Shall we be Proud of our sisters, the brave daughters of Rwanda?

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Imaana y’I Rwanda itanga Umutima, this means the sons and daughters of Rwanda enjoy the privilege of being in the image of their God. God gives them heart and power of mind and the power of will and the wining power from God the creator of Rwanda. Irara ahandi igataha i Rwanda, in other words, our God is there and watches us with a powerful eye. We are protected.

Men have been killed or survived murder attempts: Karegeya, Sendashonga, Kayumba Nyamwas, … just to cite a few, but Kagame regime is still at war against Rwandans and against Rwanda and against the God of Rwanda. In addition to the long war against the truth and against good governance, another tough war Kagame is fighting now that against babies, mothers and women in general, who are progressively winning fear and standing up for the rights of their fellow citizens. These women have realized they were blessed with Umutima from Imana and they felt capable of communicating momentum to the broad campaign against dictatorship and lack of speech freedom in Rwanda.

Of recent, Kagame failed to let in Rwanda a baby of a few months and its mother politician, who ere stranded at Nairobi airport for many days and eventually forced back to Europe. This mother was offering her heart and will for healing of the nation through a democratic election process. She knew what had happened to others before, but she decided to act as a brave woman. She failed to betray Rwanda and was denied entry to her mother land. Nadine Claire Kassinge’s exceptional courageousness is for us a strong reason why we have to proud of our sisters, the daughters of Rwanda.

A few years ago, another powerful woman crossed the Access denied line/umurongo ntarengwa, and made a step forward to further challenge the reign of terror in Rwanda and publically addressed a speech. She declared what only genuine patriots have the capacity to hear. She dared to sympathize with all those who lost theirs in the regrettable mass killings and genocides that occurred in Rwanda, she respected the international recognition of the genocide against the tutsis but she did not limit her words on the deaths of the tutsis. Other Rwandans died too, killed because of what they were. She knew what had happened to others before, but she decided to act as a brave woman. She failed to betray Rwanda and was thrown in prison under false unfounded charges, where she is to remain for 15 years to the minimum. Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza’s exceptional courageousness is for us a strong reason why we have to be proud of our sisters, the daughters of Rwanda.

The government of Rwanda has for many years tried to deter or silence the voice of a woman who lost her 8 year old child. The child had miraculously survived the genocide barbarism. In the hands of hutu bishops, the tutsi kid was ruthlessly butchered by Kagame forces in Gakurazo – Gitarama, together with many priests and other innocent citizens. His mother, won the intimidation and other types corruption used by Kigali government, and armed with the power of mind from Imana and the love for son, she decided not to betray Rwanda, she publically reviled such anti-patriotic and devilish behavior of RPF forces under the command of H.E. Kagame. She lives in exile, she is a very active fighter against injustice and impunity. Esperance Mukashema’s exceptional courageousness is for us a strong reason why we have to be proud of our sisters, the daughters of Rwanda.

Hours before the 1994 genocide befell Rwanda following the terrorist act of shooting down the airplane Falcon 50 carrying two African presidents, a lady prime minister was slaughtered by unknown murderers. She stood for the truth and for the interest of all Rwandans. She failed to betray Rwanda and was butchered like a goat. Agatthe Uwilingiyimana’s exceptional courageousness is for us a strong reason why we have to be proud of our sisters, the daughters of Rwanda.

Today, a brave lady whose father was recently killed, allegedly by Rwanda security technicians, is up to defend the rights of the citizens. She was influenced by no one, she managed to win her internal fear and defies the external intimidation and terror: “… I was not speaking on behalf of my family. The statements I made are my personal views and opinions. Speaking out was an extremely hard decision for me to make considering all the risks, but I felt I had no choice but do it! Since the people who are supposed to be representing us in our government are not speaking for us. Rwanda has made progress since 1994, but there many issues that are still to be addressed. During that press conference (February 2017), I talked about poverty, injustice, security or low security, and the lack of freedom of expression. … about security or lack of security … there are disappearances, there are killings, assassinations, … and the perpetrators of those crimes are never brought to justice. Foreigners, tourists come to this country and say how safe and secure they feel. Unfortunately, a good number of Rwandans cannot say the same about their own country. … Until when are we going to keep silent? …”.

This strong woman, an interior tutsi genocide survivor, has the particularity of living in Rwanda where terror security services spread terror shadowing all lives in the country. She has decided to challenge H.E. Kagame in the forthcoming elections come August 3rd and 4th 2017.

Her strengths/Assets:

  • She is very motivated and she is a neutral candidate not affiliated to any political party
  • She is a woman in a country with a high number of women in the parliament and in a country where women are the most affected Rwandans by the anti-street vending policy and brutal harassment by security forces
  • She is a direct survivor of the genocide and a victim of injustice
  • She is empathetic and very approachable by all, even the common villager
  • She originates from one of the most marginalized parts of Rwanda over two to three political regimes. The former Kibuye and Gikongoro prefectures are known to have been preyed on by the post independent regimes, from H.E. Kayibanda to H.E. Kagame through H.E. Habyarimana. This means she understands the sadness of being marginalized in your own country, and she is the best candidate to suppress such a crazy segregation cult of the ruling parties. She is able to make sure this does not happen to anyone anymore
  • She is from a minority tutsi community and willing to promote the democratic ruling,
  • She is willing deal with the poverty problem and she promises to uphold the power and rule of the law
  • She grew up in a family with both tutsi and hutu friends, so she can well help resurrecting good relations and she able and capable for favoring Reconciliation among both ethnic groups, and she interacts with all categories of Rwandans, hutus, tutsis, Twas, Anglophones, francophones, and foreigners, …
  • She is a well brought up daughter of Rwanda, she understands and can promote Rwanda cultural values
  • She is a freedom of speech activist and likely to promote the independent journalism in Rwanda
  • She has the will and the capacity to solve citizens’ problems

Weaknesses:

  • In her speeches, unlike Victoire Ingabire, she sounds as if she was avoiding to talk about some critical issues, such as: (1) truth and reconciliation; (2) the right to mourn your dead and the right to know how and by whom they were killed, and the right to ask for justice; (3) how she plans to tackle the problem of the unfinished job of the ICTR which only partly and incompletely accomplished her mission; (4) the continued (apparently systematic) unexplained physical elimination of genocide survivors in Rwanda since 1994 to date. Who does this? Who kills them? Why? And till when? Why has the government neglected this problem and failed to protect them for more than 20 years? Does the current government have a certain interest in their being killed? Which one? What are the mechanisms and the possible political solutions to such an unfortunate unfolding of a horrible plan whose author remains unknown, and even as the government fails to make of this a priority? (5) How she is planning to deal with the problem of the hutus killed for being hutus and the mechanisms of giving them the right for commemoration; …
  • The issue of public funds and resources mismanagement and misappropriation. What are the possible government actions to heal the country from the subsequent damage? Recovery?
  • The good relations with neighboring and foreign states in general. The government of RPF has failed to maintain good relations with neighbors; …
  • The problem of lack of decent speeches by Rwanda government authorities. Arrogance, insults, unsuitable or indecent very offensive words in official speeches. Something must be done to stop this habit! It seems to have become the new fad of the leadership class members and Rwanda diplomats. It is unfortunate and a serious issue to handle and address correctly.
  • She said at one point that the freedom of speech may be limited. She did not expand on this, so her words create some doubts or some confusion. Hope she will clarify soon.
  • How she plans to work with the many political parties still in exile. Rwandans need a clear speech on this. Are they to be registered in mass, will there be restrictions? Which ones? Any possibility of power sharing among parties? How will the government be set up?
  • The problem of Rwanda refugees?
  • The FDLR and other armed forces outside Rwanda. How is their problem going to be negotiated?
  • The problem of POLITICAL PRISONERS must be addressed or at least mentioned straight from the campaign phase. Rwandans need to know what each candidate is planning to do on this serious issue. Are they to be liberated “nta mananiza” and immediately after elections? Or …? It is crucial to say something about it;
  • The security services are controlled by one party, and not by the multi-party government, not by the people (parliament), and the justice system is very weak. This destroys the citizens’ chances to have equal protection. How is she going to deal with it? Liberation of the Security services from the hands of only one political party. All candidates are expected to think about this, starting from H.E. Kagame who is most experienced in this job among all living Rwandans.
  • The problem of “French” in schools and work place. What are her plans on this? Many Rwandans did studies in French and they are still in government functions. Young Rwandans need to be given a chance to learn French as well as English, and they had this chance until it was suppressed by the government. It needs to be restored, and used as an official language on official documents, policies and laws need to be put in French, Kinyarwanda and English, as it was done before. Same as for the travel documents, driver’s license, National Identity Card, etc.
  • No word about the presidential term limit and length. This is also crucial, Africans are suffering from unnecessary greed for power and senseless constitutional manipulations just to serve the desire of one man in a whole nation.

To sum up, we say that Diane Shima Rwigara’s exceptional courageousness is for us a strong reason why we have to be proud of our sisters, the daughters of Rwanda.

Conclusion:

It is very motivating to see ladies fighting for our rights, knowing that their number in such activism is likely to increase many folds as the trend reveals. Rwanda women are powerful in nature and they need our backing for their mission to be achieved. We expect the parliament of Rwanda, which is dominated by women, to congratulate and encourage these ladies. Of course we commend the bravery of all other candidates, men and women, and we regret the fact that a number of Rwandans willing to be candidates are denied registration.

Good luck to Diane Rwigara, the only lady potential presidential candidate who is not in jail or in exile, now. We pray for her safety and wish her registration to be accepted. And we wish the same to other candidates who will be accepted as well, men and women.

Bamara

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