question, I do not know if other Rwandans have it, I wonder if there is no other disease that kills as now each persons who suffers and dies it’s said that they are killed by coronavirus.
Are other diseases in holidays as even those who have been suffering from various diseases like diabetes and others become deaths of coronavirus? No other persons being killed by other diseases. I don’t know if you ask yourselves such questions! I think about it and realize that there are many reasons behind which may push people to take this vaccine which will cause them problems. I know that there has been a time when our president said that he no longer needs that white people bring to us whatever they want and lead us as they want. That time, he was acting as an African who loves Africa, who does not want to be a duck of whites. Why do we become their ducks today in staying home, in wearing masks, why do we copy from them without even knowing what we are in, why do we become their ducks in taking a vaccine made in their country without being tested by any African, ignoring that all the raw materials they use are from Africa, only the reason why they search for us being interests? Why do they make a vaccine and in a very short moment it is made they send it to us in a very quick way. I would request the Government to be very careful at this point and to avoid to give it to us as an obligation, and this issue of vaccine which is really frightening many people, I request the government to take the lead and help us in such a way, those who feel like being vaccinated do it and those who don’t do it when they want.
It is very important that we consider pertinent issues and we work on them seriously and overcome and dare say something dear Rwandans. Let me tell you, it is time that we Rwandans overcome fear and know what we have to do that has got advantage for us and liberate the strength of the majority, if David was to continue fearing Goliath, until today, the Philistines would still be persecuting the people of God. But what did he use to kill him? He only used a stone because he knew that he was supported by God. It is true that God is caring for us. But we too need to stand up and request things from Him, request peace, request pride, no one is allowed to prevent you from being proud. Sometimes when I look around, it’s like we are mourning things we do not know here in Rwanda. I do not see why we are not proud, it is our right. We were created to be proud, but being proud is a problem here in Rwanda. That is not true. Let us be proud, let’s enjoy life, let’s fight against coronavirus, without however letting it take the lead so that it makes us hide in holes, in such a way that we live running away from it and turn to even harmful places. Thank you…
I was on the question of children in boarding schools. Those children are like prisoners with school compounds. It’s very sad that a parent calls at school to enquire about the health of a child and they ask how the child is and they tell them that the child is fine and asks that they give them the child for a talk and they just tell them that the child is okay and the parent could be informed of whatever will happen to the child. Parents, Rwandans, what does that word mean to a parent? Can you fall asleep in the night when you hear that word? Does it ensure you your child is fine? It is necessary that each person be put in their place. I do not affirm well that among those decision makers, if such decisions were to be taken on their children they would accept it or be proud of it.
Let’s end this point by here, but anyway, they will see how to explain it to us together with education matters, but if a child has gone to boarding school, dear leaders, kindly pardon us and these boarding schools that have become prisons for children, boarding schools that have become objects of separation between children and parents, this is very sad, even if you see that Rwandans do not speak, just keep quiet, this is very embarrassing and you should cautiously consider it.
Let’s quickly go to third point which states the right of faith in Rwanda. Maybe you could ask me which faith am I talking about, but all over the world, every person have their own way of exhibiting their faith. There are those who pray, there are others who still practice the traditional cults, there are those who believe in Christ, there are those who believe in Muhammad, but as Rwandans, we need to have the right of our faith. The reason why I thought about this, it is not a point I am going to delay on because I am not a pastor, I am not religious and have to speak as someone standing for religions, but I saw that at the first time, the first places that were closed were churches. I do not see why churches were to be closed in the first place. I do not see how people can go to the market, control themselves, respect social distancing measures, wash their hands and wear masks, but however, those who go to churches cannot do that. I wonder if these people who go to church are stubborn in such a way they cannot do what those who go to the market do, respect social distancing, wash hands, wear masks and worship God, respecting each one’s faith, letting them go to the house of God and pray, especially that, I studied it that Religion or the obedience to God is part of the very first things that help the Government lead well. Because there are things that citizens do not do, not because they fear the Government, but because they fear God, thanks to their faith. There could be someone who would not fear to kill a person because they say that they would put them in jail, but if they turn to faith fear God because they know that killing is a sin. Then I wonder how the Government will lead if there is no obedience to God in the country! If the obedience to God tends to get lost in the country, can’t this be a question that will cause troubles to the country in the future, as will the question of Education?
There is a way I thought about it like if you’re a man and someone chases you from your houses and you get hurt much from that. The fact that when the pandemic broke out for the first time in the country, the first thing to be done has been to chase God form the country was something that could not be explained. Other places were gradually opening, what was very slow and rare for churches and with many conditions while many were still closed, the first things to focus on in the opening churches being how to fight against coronavirus while we were accustomed to being taught the word of God within churches. It is true that we were being taught to fight against coronavirus in the house of God, but this coronavirus to make us lose our minds, coronavirus to make us talk about whatever, talk about it even where we should, put coronavirus in the front, sometimes I analyze, let me say it I am not afraid to say it, because I said it, there are times you reach and fear ends, I see that coronavirus has become a game here in Rwanda. Look at it very well, I sometimes realize that coronavirus has become a game in Rwanda, yes it is there, and the way we take it is not how it should be taken. We give it much weight for political reasons, I am not afraid of saying it. We give coronavirus much more weight than it has, and take measures beyond what we ought to take, because of specific interests of the Government. I don’t understand how we decide that people stay at home, while airports are open, tourists coming, visiting the beauty of Rwanda. A foreigner coming and knocking at your door having been allowed to enter by the country under the pretext that they have been tested for coronavirus, while your neighbor is not allowed to come and ask you how you spent your night, even those whose parents die in the provinces cannot go to bury them without having a specific permission. If your friend can die without seeing them while you’re not enemies, and a foreigner has the right in your country more than you do. Try to see it, even when you meet in the bank, they make a foreigner pass while you remain on the queue. Why that? Why do they have rights in our country more than we do? I told you that we are no longer under colonization that we have already overcome. Please, do not bring us back to colonization. Then, when you look at it, you realize that coronavirus is a game card of the government that it uses to protect its interests, underestimating the interests of the population that makes the majority.
Kindly be patient Rwandans our leaders, do not bring issues of being much more intelligent than us, making us objects, playing us as cards, as if we are not intelligent, just doing things for your own interests. Coronavirus is a game card, a genocide game card. In Rwanda, times ago, when we were still children, someone could do something and then just to humiliate them, you could blame them as though they committed genocide. Dear Rwandans, let us not generalize and consider all the persons as wrong doers, without forgetting that there are those who hid us and so far we are still alive thanks to them.
Each time the genocide game card, each time the genocide against Tutsi has become a song, monuments are being visited, foreign currencies moving around the country for the genocide against Tutsi, bodies of ours being sold, I am not afraid to say it, and us the survivors being like underestimated, getting no care from any one, yes, Farije cared for us, but how can you as a parent care for a child and they do not have clothes to wear? How can you pay school for a child who does not have transportation fees to go there, and how will they arrive there? And when they finish they sit down and say that the children of Farije are not serious, they are the ones who are not intelligent because they study free of charge. I could hear, got frustrated and lack what to do. We were rather the ones who were intelligent. Take your own child, and take them to study in the conditions we were in, with no one to take care of them, no one to assist them and see if they will be able to study. We were very intelligent. And you are consuming much because of that game card. We hear and bear it, widowers whose houses are collapsing on them, those whose houses had been built in fragile materials and later collapsed, but if the bodies of our relatives are being sold within different genocide memorials, spending time singing genocide as it is easy to sing something which did not happen to you.
Sorry, that is not what I wanted to focus on, it is that sometimes someone has things in the heart and they overflow. I see that Coronavirus is going to be a game card like genocide in Rwanda. Let’s stop. Each time it’s coronavirus, people are frightened because of coronavirus. But how does a person wear a mask, standing in front of their compound? I did not come to prevent Rwandans from fighting against coronavirus. I do agree with wearing a mask, but without forgetting that the oxygen we breathe outward is bad and therefore we should not breathe it inward. We will suffer from coronavirus much more because we are breathing the oxygen from masks. We need to breathe good air, oxygen from outside. That is how God created the human being.
It could be true that we wear them maybe in the market, elsewhere where there are many people, but without necessarily having to damage our bodies. But, even standing in front of one’s compound, one must necessarily put on a mask? If you’re alone, what do you have to cover? People who are in the same car from the same house, and a police man stops them and asks them why the masks is down, if they are from the same house, staying in the same house, please, be patient and give peace to Rwandans, so that they get time to relax and be proud. Rwandans no longer enjoy life. Kindly be patient and stop using coronavirus very often so that it becomes another pretext for Rwandans to be morally hurt.
We take decisions to stay home, going outside to work is very problematic, going entails explaining oneself, but the national team goes abroad to play. Aren’t they Rwandans? Do we hate them? Why do we spoil their bodies and allow them to go to play in such times? There was recently a question after the victory of our team, if it a question or an answer I don’t know how to explain it, but for Rwandans it was an answer because it was a victory, the problem was that there have been people who have been overjoyed and scattered in roads. They forgot even masks, got crazy and went to sing the victory of the national team. But in our nature as Rwandans, we were created a happy people, which is how a human being is even all the world over. Because it is true that it is a key issue for someone to live longer, but police structures are going to take measures, I believe that the day the national team will play, there will be police agents on each compound so that no one goes out. But we believe that it is our national team, and that we are citizens. Therefore, taking measures to stay home should be for everyone without exception if there is no speculation in that. If there is no speculation of foreign currency to enter, the tourists would not be coming in the country, the ones bringing this coronavirus, they should have been stopped.
What I do not know is the reason why we stay home, but the numbers of those who are tested positive keep increasing! How is that possible? The government should try to be our eye, and as I see it, it is about time each one who believes they have what they can do for Rwandans so that they have peace did it, depending on their power. I am saying this, but I know that there are even many more who are thinking of it, and who can do something about it, we request them to stand up and do something so that Rwandans get peace, so that we live our ordinary lives as it is necessary.
I have concluded this point about faith, I even delayed on it. I am on another point, the fourth point, which questions whether Rwandans are not like sheep without a shepherd! A shepherd means a slave, a leader, someone seeing for others, that what I meant.
The reason why I wonder if Rwandans aren’t like sheep without a shepherd, it is because all these things we are going through, these things that are embarrassing us, there is a way we could get rid of it, because there are those in charge of it, they could deal with that on our behalf. If I consider ordinary life, if there is a problem, the father of the house is the one who goes out, if there is a frightening question, it’s the father of the house who goes out, that is why the Bible calls him the head of the house. He goes out to see what happens, so that if need be he calms down other family members, because he has power and authority more than them. If the husband is not there, is ill or has another problem, it’s the wife who goes out. She goes out in the place of the house representative and comes back to calm the children. They cannot keep on crying while there are parents. And when parents are not there, there are usually other people living in that compound, let’s say security agents or other employees, who go out and come back to calm the children that there is no danger. When all those people are not there and the father of the family has older children, the eldest or the eldest after him/her is the one who goes out to see what happens and comes back to see the little brothers/sisters and tells them to calm down, there is no danger, and knows how to deal with the situation.
Therefore, what I saw in Rwanda is strange. I can’t say that it’s strange in a holy way, it’s really strange in a way I cannot qualify. I saw that in Rwanda, each one is fighting for themselves, in their own capacity, in what they cannot afford and people keep quiet. But, dears, since the pandemic of coronavirus broke out, I have never seen His excellency the president of the Republic going out, taking a microphone and tell the Rwandans, “Rwandans my people, keep strong, do not be afraid, don’t be discouraged, the pandemic is there, but we have strategies to fight against it, and as we urge you to stay home, get in the house, but you will be fed in this way. Calm down, no Rwandan will die of hunger, no Rwandan will lack means of getting medicine, calm down, keep strong, I am there as your leader, I am in front of you. I do not know if there are others who saw it, but I personally, honestly speaking did not see it.
What I thought about was to be next was that, if he is travelling and is not there, or for other reasons, Mrs. Janet Kagame had to take the microphone, as our parent, especially that, we parent very often feel emotional, when there is a problem, very often we tend to run and hold together children to calm them down. I believed she would have taken the microphone and take the lead as the first lady, and tell us, “calm down, be calm, even if he is not there, there are strategies we are considering to protect you. There are strategies the country has already thought of implementing, be calm, no Rwandan will die of hunger, even if coronavirus is there, let’s stand firm and pray.” I have never seen something like that. Truly speaking, I have never seen something like that. We have ministers, we have like the prime minister and various leaders, deputies and leaders we elected, I saw no one taking a microphone and speak to us, tell us that we have to be calm because they are there in front of us, there are things we are about to do, we are preparing this and this, we are about to do this, there is no problem, no Rwandan will die of hunger, and that we shall fight against coronavirus as united Rwandans.
I saw what is similar, but it was not real. I did not really see it. If all those persons are not there, His Excellency our president has got mature children. What would please people during the stay home period, would be to hear for example that Ange, has taken food in a given village so that people do not die of hunger. It would be to hear like this child has taken truck full of rice or maize flour a given area, but not the perished one, he/she has gone to assist a given area so that other fellow children get what to eat. Maybe, I do not know if you saw such things, but, I personally never saw something like that.
And what would be pleasing for us would be to see them in tough times, in times when someone can spend a night with an empty and die in their house, their neighbor not being aware of it. That is what I saw that would be pleasing. That is what made me say that as Rwandans suffer from inside the hearts and whispers when speaking, people say it and you can see that they are tired in their hearts, but, in what we are going through, where are our leaders? These people who see for us, the Generals, the army officers, where are they? Those people you thought for, and who are likely to die of hunger as you continue telling them to stay home to fight against coronavirus, you have much power to do something in a way that each Rwandan will relax, to do something and Rwandans will get peace.
If I start with you James Kabarebe, you are the advisor of the president, you are the advisor of the country, and you keep many secrets. There are even secrets that until now keeping them is not easy for you. You keep many sensitive secrets of the country and there are many things you can do. Kabarebe you have the key!!You have the key to bring Rwandans in peace if you want to, right now, you have the key to do something. Are you waiting that God Himself tells you to do something for Rwandans to be free? Be patient and be brave! Be brave at least once in life, liberate Rwandans, please try, and try at least. I beseech you, do your best. There are your aunts, your nephews, Rwandans are very sad even if they show you that they laugh. Their hearts are rotten. Please, pardon us and do not make us like the child who lives at their step mother, when the step mother sees the father, she carries the child, dress them very well, feeds them, and dances for them. But when the father has gone, tortures them, beats them and makes them die of hunger, because she has shown the father that she loves his child while in reality she does not love them. That is how Rwandans are in the eyes of foreigners.
When you meet foreigners, you show them the beauty of Rwandans. You show them that we are at peace, that we are developed and that there is no Rwandan who dies of hunger, but that is not how things are, Rwandans’ hearts are rotten, they are very sad, their hearts are broken. Please, do something to give them peace, at least, stand brave once. Mrs. Janet Kagame, there is something you could do as a parent. Look at the children of Rwanda and remember that if your children are prevented from going out you would suffer, if you are prevented from going out you would suffer, and you and your children are urged to stay home while you do not have what to give them for eating. As parent and mother, imagine someone who obliges you to stay home while you have nothing to give children! How would you feel? There is something you should do!
Rwandans should not keep on living as sheep without a shepherd, as people without leaders. If you take decisions that have been taken by Europeans, better you could go to Europe and let for us our Rwanda. We want to stay with our democracy. If you want that we take decisions like those ones taken by whites, we will not accept it because we do not go back to their colonization. There is something you can do, there is something you can do. Do not underestimate ordinary people, you will never see a country of rich people only, there will be in the country, people of all categories, that is how God planned it.
You should not underestimate the initial life right of a Rwandan. That is why I am saying that we cannot continue living as sheep without a shepherd, try to take the lead for us, try to help us, be closer to us, and do something that is what we expect from you. I seriously request this from you. I am not requesting that the president goes out for you to see, or accepts that he is there, no, this is not what I am requesting, kindly let him rest, let our old man rest. Actually, each person has got their own time to dialogue with God. And when you interact with God, you do not have the right to say no. No! You can underestimate people, but you cannot refuse when God says He wants to dialogue with you.
I do not want to go into details on this, not at all, what I only request is that those who have the power to liberate us should do it, so that tomorrow we do not have people who commit suicide because of sorrow. Even if each person who says what is opposite to what the government wants is taken as an enemy of the country, I know that in the Rwandan culture, I know that as I stand up to say it, you can call me that but that is not true, rather, if all the Rwandans were to stand up and love the country, love the citizens and say that they do not want to see them being subjects of injustice, this would be a success for us.
I am not an enemy of the country, I am a Rwandan who loves Rwandans, who is very shocked with what is happening to Rwandans, problems they are facing, who has a patriotic spirit of loving Rwandans wherever they are, whether here in the country or in the bush, or abroad or anywhere else, my heart loves them providing that they are Rwandan and they have the same right as answer that of others. That’s what I am fighting for, I am not fighting for political positions, I am sorry I do not need that, I did not even come from any political party, only I am very sad to see that Rwandans do not live as they should live, I am sad to see that they do not enjoy life, that is why I am speaking out. I am not an enemy of the country, I am not fighting against it even if I am standing up and you treat me as an enemy, but that is not how things are. Only, I do not have fear in such a way that it dominates me, I am not even committing suicide, if you are a parent and mother of 4 children, if you die there are many who suffer, there are even those who become orphans, I am afraid of it because I grew up being an orphan. I am then afraid of it, but being afraid of it does not mean that I had necessarily mean to stay hidden in the corner and continue to keep silent while I see other Rwandans subject to injustice.
I failed to remain silent with it, I want you to be patient with it, and do whatever you want, even if you want, you can come and arrest me today and take me to court to accuse me of crimes, even if you add more crimes, I am prepared to go through that. At this minute, even if you kill me, my dreams to let you know that Rwandans are very sad have come true. Even if we laugh for you, we are very unhappy. I am fighting for nothing else, but the interests of the Rwandan people who make the majority, these women with a basket that you are always running after. You have to know that all the Rwandans have the same right, if there is something else I had the power to do, I could do it, I have no guns, I don’t even know how to hold it, I don’t neither have body guards, and I am a very ordinary citizen, I am a person who cannot be killed randomly as one would want because I have a mighty King over me, this gun(the Bible) I have can fight for me, if one wants to kill me while I did not fight for my personal interest, and fight for the interests of the Rwandans.
It’s time you let free the people of God and these are Rwandans, it’s time you let the Rwandans have the right to live in Rwanda as Rwandans, relax and be proud. It’s time leaders to let free the people of God and these are the Rwandans, let me repeat it for you, it’s time to let free the people of God, and these are the Rwandans. Let Rwandans relax, let Rwandans be happy, stop killing them with sorrow. And you Rwandans it is time that you overcome fear and demonstrate that you are sad, and stop pretending that you are happy while you are not. Let me tell you something. If Moses were to stay at the King’s palace as that’s where he had been brought up, just eat food from there and be happy, the Israelites would not have gotten rid of the exploitation of Egyptians. Even today, they would still be in the Egyptian exploitation. Moses had to overcome fear. It’s time then for anyone who has something they can do, to stop considering that they are within the country that they are going to arrest them, no, I am not in Burundi our neighboring country, as I said it, I am in Kigali city, I told you where I am at Kimironko, at Gasabo District.
Let me tell you my phone number before I forget so that whoever gets a question on my video requires explanation from me, and even whoever would want to arrest me either to take me to jail not to have to investigate from far, just that they call me and tell me that it’s the Rwanda Police, I will voluntarily be present. I am not hiding, I told you that my name is Idamange Iryamugwiza Yvonne, my phone number is 0788830576, I repeat it, and it’s 0788830576.
Whoever needs me can get me via this phone, be calm, I will not switch it off, I am not going to hide, only what I would like to inform you is that I am not a fool, I have no psychological problem, not at all, that no one says that I am fool, I am quite normal. I am not even begging, I am not hungry. I am not even going to commit suicide, that no one lies, dear Rwandans that I committed suicide, this is the only suicide I am committing: to come and want to liberate Rwandans. I cannot commit suicide. I told you that I am a parent- my children need me. I do not even have a specific disease that can push me to get exhausted and commit suicide. Whoever would say that would be lying. As I talk , I am home, I am in the lockdown, I am not going out that they run of me, I am very sorry, I am even in good relationship with my employees, they are not going to kill me, whatever is going to happen to me will have to do with what I have just said, and I have no fear because I said it being prepared that all is possible and I said it being very tired. Whatever could happen to me at this minute, I will have revealed my dreams of liberating Rwandans, I will have transmitted the message I want to transmit. And let me tell you, even if someone might do harm to me and kill me, tomorrow would be born someone else like me.
Not all the persons are ready to accept all things and just clap hands to whatever is said. No, there will be persons who will see bad things and explain that they are bad, especially that the Rwanda we have today does not need to be led by someone, who feels in them ideas that they are a Hutu more than other Hutus, standing for Hutus, it does not need to be led by a Tutsi who stands for Tutsi, it does not expect to be led by an indigenous who stands for indigenous people. Rwanda does not need a leader who has any single discrimination, whether it is based on the region where one is from, whether it’s based on the color of the skin, whether it is ethnic based, whether it is gender based, or any other thing.
Rwanda needs to be led by someone who feels love for Rwandans in them, who has the patriotic spirit in them, who can fight for their country if necessary. Who can sacrifice their life for Rwandans if need be, who does not just care for themselves. And above all, a leader who respects God, who is afraid of the eyes of God, who respects God, who believes that God will ask them His people, who believes that whatever they do whether it’s good or bad, one day, God will ask them His people, that person who respects God in them. Who is afraid of God and trembles in front of Him, who believes they cannot kill people as they want. This is the person Rwanda needs.
Dear Rwandans, I don’t wish to take so long, I do not want to talk about many things because I do not even have the capacity to go through troubles today, but what I know is that no matter how long it can take, the problems will be sorted out and Rwandans will rejoice. No matter how long it can take, peace will prevail our country.
I conclude, thanking you and wishing you God’s protection, may the peace of God be with you, and I wish you to keep on protecting yourselves against coronavirus, but thinking about other strategies to use so that you live without being killed by depression or sorrow at home, and keeping on respecting God. Thank you very much, if there are other things I want to share with you if by the grace of God I am still alive, I will talk to you, because I love Rwandans very much, may the Heavenly God bless you. Amen.