The wind of democracy, Rwanda’s turn and Kagame fate

May 12th, 2011 at 9:23 | By | Category: News analysis
Egyptian demonstration

Egyptian demonstration

In the last few months we have observed unexpected populations upraising in north of Africa and Middle East where population demonstrated against their governments to reclaim more freedom and democracy.

This has reminded to the world that it is in human nature to be free and when this fundamental virtue is forcibly limited or revoked, people and populations always reach a point where they will reclaim it using all possible means.

Population strong actions that might be brutal in reclaiming their freedom are rooted in their conscious and unconscious held believes that freedom is essential condition that ensures the achievement of individual human being full potentiality in various areas of personal and well being development.

We have seen that sustainable economic growths of countries have not immune them from revolutions when their populations lack freedom. In his recent article in project syndicate, the president of African Bank of development and former Rwandan finance minister Mr Donald Kaberuka wrote ‘’ Like a long dormant volcano that suddenly erupts, the revolutions that have swept across North Africa – against a backdrop of strong economic performance – took all by surprise ‘’ he then added ‘’ The lesson from the North African uprisings is clear: this was a revolution not about ideology, but about freedom, social inclusion, political voice, and government accountability’’

These population upraising and revolutions in north African and middle East have trigged in me to have new look, analysis and thoughts on what has the potentiality to happen in Rwanda, done by Rwandan population to reclaim their freedom considering that populations of countries that have changed power recently through population upraising had the same or similar grievances as Rwandan populations. What would be the fate of current Rwandan president Paul Kagame? Does Kagame still have a chance to change his dictatorial regime ways? or is it is too late?

Signs are that the wind of democracy has entered Rwandan and it is at its initial low blowing stage. Growing numbers of political opponents in the country and in exile, growing numbers of high profile members of the ruling party leaving the government in protesting against its dictatorial governance methods, increasing number of media platforms who are becoming more critical to the current regime, increasing numbers of young people using internet forum and social networking websites to express their uneasy with the current regime are all significant changes and voices that have started to call for more freedom, democracy and rule of law.

Unfortunately for the current regime the more it is doing all it can to suppress the current wind of change the more the wind become stronger. This wind of freedom would rather not reach a tornado state in Rwanda despite that it has the potentiality of laying strong concrete for everlasting freedom and democracy. This is because at that stage its collateral damages will be undoubtedly be deplorable.

I strongly believe that only Kagame has the key that will stop the wind of freedom to reach that stage by taking noble steps that will take Rwandans on the path of freedom, democracy, rule of law and true reconciliation. Most important of those needed steps include:

  • Freeing all political prisoners, human rights activist and journalists.
  • Opening up political space
  • Organising all inclusive inter-Rwandan dialogue in order to foster true national reconciliation and pave way to a free, united and democratic country


President Paul Kagame

President Paul Kagame

Every day that passes, the wind of freedom is gaining momentum and Kagame chances and his regime reduce rapidly. If Kagame considers these steps he will undoubtedly go in Rwandan history as a war and political leader whom in course of his dictatorial and oppression area has overhauled the course of his political and ideological path in order to put his country in the path that tremendously made it a free and democratic with strong sustainable peace, pillared by its reconciled population.

These actions would ultimately avoid Kagame to be captured in the same way as Saddam or Gbagbo or forced into exile in same way as Ben Ali. I definitely do not wish this to happen to him.

It is widely documented and widely known that Kagame regime has committed a lot of atrocities in Rwandan and surrounding countries particularly DRC and Uganda. By observing and analysis his current actions, it is obviously clear that they are inspired or influenced by severe fear of losing the power in case democracy and freedom reach his country and eventually be held accountable of his past and current actions.

In order to suppress the wind of change and maintain him on the power he is using various methods that are combinations of oppression of opponents, attacks on criticism and raising his profile and image international as hero of his people and a renowned visionary leader.

Oppression of opponents and attacks on criticism methods include assassinations and attempt assassinations of opponents, oppressing freedom of speech and media, imprisoning dissident voices, banning international human rights organisations in Rwanda etc,…

Public relation campaigns and promoting his self image methods include using European and African based public relation companies to assist him to boost his image internationally as a distinguished leader who has achieved tremendous economical, stability and women promotion results. These are done through newspaper articles, television documentaries, organised speeches in universities, developing close relationship with celebrities etc,..

Unfortunately for him, these methods achievements cannot become stronger than people’s determination of becoming free. History of the world has tough us that people’s will has always triumphed against any form of suppression.

In case he decides not to take this path, he will eventually be captured in one way or another and go down in history as one of the worse leader that his country and region has had – who has brought suffering and deaths to his people. His period of governance will be considered as the worse dark period of his country history.

A former member of the Rwandan Patriotic Front currently living in exile in London reckons that considering Kagame’s personality, he is unlikely to bend down and initiate suitable and needed changes in Rwanda. Mr Bitwayiki of university of Dublin and a practitioner of psycho-analysis specialised in human’s behaviour as result of strong fear and instinct of self-protection reckons that Kagame might change and undertake the right way after realisation that it is the best way that has the potentiality to guarantee him a better ending in terms of his safety. But he stipulated that this can only happen when enough pressure is exercised on him in order to generate sufficient amount of fear and would bring about awareness that his methods will bring him danger shortly and that he will not be protected when that happens by people whom he has considered as his protectors or possible protectors when his regime is threatened to end.

In the last 10 years the democracy and freedom have reached in many African countries and their populations are currently enjoying freedom and democracy. Freedoms of media, political space and participation, free and fair elections as well as peaceful transfer of power have become their daily normalities. Those countries include Benin, Ghana, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia, Malawi, South Africa, etc,..

Rwanda will not left behind for long, stuck in 1970’s-1980’s when most of African countries were rules by successive military commanders who ruled their countries using guns to terrorise their people.

Rwandan past experiences of genocide, populations’ massacres, refugee crisis, severe human right abuses should by now have transformed it in a model country in relation to democracy, freedom, rule of law and social inclusion because it has suffered a lot as result of lack of those values. Rwandans and Rwandan political leaders should have become by now world leading promoters of those values because they have known and experienced worse consequences of those values deficient.

Rwandan populations do not need and seek a lot or impossible from Kagame and from all politicians. They just need rule of law, freedom and human right in a state which institutions have more authorities and power than individuals and each citizen rights and freedom are protected in system that engender strong sense of belonging.

I have no doubt that freedom, democracy will reach Rwanda, what I am not sure is HOW it will reach there. This will only depends on direction of steps that president Kagame will take in the next few months and days. The direction of those steps will also determine his fate.

Rene C Mugenzi
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