By Stephen Twinoburyo
The article in The Independent, a Uganda news magazine refers. http://independent.co.ug/index.php/the-last-word/the-last-word/3-the-last-word/3323-rwandans-again-disprove-sceptics
Look Andrew, I don’t know how you came to this analysis. In my opinion, it is out of depths with what is really taking place in Rwanda.
“…the rallies of opposition candidates are not broken up by the police, their supporters are not beaten by private militias…?” Of course that was expected. There was no opposition. Let me post here my facebook post that has brought in some good arguments: “I hear Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame won with 93% of the vote. The other 3 candidates, all from the governing coalition, created a big dent by snatching 7% from him. Those who dared to form proper opposition were shown their space in the new Rwanda. If all of Africa had such a model democracy, we would never have to worry about the nagging opposition”.
The clincher in your article is “All the candidates are strong and seasoned politicians: President Paul Kagame (Tutsi) is the clearly the strongest standing on the ticket of the RPF”. Holding a position in Rwanda’s Kagame controlled parliament does not make one a seasoned politician. Besides, a politician without a political organisation or political space is absolutely nothing. It has been common news that all notable opposition candidates, even though they wouldn’t have unseated Kagame now, were hounded out of the political space. Andrew, have you gotten used to the environment around you that you can hardly recognise what a respectable democratic process should look like?
Andrew, your article is heavily biased and greatly compromised. Needless to say, I think it contradicts the name of the publication in which it exists, The Independent. You even go to the extent of calling those who dissent with Kagame the “African elite”. Andrew, what makes your view and that of Kagame, the best on the way Africa should move ahead? Who does not see that democracy and human rights in Rwanda have hit the skids and are on a roller-coaster. The recent events coming out of that country have provided a clear indication of what governance in that country is like. Rwanda seems to be turning into an enclave in repression in that part of Africa. Rwanda seems to be turning into a country of fear.
This is a view from the New York Times. Of course it’s also elitist: “Some ballot boxes were swathed in shiny pink fabric and festooned with bows, ribbons and balloons. The elaborate decorations, along with the reports of 100 percent turnout in some places, seemed to reinf…orce what Western human rights groups and critics inside the country have been saying about Rwanda’s democracy, that it is essentially a dressed-up dictatorship.”
Yes, Kagame has brought some economic progress to Rwanda. That should not be an excuse for trampling on human rights. Besides leaders are there to foster development and he’s doing what is expected of him as a president. Repressed Africa seems to be taking the view that when a leader does something good for the country, we should celebrate at the favour he has done ‘his’ people.
Yes I acknowledge the development Kagame has brought to Rwanda but again yes, I condemn his heavy-handedness in the way he is governing the country and thinks everybody who has a different opinion does not deserve any space.