By: Jennifer Fierberg
Kigali working hard to divide and confuse the opposition
The murder of Patrick Karegyea of the Rwandan National Congress (RNC) has left the political opposition as well as Rwandans in the diaspora who support them raw yet determined. His murder continues to be investigated by the South African Police who have refused to comment on an open investigation. Back in Rwanda President Kagame and his political leaders have had a lot to say about the death of Karegeya both in the press and on social media outlets. The comments started with Louise Mushikiwabo, Minister of Foreign Affairs, abusing the children of Patrick Karegeya on Twitter in this conversation; further, she went on local radio stations in Rwanda continuing to accuse the late Karegeya of grenade attacks inside Rwanda and stating that Mr. Karegeya had “declared war” on the country. None of these statements is true. The RNC has always maintained that they are a peaceful group and they have no intentions of violent or forceful means of making political change in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s Defense Minister, James Kabarebe, last week in an speech referred to the late Karegeya as a “dog” and stated, “When you choose to be a dog, you die like a dog, and the cleaners will wipe away the trash so that it does not stink for them. Actually, such consequences are faced by those who have chosen such a path. There is nothing we can do about it, and we should not be interrogated over it.” His overt mention of “the cleaners will wipe away the trash” was a clear warning to all Rwandan opposition groups, specifically the Rwanda National Congress leaders, and other who criticize the Government of Rwanda that they are not safe no matter where in the world they are.
Many journalists and activists have received death threats via phone, email and in online discussions. The accusations of these sending threats are that those who criticize the government are trying to “destabilize the country” by feeding “false information to the public.” This is a hardline statement from the Government of Rwanda regarding all those who choose to speak the truth about what the Government of Rwanda is doing “behind the façade” of what they portray to the world as the Eden of Africa. There are numerous publications that have continued to expose President Kagame and his crimes and how the UK and US continue to cover up his record of destabilization in the region, particularly in the DRC through his most recent proxy army, the M23. Ambassador Stephen Rapp has now, also, come out with tough evidence that President Kagame was behind the 1994 genocide in Rwanda along with the backing of the US and UK.
Kagame confusing a prayer breakfast as a confessional
For further evidence that President Kagame and his government are behind the murder of the late Karegeya, look no further than the National Prayer Breakfast that he attended in Rwanda on Sunday January 12, 2014. He gave a lengthy speech and admitted to the elimination of Karegeya. He stated to the group attending that, “you are a bunch of cowards if you dare to deny my involvement in the murder of Col. Karegeya”. President Kagame then added, “shouldn’t we actually be murdering more of Karegeya’s type?” If this is not a clear confession of his involvement, I do not know what is.
The Investigative team in South Africa refused to comment on these statements and continues to investigate in order to bring the perpetrators to justice.
In a press release on the same day as the Prayer Breakfast/Confessional, the Amahoro People’s Congress released a statement stating in party that:
“This presidential confession strengthened similar statements made earlier by other Rwandan government officials. Rwandan Prime Minister Pierre Habumuremyi tweeted on Monday, 6th January, 2014: “Betraying citizens and their country that made you a man shall always bear consequences to you.” Foreign Affairs Minister, Madam Louise Mushikiwabo tweeted and later confirmed in an interview that Karegeya was a “self-declared enemy” of her government and that what happens to its enemies should not make it lose sleep. In her interview, she insisted that late Patrick deserved to be killed because of betraying the country that created him. Speaking at a governmental controversial “Ndi Umunyarwanda” campaign in Rubavu district on 11th January, 2014, the Defence Minister, General James Kabarebe, joined other officials in confirming the regime’s role in the assassination. “Do not waste your time on reports that so and so was strangled with a rope on the 7th floor in whatever country.” “When you choose to be a dog, you die like a dog, and the cleaners will wipe away the trash so that it does not stink for them. Actually, such consequences are faced by those who have chosen such a path. There is nothing we can do about it, and we should not be interrogated over it.”
Further they stated that, “Rwandan democratic voices have, over the last several years, called for a peaceful settlement of Rwanda’s problems through dialogue. President Kagame has rejected peace and dialogue, and opted for a violent path, by assassinating and jailing his opponents, and declaring war on all Rwandans who demand freedom.
In view of the above, we call upon:
1) President Paul Kagame and his criminal regime to resign immediately since he has lost all legitimacy to govern;
2) The Rwandan people to reject fear and intimidation, remain calm, united, and be more determined to continue the just and legitimate struggle for freedom;
3) The international community to invoke “RESPONSIBILITY TO PROTECT”, the new international security and human rights norm to address the international community’s responsibility to prevent and stop genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity;
4) The international community to compel President Paul Kagame and his agents of terror to account for the crimes they have committed before, during and after 1994; and,
5) The international community to support the Rwandan people who seek a new political dispensation characterised by truth, justice, the rule of law, genuine reconciliation and healing.
We would like to assure the Rwandan people that though the struggle for freedom, unity, democracy, justice and shared prosperity is long and difficult, ultimately, freedom will triumph over dictatorship, and pursuit of a better life for all over imposition of death.”
Dr. Nkiko Nsengimana, Coordinator, FDU-Inkingi; Etienne Masozera, President, AMAHORO People’s Congress and Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, Coordinator, Rwanda National Congress (RNC), signed the press statement.
They end their press statement with an important message to all Rwndans:
“We would like to assure the Rwandan people that though the struggle for freedom, unity, democracy, justice and shared prosperity is long and difficult, ultimately, freedom will triumph over dictatorship, and pursuit of a better life for all over imposition of death.”
Lies about the RNC and Kayumba
In an anonymous blog post published today an author by the name of Miley Jameson made outlandish claims entitled; “Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa negotiating return to Rwanda.” This post reads like a bad propaganda attempt to further divide and confuse activists and political opposition members.
This writer contacted Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa for his response and he asked to be quoted directly:
a. The death of Patrick has strengthened our resolve to fight the dictatorship.
b. The confession by President Kagame that he killed Patrick gives credence to what Patrick and the opposition has all along accused Kagame of. c. Kagame calls his critics, enemies of the country. He does not distinguish between himself and the country. His personal opponents are enemies of the country!!
c. If Kagame wants negotiations, let him talk to the opposition. I have no personal deals to negotiate with Kagame because our differences are national including: lack of democracy and rigging of elections, meddling with the judiciary, lack of liberty and freedom culminating in an influx of refugees, imprisonment of opposition politicians, extra judicial killings of opponents and the general personalisation of state institutions especially parliament and security organisations. He should also stop machinations to change the constitution to allocate himself a 3rd term.
d. In his speech, he said my death is a matter of time, now how do I negotiate with such a person?
e. Who is Miley Jameson and which media house does he/she write for? This publication is without identity. Most dictatorships operate like that. You cannot expect anything better from a President who goes for prayers and boasts how he has murdered and intends to murder other people.”
Final words from Col. Patrick Karegeya
“In the absence of democratic reforms, the policies of the present government of Rwanda are likely to lead to a return to violence in the country. A system of government that deprives citizens of fundamental human rights, especially the right to political participation and the integrity of the person, cannot last indefinitely. Change in Rwanda is inevitable; the issue is whether change will be negotiated and peaceful, or violent and imposed, again, by the victors of a bloody armed conflict. Political change is necessary to avert violent conflict that repressive government in Rwanda has made almost inevitable. A return to violent conflict in Rwanda would further destabilize the Great Lakes region of Central Africa.”
Col. Patrick Karegeya
28 December, 2013