December 5, 2011
On Friday 2nd December 2011, Andrew Bagala of the Monitor Newspaper in Uganda reported that the editor of Rwanda’s Inyenyeri news Charles Ingabire who had sought refuge in Uganda for political reasons was shot dead at a Kampala pub. Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Mr Ibin Ssenkumbi confirmed the murder. On Sunday 4th December 2011, Andrew Bagala again reported in the Monitor that mourners at the requiem of Ingabire funeral were hiding their faces. Andrew Bagala further reported ‘One by one, the mourners walked into the Evangelical Restoration Church in Bakuli many avoiding eye contacts with strangers and only speaking in hushed tones. Several mourners we spoke to alleged being persecuted by government back home but none wanted their photographs to be taken or identities revealed. Among the mourners were men in civilian clothes, most of whom had security gadgets. The men could be seen communicating on walkie talkies as the service went on. Ingabire had earlier fled Rwanda for Uganda for fear that his life was in danger for being critical of Rwanda President Paul Kagame and his government. No Rwandan official attended the funeral’.
Charles Ingabire tried to rebuild his life after the genocide almost all members of his family but as reported by Giles Muhame in Chipreports of 2nd December 2011 that before he fled to exile in Kampala, Ingabire founded Ongera Micro-Finance in Kigali which quickly realised profits. According to the report, ‘First Lady Jeanette Kagame developed interest in the financial institution. Ingabire did not want state interference. Gradually, state machinery cracked hard on the institution and brought it on its knees. Fearing for his life, Ingabire took off to Kampala. Sources in Rwanda say days before he fled Kigali, Rwanda intelligence wanted to jail him for “using names of high government personalities to get money from European Countries to fund his micro-finance.”
Rwanda National Congress (RNC) condemns in the strongest terms possible, the heinous and cowardly policy of political assassination employed by President Paul Kagame to terrorize and silence all his critics and Rwandan in general. Over the years, President Paul Kagame has used assassinations, forced disappearances and imprisonment as a policy of sustaining himself in power. The Rwandan people both at home and abroad are living under a state of terror. Rwanda has become an Army with a state. It is an understatement to describe Rwanda as a police state in view of the fact that state agents arbitrary arrest, imprison and kill political opponents with impunity. As rightly pointed out by the United States American Ambassador to the United Nations, Susan Rice, in her speech in the Rwandan capital that “Civil society activists, journalists, and political opponents of the government often fear organizing peacefully and speaking out. Some have been harassed. Some have been intimidated by late-night callers. Some have simply disappeared. The political culture in Rwanda under President Paul Kagame’s government “remains comparatively closed.” Charles Ingabire is the latest victim to give credence to the observations by the top American diplomat.
Recently, Britain sternly warned President Paul Kagame of “grave consequences” once Rwandese exiles living in London were hurt. They had complained of persistent harassment by Rwanda spies. Since that time, the daily lives and activities of these individuals have been affected. Other Western governments have discretely advised Rwandans living in their countries that their lives are in danger from the Kigali regime’s operations to carry out assassinations through conventional and unconventional means.
Charles Ingabire was a survivor of the Rwandan genocide whom President Paul Kagame famously claim he saved from the Rwandan genocide. It is ironical that President Paul Kagame uses the genocide to claim high moral ground in foreign capitals while, at the same time, killing Tutsi survivors in and outside Rwanda. Other Tutsi survivors like Assiel Kabera, former advisor to President Bizimungu, was gunned down in the capital Kigali by soldiers from the Presidential guard on account of having criticized President Paul Kagame. While this is an open secret in Rwanda and the suspects in this crime include the notorious Kagame agents like Brigadier Jack Nziza who has been accused of various other assassinations, and no action has been taken for the last eleven years. Like many others in the clique, he has prospered on impunity. Many Tutsi have died before, during and after the genocide of 1994 at the hands of Paul Kagame. Many have fled Rwanda only to be hunted down like their fellow country men and women, the Hutu. From the former king of Rwanda, King Kigeli Ndahindurwa who has been in exile for over five decades, to former speaker Joseph Sebarenzi and the multiple assassination attempts on General Kayumba and Colonel Karegeya, it is clear the reign of terror is increasingly blind to ethnicity. Except for a few whom President Kagame has recruited and uses in his criminal activities, Tutsi in RPF and the Rwanda Defence Force are hostages, living in fear like the Hutu, fleeing Rwanda daily, and waiting for deliverance from the regime of terror. To Kagame, all Rwandans are enemies unless proved otherwise. President Kagame is a predator of not only the Hutu but Tutsi as well.
The predatory and kleptocratic tendencies of the President’s family and his RPF party have forced many Rwandans to flee the country. The case of Charles Ingabire where ordinary citizens have been fled and been hunted down by powerful individuals in power is not an isolated one. All Rwandan refugees live under fear, whether in refugee camps or cities. For example, the Rwandan Embassy accounts in Belgium are now closed under a judicial order in a case instituted by Gaspard Gatera, a Rwandan refugee who was threatened with death by state agents in Kigali when he demanded payment for services rendered in a contract where he was involved with government departments. Gaspard Gatera lives in fear in Belgium from state agents harassing him. In view of the above President Paul Kagame cannot be absolved of neither the reasons that caused Charles Ingabire to flee his country nor the circumstances that led to his assassination. It is important to determine who directed and bank rolled Ingabire’s assassination.
It is not surprising that President Paul Kagame who has ‘championed’ and benefited from the opaque perception of being a protector of the Rwandan genocide survivors is so quite in this matter.
The assassination of Charles Ingabire is meant to send the following messages:
First, President Paul Kagame is a relentless paranoid serial killer who will hunt any one and everywhere. This message is meant for all Rwandans, that they have nowhere to hide and should bear, embrace, and accept the dictatorship at home. The absence of a government representative (Embassy official) at the funeral when President Paul Kagame has been priding himself with the principal to protect Africans by sending troops to Sudan is a glaring indictment of a regime that has lost the slightest sense of decency.
Second, Uganda is an unsafe country and Rwandan criminal agents have a free reign in this country. The prompt burial and lack of any slight statement by any official of the government of Uganda sent a compelling and deafening message to the analogy of President Paul Kagame’s impunity in the region. The message to fellow Ugandan citizens is that for now the guns are turned to Rwandans. Tomorrow, the same guns will turn against them.
Third, and as always, the international community is impotent in President Kagame’s estimation. He expects, like he has always done, to get away with this latest but no last crime. Having assassinated many Rwandans and murdered millions of refugees under the protection of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) in the DRC(See Mapping Report), it is inconsequential for him murdering another one in Uganda.
Rwanda National Congress condemns in the strongest terms possible this heinous act and calls on the International Community and the UNHCR in particular to suspend the cessation clause negotiations with the government of Rwanda. It is erroneous that the UNHCR continues to participate in an exercise that forces refugees to a country where the leadership is hunting and assassinating refugees in the countries of asylum.
In concluding her remarks while in Rwanda U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice reminded President Paul Kagame of his own words, “As President Kagame said, the uprising in Libya has already sent a message to leaders in Africa and beyond. It is that if we lose touch with our people, if we do not serve them as they deserve and address their needs, there will be consequences. Their grievances will accumulate-and no matter how much time passes, they can turn against you.” President Kagame has lost touch with the Rwandan people, their needs, especially their right to life. Grievances among Rwandans have accumulated to unbearable and dangerous levels. Consequence of President Kagame’s reign of terror include death, destruction, fear, and exile. The other consequence is that Rwandan people have turned against him.
President Paul Kagame is a known serial killer and mass murderer on rampage.The Rwanda National Congress would like to appeal to all Rwandans-Hutu, Tutsi and Twa-to join hands and end his bloody dictatorship. No matter how long it takes, Rwandan people shall win and the regime of terror shall lose.
Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa
Rwanda National Congress