“ 1. Does RURA have the right to force me to plead guilty? 2. Does RURA have the right to take away my freedom of conscience and my freedom of speech and force me to condemn an innocent man?”
Purpose: To show that I am innocent and that Amazing Grace Christian Radio was closed illegally. Dated: June 22, 2019
Your Honor, After much time has passed and with many court papers filed, I feel that my personal testimony may have been lost in all of the legal talk. So, I wish to take just a minute to clarify my position on exactly why we are in court.
On Jan 29, 2018 on our radio, Pastor Nicholas preached a message against BAD CHURCHES. Simple, but then this whole problem started when RMC illegally took parts of Pastor Nichlos’ message totally out of context and smeared his name. Of course, we are still taking RMC to court for their illegal actions in a separate case. Also, let me clarify: Pastor Nicholas was not our worker and not even from our church – he was just a visiting pastor.
Let me start with his sermon and what actually happened. Again, Pastor Nicholas was preaching a sermon against BAD CHURCHES. Not against women. In the Bible, a good church is pictured as a good woman; and a bad church is pictured as a bad woman. Simple: Good Church = Good Woman; Bad Church = Bad Woman. Not too complicated. So, he used examples of bad women in the Bible to show how bad churches cause problems. That is it! Nothing more!
It was RMC that caused our radio to be closed for a month by recommending for RURA to close us according to their agreement. But then how did RURA permanently close us?
RURA issued three things for me to do: 1. Issue an apology – this I was not convinced to do because I was innocent. 2. Close the radio. 3. Pay a fine of 2 million
The apology was the only thing we talked about in the hearing on April 19, 2018. Therefore, it is the only reason RURA permanently closed the radio. Please let me explain why I could not issue an apology:
An apology means someone is guilty of a wrong doing. In this situation, there are only two possibilities: either I did something wrong or Nicholas did something wrong. But really, neither one of us did anything wrong since Pastor Nicholas was not found guilty.
First myself, if I apologized, then I would first have to state what I did wrong. Well, what did I do wrong? Nothing! Therefore I could not apologize for myself. It would be the same as me pleading guilty when I know that I am innocent.
And even if Nicholas was guilty, I am still innocent because I do not instruct the Pastors on what they preach from the Bible.
Second, apologize for Nicholas? Why? What did he do? As I said before, he was preaching about bad churches.
Now please understand. To this day, there has been no investigation into what Nicholas said. Think about that for a minute.
That statement is huge! Let me expand more on that: • There has been no court trial to show he is guilty. • There has been no court hearing to show he is guilty. • There has been no hearing at RURA to show he is guilty. • There has been no real hearing at RMC to show he is guilty. • There has been no investigation by anyone to show he is guilty. • There has been no discussion whatsoever to show he is guilty. • Furthermore, his side of the story has never been heard. Actually, his side has never even been allowed to be spoken anywhere! Not by him or anyone!
We have never discussed the merit of his sermon to see if he is guilty or innocent. NEVER! Furthermore, RURA has never even heard the explanation that you just read above. You now know more than what RURA knows.
In a hearing with RURA I said, “This has never been talked about. Can we take time now to talk about what he said?” RURA did not care. RURA decided all by themselves that Nicholas was guilty – with no testimony, no evidence, no hearing, and no chance for Nicholas to clear his name.
In Rwanda, people are presumed to be innocent until proven guilty. Nicholas is innocent of any wrong doing. So, how do I apologize for an innocent man? The only way is to first condemn him by saying he is guilty. I told RURA, “I will NOT condemn an innocent man.”
RURA did not care to listen and they actually told me to shut up. That is why we lost the radio. We lost the radio because I would NOT condemn a man without his side being heard.
Even a normal journalist would not slander a man without an investigation! It is unethical and against the law to do so.
Furthermore, I am a Pastor and a Christian. The 9th commandment in the Bible says: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. -Exodus 20:16. How can I possibly slander this pastor’s good name and witness against him without him ever being tried or prosecuted? I cannot do that!
So, I personally ask this court to decide on 2 specific points: 1. Does RURA have the right to force me to plead guilty? 2. Does RURA have the right to take away my freedom of conscience and my freedom of speech and force me to condemn an innocent man?
I have been telling RURA these 2 points even from the beginning of this mess. Sadly, RURA does not seem to care too much about the constitution of Rwanda. The constitution protects freedom of speech and clearly says that people are innocent until proven guilty.
So therefore, I have become a victim of RURA’s illegal condemnation of an innocent man; and again a victim by RURA illegally taking away my freedom of speech rights that are protected in the constitution of Rwanda.
Finally, if RURA now comes to court and attempts to show how Nicholas was guilty; then I must object. Now is not the time for a hearing on Nicholas’s sermon. That should have been done more than a year ago – before – not after our radio was closed.
I hope this brings you to a true understanding of what this case is about. Please do not be swayed by the false media coverage that has been blasted all over Rwanda.
I trust that you will judge honestly before God and according to the laws of Rwanda.
This strongest letter for sure has been seen as a “sharp sword” by the Kagame’s regime that doesn’t care of laws, human rights nor for God.