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Rwandan President Paul Kagame wants a safer Rwanda … safer for whom?

April 16, 2010

by Godwin Agaba and Ann Garrison

Introduction by San Francisco journalist Ann Garrison

Godwin Agaba, Rwandan correspondent for the African Great Lakes regional outlet 256.com, is now in hiding, though still reporting. On March 9, I spoke to him for KPFA Radio regarding grenade attacks in Rwanda’s capital, Kigali, in the run up to this year’s presidential election, scheduled for Aug. 9:

This week Godwin Agaba confirmed what I had concluded: that Rwanda’s presidential election is effectively closed; all the viable opposition has been excluded.

Many now fear that Bernard Ntaganda, the presidential candidate of the Parti Social-Imberakuri, may soon be in prison for “divisionism,” meaning political opposition to the ruling Rwandan Patriotic Front Party, and “genocide ideology,” a speech crime unique to Rwanda, which I described here in the Bay View, in “Rwanda’s packed prisons and genocide ideology law.” Mr. Ntaganda himself says that he is in imminent danger of arrest and under constant surveillance, even in his own office, though he has managed to remain his party’s leader, despite RPF harassment and infiltration.

Rwandan security is also investigating Victoire Ingabiré Umuhoza, presidential candidate of the FDU Inkingi Party, for the genocide ideology speech crime, and the government has announced that she will not be allowed to run for office until she is cleared – meaning that she will not be allowed to run.

And the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda continues to be halted at military bureaucratic roadblocks and checkpoints, enduring meeting after meeting about whether they might have another meeting about the possibility of having yet another meeting to determine whether or not their party might finally be able to meet so as to register and field a presidential candidate.

On April 14, the government shut down the independent African language (Kinyarwanda) tabloid press for the next six months. Since 70 percent of the population speak only Kinyarwanda, not English or French, and only 3 percent have internet access, this means that most will have no information except that in state run newspapers from now until well after the Aug. 9 polls.

European Union election monitors are scheduled to travel to Rwanda but there is nothing left to observe except the effective coronation of incumbent Rwandan President Paul Kagame. The election monitors should stay home in protest rather than validate this charade, unless by some miracle “donor nations,” most of all the U.S. and U.K., choose to heed the Feingold Statement on the Fragility of Democracy in Africa and make civil and political rights, and a real election, a condition of their ongoing support for Rwanda.

Rwandans’ thwarted effort to contest the presidential election is also of great importance to the people of neighboring D.R. Congo, where at least 6 million Congolese people have died in the Rwandan and Ugandan invasions and occupations of Congo since Kagame seized control of Rwanda during the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. The silence of the U.S. press about the loss of African life and U.S. Pentagon responsibility is deafening.

Editorial by Rwandan journalist Godwin Agaba

Godwin Agaba
Anyone who has been following events in Rwanda over the last few weeks will agree with me that it is now clear what President Paul Kagame really wants. A safer Rwanda! A Rwanda where there is no political upheaval, no opposition politics, no sentimental politicians, no old friends, no dissent and, above all, no critical newspapers to report the prevailing “peace and tranquility.”

Presidential elections will go ahead as planned in August and when the dust has settled in September, those still living will witness a sympathetic, loving and caring president, a head of state ready to forgive and forget as he embarks on another seven year term as head of state. How cool is that!

Gen. Marcel Gatsinzi will be hauled to court to answer the genocide charges that continue to linger around his back before being thrown into jail. Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga will be sent to Rwanda’s Pentagon and given a few challenging but less empowering tasks and Gen. Kabarebe will most likely retire. Rwandans will have a newly elected leader and The New Times will struggle not to lead with the PK [Paul Kagame] rigs to set a new world record!

The High Council of the Press will come up with yet another silly document which Patrice Mulama, posing in front of cameras, will read confirming that Umuseso and Umuvugizi newspapers have been reinstated. It will be business as usual and the international community will continue to pour money into Rwanda with the aim of ending poverty and fostering economic development.

Right path? Don’t ask me for I really don’t know. What is clear though is that Paul Kagame, having commanded the forces that he says ended the genocide and helped restore order in chaotic Rwanda, has embarked on a self-destructing campaign. He will stop at nothing to make himself clear and louder to all that Rwanda belongs to him and only he knows what is good for the country. He does not even appear bothered by the idea of ruling the country as if it is some family ranch, because according to what he knows, he is popular, charismatic and knows his country’s history better than anyone else. And who are we to challenge him? What exactly do we know? To him we are rejects who should either shut up or put up with whatever nonsense is being paraded as long as we rise up at the end of the day to toss to the monsieur – only this time, in English!

Make no mistake: The president is in charge. When coup rumors went around a month ago, he was very stern as he was precise in his assurances to his audience that Rwanda will never have a coup. “A coup in Rwanda, never … not here,” he said. If that was a statement that lacked the marrow, he made certain a few days ago with impromptu changes in the army. Gen. Gatsinzi, the hitherto docile defense minister, was dropped for a close friend (former friend some will argue), Gen. James Kabarebe.

On April 14, President Kagame announced a six-month shutdown of these two newspapers, Rwanda’s only independent papers printed in Kinyarwanda, the only language spoken by 70 percent of the population. Since only 3 percent have access to the internet, that leaves most Rwandans with no other perspective on the news but that of the government-run media. Umuseso editor Didas Gasana is preparing for a lawsuit challenging the suspension of his newspaper. - Photo: KigaliWire1, http://www.facebook.com/l/23bad;bit.ly/aTu5sN
Lt. Gen. Charles Kayonga, who many basing their conviction on local media reports thought was under house arrest, got in to replace Gen. Kabarebe. Some will argue this was a tactical move by the man in charge. Technically demote the popular Gen. Kabarebe by making him defense minister and bring Kayonga closer in a more demanding position where he can be checked on and made too busy to even think of a coup.

I’m not very knowledgeable about the finer intricacies of army changes but speculation has never been my specialty either. It is very plausible though that it is much easier to look after and maintain an eye on a chief of defense forces than it is on someone who is head of land forces. For the sake of the issue at hand, I will take what the official version is and leave the rest to you, my readers. Fortunately, there is no official version of the changes, just a routine reshuffle.

Political temperatures in Kigali continue to rise. Kagame continues to impress. He seems very popular with the wanainchi [the people, citizens or masses] or at least it looks that way whenever he pays them visits. Opposition politics in Rwanda remains a far cry. Those who have dared to challenge the establishment now find themselves in limbo fearing not only for their lives but, at the moment, for their political parties as well.

Victoire Ingabire has been summoned to the Criminal Investigations Department more times than she has been allowed to go to church unattended. She is religious, but the government would rather she was not. Religious people get to meet others when they go to church. And when you don’t want someone to mix with others for fear that they will talk about their political agenda, you so wish they were pagans.

Those who have dared to challenge the establishment now find themselves in limbo fearing not only for their lives but, at the moment, for their political parties as well.

Frank Habineza, another of the political hopefuls, a former Rwandese Patriotic Front member who broke ranks to form the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda – a party whose registration seems to bother Kagame more than the poverty in the country – is not having it smooth either. He has on several occasions been in the news complaining about scary emails and intimidating phone calls from state agents who continue to threaten him unless he gets out of politics.

Bernard Ntaganda, who until a week ago was party chairman for Rwanda’s only vocal political party, PS-Imberakuri, was successfully ousted by a party wrangle within his own party that many believe was orchestrated by the ruling Rwanda Patriotic Front.

With these under control, in dissaray, under investigation or currently being accused of one or several offences, Kagame will definitely emerge as the one and only presidential candidate come August. He will achieve what he has set out to achieve – ruling Rwanda – forever. And as long as the elections are held at the hindsight of local and international observers, we will have no legal reason to believe that his victory was manipulated.

The media, which in such an environment would have provided credible evidence as to the real situation on the ground, has been manipulated. Those like Umuseso, who have not been so keen at accepting government tokens, have now been suspended. The six months suspension effectively rules out Umuseso in the media life of Rwandans until, well, after the elections. If that is not calculated, then I stand to be corrected as to whether Kagame is not preparing himself to be the father figure and self-appointed Lord of Rwanda he wishes and claims to be.

Godwin Agaba was a Rwandan correspondent for Great Lakes regional outlet 256.com; he is now in hiding but still publishing without his byline.

On April 7, 2010, in his address at the Kigali Memorial Center, Rwandan President Paul Kagame blamed “you,” a conveniently flexible and expandable category, and all those calling for political space and press freedom for the 1994 Rwanda Genocide, in which a million Rwandans died. This is the English language section of his English and Kinyarwanda address particularly concerned with press freedom. For the entire English language section of the address, click here. One week after this address, on April 14, 2010, Kagame’s “High Media Council” shut down the independent African language newspapers that most Rwandans depend on.

186 thoughts on “Rwandan President Paul Kagame wants a safer Rwanda … safer for whom?

  1. Ann Garrison

    @Aimable, and everyone else who’s been following along here: I’ve found the comments fascinating, as has Mary Ratcliff, Editor of the San Francisco Bay View, whom I’ve been discussing them with as we’ve gone along. Many have added meaning to the original post, but we do seem to have reached a point where nothing new is being said, much is being recycled, and no one’s changing sides. I don’t want to discourage anyone with anything new to share, but it may be best to move on instead of fighting to have the last word. If Mugisha wants to have it, he’s welcome to it, at least so far as I’m concerned. The last post isn’t going to win an argument just because it’s last.

    Reply
  2. Ann Garrison

    I think this article, and video, http://video.nytimes.com/video/2010/04/30/world/1247467728715/rwanda-s-island-prison.html, demonstrate the tide is finally turning against Kagame. The NY Times is, after a long silence, reporting what’s wrong in Rwanda, though without the help of their Kigali-based Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof. A long list of major outlets, including the BBC, http://goo.gl/N3dK, also reported yesterday’s wrongful death lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Oklahoma City on Thursday, 04.29/2010, charging Kagame and officers with the Habyarimana/Ntaryamira assassinations that triggered what we know as the 1994 Rwanda Genocide. Kagame left the Oklahoma Christian University commencement early, surrounded by bodyguards, and thus avoided process service, but, since intentionally avoiding process service is a crime, it’s not yet clear whether that will matter. Wrongful death is a civil suit, not a criminal suit, but very significant in the court of world opinion nonetheless.

    Reply
  3. Claudine Mukeshimana

    @Ann, reporting doesnt mean anything.Ofcourse reporters like you are who want to report just to draw attention are everywhere.It doesnt matter how much reports you make ,what matters is the truth, what matters is how the Our government handles it.

    Its not the first time this report has been made against Kagame, so its not news to him and i think previously it was handled deligently-Ask Sarkozy.
    So Ann, Aimable and the whole crew ,dont go about blowing the trumpet thinking that we are intimadated-not at all.
    Ann i think wherever, you have been concerned in African political journalism,you have never met a challenge like the one you met with the Kigali government? isnt it? You met Men and women who dont give a shit about your skin coluor or you Blue coloured passport.These men liberated their country while you were watching and they wont take more shit from pink/orange people.

    You call that rudeness that bse he didnt mention Ingabire’s name.Well, thats because you people like to make us view or interprete situations in your western ways.How much do you of the Rwandan manners?well he doesnt recognise her ofcourse-and he wont until he she exononerated-no one ,no more relations to genocide and our president is determined to see us through that.Dosent matter whether you cry foul.

    Reply
  4. Claudine Mukeshimana

    @ Ann,

    You are like a host of this discussion or so some commentaries have made you look like one But im sorry you are taking sides.You mention Mugisha as one fighting to win the discussion, why him? why didnt you say any of the others,ofcourse you are biased or you are also the marketing manager of the FDLR mineral reserves in DRC.And that puts you on someone’s payroll eh? Atleast that doesnt make Mugisha and Edmund to be the only ones on someone’s payroll as you claim.As the saying goes “ibibi birarutanwa” i would rather be on the kigali payroll other tha be on FDRLs if it is a question of payrolls.But like i said before for us our peace and security and prosperity means life while for you it means a job,payroll,attention etc

    Reply
  5. Jeremie Musonera

    Thank you Ann for this link about new york times magazine on Iwawa island in Rwanda and the wrongful death lawsuit filed against Kagame Paul in a federal court in Oklahoma City.I think the called Claudine MUKESHIMANA has seen this.
    Ann,if you have time see also this interview of Rwanda foreign minister on Rwanda abuse of power by the New York Times. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/05/01/world/africa/01 intervi ew.html/?pagewant ed=print
    This article was published today May 1st,2010. Do your own analysis and you will find out how people are becoming more aware of rwandese situation.I keep saying that at the end of the day the truth will prevail.

    Reply
  6. Claudine Mukeshimana

    @Amaible,
    Just because Ann’s Articles write what you want to hear doent mean that it will be visted frequently.Has it occued to you that there are so many articles/movies,documentaries written about Rwanda that are contrary to what Ann writes.Dont be shallow minded ,look beyond your nose.

    Reply
  7. Claudine Mukeshimana

    @Jeremie,

    I ofcourse have seen and have seen more than that,but like i said it doesnt change our determination to make our country better than it was before 1994 or to move forward.

    Like i said thats just minor-the truth stands,You pro past governments will have no say in the world.Kagame’s regime speaks for every Rwandan unlike the past regimes-anyway any Rwandan who abinds by the laws period.If you cant the boat is leaving you.

    @Ann, about the newyork times articleWhats wrong with it? Everyone from the African continent unlike you Ann is familiar with street kids in every city,and what they are capable of.Rwanda unlike orther countries runs a project of teaching those children technical jobs that will make them able to go off the streets,is that a problem?
    Rwanda is not USA ,its an African country which does things in the African Continent’s means,if they sleep in a shed ,thats because a shed is better than a street.Name any African country which takes an initiative like that to its people these days.
    However much you write, its not news to us the Rwandans because we are from hell and we are heading to heaven.How is that?

    Reply
  8. Angela

    @Annie,

    The main article on this page, plus the 100+ comments back and forth generally prove that the RPF extremists, their time is up. They are just kicking and wiggling because they clearly will not go down quietly. But the world opinion is swiftly turning away from them. Everyone knows that they are nothing without the US and the UK who have provided them weapons and political cover since 1990 when they started terrorizing the Great Lakes region.

    The New York Times video and the Oklahoma lawsuit you posted are newsworthy. But they are a drop in the bucket among the pieces that are currently being produced by media all over the world. Kagame and his cronies are finally being recognized for what they are: terrorists and mass murderers. It is only a matter of months before the media turnaround produces a shift in public opinion, after which it will become a political liability for any democratic country to continue supporting the RPF Apartheid in Rwanda.

    I believe yesterday you had said that you had made your final comments on this page. But then you posted the two new links. Posting the two new links continues an endless cycle of polemics from the RPF agents on this page. So, if you truly believe that this page has had more than its share of comments, you need to post any new revelations on a different page.

    To the Mugishas, the Gigis, and the Claudines, your Apartheid regime is going down. Very soon you will stop running the country like your personal fiefdom. Very soon you will not be able to oppress and terrorize people anymore.

    Reply
  9. Claudine Mukeshimana

    @ Angela
    We are both here, we shall see who will run.You wish but the time of running is since gone.Dont look at Kagame as just an individual.I would rather look at him as an institution and by that i mean a strong institution.We are not going anywhere,because we represent what is good for us including you.
    Like i said earlier,you guys just get excited whenever you see a mere article speaking your langauge,you forget that there are a million others that speak contrary.And you also forget to look at how those articles are dealt with.

    Someone is hungry and wants a compesation of £ 350 million and he rises an alarm ,then you make that abig story because of you own individuals.What impact did it have?
    Ingabire is being questioned,and you run and shout.Whats wrong with that? Barack Obama also lost elections because of his relationship with Rev Wright.Did you blame the Americans for investigating their soon to be command in chief? Moreover this woman came in company with a criminal-Ntawangundi-truth

    Reply
  10. Ann Garrison

    Jeremie and Angela, you’re right. New page coming soon. But, before we wrap this one up, could you please translate this for me?

    Ntabwo bajya bumva wagira ngo nta matwi n`umutima bagiraga.

    That’ll be my second Kinyarwanda sentence. I think I can now pronounce “Ukuri guca mu ziko ntigushya,” truth goes through fire without burning.

    Reply
  11. Ann Garrison is a bitch

    Ann Garrison the lesbian who wants to lay Hutu women… you have crossed the line of Journalism u have then everything to a personal level…remember u a an individual dealing with a nation…. ese sha ubwo buraya bwawe urunva hari ikindi bwakugezaho usubye kwisenya

    Reply
  12. Angela

    @Ann,

    “Ntabwo bajya bumva wagira ngo nta matwi n`umutima bagiraga” means “They never listen, it is as if they have no ears and no heart.”

    As for the diatribe from the coward who posted on May 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 am, the Kinyarwanda “ese sha ubwo buraya bwawe urunva hari ikindi bwakugezaho usubye kwisenya” means “Do you think that your sexual prostitution will benefit you in any way except lead to your self-destruction?”

    As a Rwandan, I am really ashamed that someone who speaks my mothertongue can have such terrible manners. I really apologize on behalf of the well-behaved Rwandans. Please do not judge us based on this May 2nd, 2010 at 9:58 am character. There are so many more Rwandans; Tutsis, Hutus and Twas who can argue intellectually without resulting to such animalistic behavior.

    Reply
  13. Jeremie Musonera

    This is more than animalistic behavior! This is really horrible! One can see clearly how extremism and ethnic hatred can lead far and make people loose their minds.
    I`m gona try to find out who wrote that and where he is,and I will personnaly tell him that his criminality and evil words and thoughts make him like a dead person and that he needs conversion. Such people are always reponsible of tragedies in society.

    Reply
  14. Musoni

    there is a missing link between the facts on ground and the reports published whether in the media or by HRW.

    you are all forgetting that Rwanda is just a young country raising from trashes and that definitely means everything cant be rosy.

    for those who where here in Rwanda before during and after the Genocide you can clearly see a big difference and this gives hope that the future is brighter than we expect.

    there is a lot to praise about the Kigali leadership or the Kagame regime that criticisms.

    i don’t believe a white woman like Ann garrison can come from wherever to come and judge us.

    she has no idea what politics is the third world in played, how people spend sleepless nights living in grass thatched huts.

    Ann you can not measure Rwanda on the same yardstick with the U.S. you definitely need an inside story of Rwanda and probably dig deep in the origins of Rwanda. a detailed research would enlighten and unfold you from the darkness

    Reply
  15. Edmund

    Nothing Good Comes Out of Africa

    BY MICHAEL FAIRBANKS

    HUFFINGTON POST

    I am a teacher, author and philanthropist, and I was a racist. Racism doesn’t have to mean you hate those who are different than yourself. It can mean the subtle, pernicious accumulation of unconscious prejudices against those who see the world differently.

    I was raised in Scranton, Pennsylvania and attended Catholic and public schools all the way through college. My first notion of the poor in other countries was when the nuns, dressed imposingly in black tunics covered with pulverized chalk, prevailed upon us to put our milk money into an empty can of Crisco marked in crayon, “For Pagan Babies.”

    I joined the Peace Corps and went to Kenya when I was twenty-one years old. I lived in a mud hut, learned Swahili, built a village school and returned to the USA to do my graduate degree in African Politics at Columbia University. I remain in touch with my fellow teachers and students from the village to this day. Still.

    The values and norms of the institutions in which we live and work wash over us. I went into the development industry with sound intentions, and worked extremely hard, but my results were meager. I worked in 35 nations at a very high level. I wrote books and lectured at the world’s greatest universities. After a while, my successful script became stale, and my resume grew like a tall tree with leafy branches, though its core was hollowing with age. I had fallen under the spell of the development industry. I was prey to donor fashions, the whims of the Ivy League, Capitol Hill and Brussels, and the cynical detachment of over-educated, under-appreciated international journalists and aid bureaucrats. I believed that nothing good comes out of Africa.

    Dusty, Poor Nations

    Then, ten years ago, I went to work in Rwanda. Leaders of the World Bank introduced me to Paul Kagame who had been president for a few weeks. I had no reason to believe he was anyone special. I committed to work hard, but if I am being truthful, I had no reason to believe my advice would amount to anything more than it did in Bolivia in the early nineties, Uganda or Tatarstan in the late nineties, or any number of dusty, poor nations in between.

    My first meeting with Kagame was forty hours long, spread over five consecutive days. My experience was that no head of government ever worked that hard, ever focused like that. Over the next few years, I was privileged to learn from Rwandan leaders and observe first-hand how they grew their nation. Rwanda’s leaders, not just Kagame, but also its Prime Minister, cabinet and the remarkable women who serve in parliament, have given me hope and courage.

    Rwanda is one of the few nations in the developing world that spends more on education than on the military. Though Kagame is from one ethnic group, his Prime Minister and 70 percent of his cabinet are from the other, and a world-leading 56 percent of parliament is now women. The country is secure and the World Bank’s Doing Business report recognized Rwanda as the greatest reforming nation in the world last year.

    The economy has grown at an average of 8 percent since 2001. More important, wages in export sectors increased by up to 30 percent each of the last nine years.

    Rwanda has a good neighbor policy. It played a key role in reducing recent tensions between Kenyans, vastly improved its relations with the Congo (the two presidents routinely share information), and was the first country to send peacekeepers to Darfur. Working side by side there, many of the Rwandan soldiers are children of both the perpetrators and victims of the genocide. The international press and sentimental filmmakers overlook these stories.

    They prefer to speculate that Rwandan prosperity means they must be stealing minerals from Congo, that clean streets and rule of law mean suppression, that Kagame will not step down from power when his next term is up. They have seen the world like this for some time. I see it in their eyes, still.

    A Tad Deeper, Please

    In my view, one of those self-branded CNN shows focusing on what Bill Maher has called “Disaster Porn,” spent way too much time asking Paul Kagame about a minor opposition candidate in the upcoming elections. The journalist didn’t acknowledge that Victoire Ingabire had just taken a Rwandan passport, and arrived in January with close aide Joseph Ntawangundi. When allegations arose of his complicity in genocide, Ingabire persuaded diplomats, journalists, and NGOs that he was not only innocent, but that the charges against her aide were politically motivated. There was international silence in March, when Ntawangundi confessed to using a pseudonym to reenter the country, to killing 8 people in the genocide, and to previously being sentenced to 17 years in prison.

    Now, due to international and regional cooperation, there is evidence of wire transfers showing that Ingabire sent thousands of dollars to Congo to pay for arms and ammunition. There are phone logs, emails and co-conspirator confessions concerning her contacts and coordination with FDLR leaders, and attempts to create a violent splinter faction. Ingabire was indicted on April 21st and released on bail the following day.

    Rwanda’s genocide denial laws have been characterized as “unique, vague, and overbroad.” Rwanda has also been accused of using these laws to stifle free speech and government opposition.

    But over a dozen European nations have specific laws criminalizing genocide denial and related speech. In fact, all EU Member States are now legally obligated to criminalize genocide denial when it is carried out to incite violence. The Rwandans have proposed an international conference where prosecutors compare genocide denial and hate speech laws and develop best practices for their use.

    The Government of Rwanda has been accused of cracking down on so-called opposition newspapers. On April 13, 2010, the government issued six-month suspensions to two Kinyarwanda-language newspapers, Umuvugizi and Umuseso, for publishing language such as the following:

    “He who refuses a peaceful political revolution makes a bloody revolution necessary… The queue of those who want change in the governance of this country, (and not a peaceful one since all avenues for peaceful revolution can no longer work) is growing by the day. This is leading Rwanda into total darkness. (Umuseso)

    Their words became reality on February 19th and March 4th of this year when terrorists threw grenades into public establishments in Kigali and killed innocent civilians. Rwanda knows a lot about freedom of speech and the role of the press. After all, in 1994, it was the press that ignited the genocide.

    I called the Communications Director for the President and formally requested the list of news outlets that work in the country that have not been banned. The office provided the list to me in a few hours, and I was told that no one else has ever made that request. It is a varied list of world-class organizations functioning well.

    Time, Newsweek, New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, Reuters, AP, AFP, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Boston Globe, CBS, CNN, NBC, CBC, Guardian, Times of London, Independent, Financial Times, Daily Telegraph, Economist, Al Jazeera, NHK, East Africa TV, SABC, ETV, France 24, TV5, FR3, TF1, RFI, Canal+, Jeune Afrique, Der Spiegel, Arte TV, VPRO

    Also, during the time of the genocide, there was one radio station, Radio Rwanda. Today Rwanda has thirteen independent radio stations.

    There are other illustrations, some of which are funny: the Rwandan general who recently ran from the country and claimed he was a political refugee. A senior military official informed me that the general was actually sleeping with the wife of another general who was away on duty, and was about to be indicted under military law. The general ran away and convinced the international press that he was a heroic figure standing up to oppression and asked for asylum. I bet he needs it, too, from the irate husband.

    Or the Human Rights Watch employee who claims that Rwanda is preventing her from working there: She was given a work permit within three days– until it was found out her papers were fraudulently signed by her organization to expedite the process. Still, her office remains open.

    A fair-minded person might inquire: Why is all right for Germany to outlaw (Nazi) hate speech, but not so for the Rwandans? Why did journalists crusade for Victoire, but not subsequently report on her connections to aggressive splinter groups? Why hasn’t anyone contrasted the activities of the three-dozen press organizations that thrive in Rwanda versus the two that were banned for six months? And, if working papers were rescinded in the USA when an international organization tried to take short cuts, Why would that not make the international news?

    I believed for too long that not a lot of good comes out of Africa. The Rwandans held up a mirror to my face. I could see that my way of doing things wasn’t helping, and I began to add value when I became willing to be guided by their vision.

    I still tend to parentalize the poor, though I no longer believe the American conceptualizations of democracy and human rights are superior to all other peoples, or that the world should progress at the rate I determine. But one good thing about having been a racist, I can spot others a mile away.

    Michael Fairbanks has been an advisor to a number of heads-of-government in Africa, the Caribbean, Latin America and Asia, and author of Harvard’s landmark book on Enterprise Solutions to Poverty, “Plowing the Sea”, and more recently, “In The River They Swim.”

    Reply
  16. Jeremie Musonera

    @ Edmund

    Do you want me to trust this fan of Kagame and his system like you? Never ! Your propaganda wont work.The truth is known and it will prevail.

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  17. Jeremie Musonera

    It is very clear that Mr. Michael Fairbanks is an Apologist for Rwandan Dictatorship and Totalitalism. He is just out of touch. We rwandans we know what happened and what is going on so far in our beautiful country which is now led by a junta of criminals and extremists.

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  18. mugisha

    Jeremie..it is clear that you don’t have any sense you are picking from Edmund’s post. It would have been quite mature for you to pick out some of the points that Fairbanks notes and argue against them. But as I expected, you shamed your status by posting a childish rant.

    I actually wonder whether you know the meaning of the terms “apologist” and your badly spelt “totalitarian”.

    I like the way Fairbanks examines Ingabire’s situation in Rwanda…and lots of other aspects.

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  19. Jeremie Musonera

    @Mugisha

    I don`t ask you to teach me . English is your second or third language. At least you received my message and if it hurts you something is wrong with you. Ibyo kwiyemera byo bishyire ku ruhande nta gaciro biguha.

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  20. mugisha

    Jeremie, those are not just english words..”Apologist” and “Totalitarian” are TERMS which when used, you must know their definition. For example, you must know what an apologist does or says before you judge someone as an apologist.

    That is why it is advised to always think about what you’re going to say before you can say it. Use google.

    Reply
  21. Gigi

    Pheewwww, its been a while. Mugisha, edmund, mukashema and other modern Rwandans! i greet you. I like the way mugisha has engaged these extremists and their choir master to the extent that they are now contemplating closing this page and opening another one – go on, open another one and we will be the first to grace it with the truth about Rwanda so you dont distort it. By the way, Ann, the kinyarwanda proverb you cherish so much “ukuri guca muziko ntigushya” is and RPF slogan since the beginning of the struggle. Angela, i find it unecessary to apologise to Ann on our behalf, she asked for it. another proverb for you to add to your list Ann, “urwishigishiye ararusoma” will you please…angela? Any, what i wanted to say is that since you decided to cry more than the bereaved, you should also accept what comes to you. Before you close this page, can angela please also translate/tell you what inkotanyi/gukotana means? Thank you. waiting for the next page, unless you want to debate amongst yourselves

    Reply
  22. Jeremie Musonera

    @Gigi

    You are just a bullshit ! What you want to do here is not to debate but to fight using insults. We will fight back by spreading the truth and the reality going on in Rwanda.Insults,I know many of them and can utter them on you but that would be just cowardise.If you want tuzakotana mpaka !!!!The truth is one and will prevail !!!!!

    Reply
  23. mugisha

    hahahahah

    “… Insults,I know many of them and can utter them on you but that would be just cowardise,” Musonera.

    “You are just b###sh#t,” Musonera

    I will not take that as a contradiction of yours, but rather, a self description.

    Officially, you have become, Jeremie Musonera the Big Coward! according to your own words.

    It’s a tendency for people with no credible infor to contradict themselves even on the smallest issues in their own statements instead of dwelling on the matter of debate.

    As for the rest of the people who know what “truth” means, keep it going and show it to the world.

    I love Rwanda.

    Gigi, thanks for the remarks pal.

    Reply
  24. Ann Garrison

    Also, no one’s going to shut this page down. Anyone who wants to continue to talk here is free to, at least so far as I know–I’m not hte editor— but I’ve never seen comments edited off the Bay View site except when I once asked to have a few of my own removed, regarding another issue, because the discord they were causing was disproportionate to the issue at the time.

    But I’m going to go into “Manage your subscriptions,” so as to stop receiving any more responses to this as e-mail because we’ve long passed the point where this is meaningful to anyone with regards to the original editorial.

    Reply
  25. Gigi

    Haha! it cant get any funnier! Musone, thank you for ‘not insulting me!’ i appreciate. However, you talk about gukotana- (i hope the other Rwandese lesbian did what i requested her to do, for the benefit of her American partner) how will you do this when you are not inkotanyi in the first place? Kagame and those who dont believe in an ethnically divided Rwanda are the true face of gukotana because they have a very high endurance thresh hold – that is how they managed to stop the genocide, thats how they managed to restrain themselves from retaliating against genocidaires even when they had the upper hand in the war, despite finding their families lying in their compounds hacked and raped. That is how Kagame ordered the execution of irate soldiers who were overwhelmed by the killing of their families and retaliated. Those who were not executed still languish in the mulindi military prison. That is how Kagame has managed to put all the history behind and tried to unite Rwanda, to mould it into a decent modern country that is mentioned not for the wrong reasons at every international gathering. Before 1994, Rwanda was merely a French landing site. So please Musonera, dont talk about gukotana because you make me boil with rage – you remind me of many things. This word now has a copyright tied to it and it should only be used by those who know its meaning

    Reply
  26. Rwanda

    I am ashamed to be a rwandan. Dear, ann, i think rwandan will never reconcile at all. Hope there is no lifeforever vacci yet to keep you all alive eternelly. Ann keep up your job because none has notto teach yo your Job. I am currently living in rwanda i meet every day that New time propagandist, but i am ashamed as his brother that we may share the same bloor. Forgive them . Rwanda is too small.

    Reply
  27. June Sina

    @ Rwanda( so you call yourself).

    Why dont you choose another user name that suits your ideologies atleast? I would imagine if i was called Rwanda then i would be it.
    For your infor if you are ashamed of the Newtimes propandist-as you call them ,i am also ashamed of you.You ideas are a disgrace to our nation.Those men and women of Newtimes have dedicated their lives to building our nation which atleast by your comment above you helped to destroy.

    @Musonera. I want you to read Gigi’s recent comment above and master it. It will help you if you want.What GiGI explained above is exactly what anyone would have done when they reached in Rwanda in 1994-retariation.But Kagame restrained some of his soldiers who some had lost loved ones from revenging.And thats waht he is doing up to now-bulding instutions of reconciliation.
    Like Michele Obama ,for the first time i feel proud of my country.I was born and raised in Rwanda, live under the Hutu led regime as a hutu but never felt proud and patriotick like i do today.Now, i know some of you dont like to hear this but the fact is home is sweet guys and its a free world i say what i feel,isnt it?-come home all of you Hutu, Tutsi,Twa and you will know what i mean.

    Reply
  28. rwandainfo

    Ok, no problem, let us go back to the contents of the article, and i have A FEW WORDS: THIS IS SIMPLY A POLITICAL DISCOURSE
    1. Which political parties? a political party cant be one unless registered
    2. The situation of newspapers, which newspapers? these are tabloids, gutter press with kabonero and gasasira opinions only – should every Rwandan be allowed to start a newspaper for use to bash a neighbour or politician they hate?
    3. Military reshuffle 'and what is supposes'- its that, a strategic military reshuffle, there are no suppositions

    Reply

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