With barely few weeks for Rwandans to go to the Polls to choose their next President, the deception of the Current president Paul Kagame has won him international praise for leading the country back from the failed state after the Genocide of the Tutsis in 1994 to the so called economic development success in the region. President Kagame has been also praised for promoting public health and gender equality.
According to the doctored statistics in Rwanda, this tiny nation has the world’s highest percentage of women in Parliament; girls and boys are likely to be enrolled in primary school, and rates of maternal and child mortality are among the lowest in Africa.
However, according to the new Amnesty International and Human Rights reports on Rwanda show, this rosy picture hides a terrifyingly repressive regime of which many courageous Rwandan women and girls have been victims. Since the Genocide of the Tutsis attacks on opposition and their supporters, journalists, and human-rights activists have created an atmosphere of fear that renders the election a caricature.
Cracks have also recently appeared in the story of Rwanda’s development success. According Filip Reyntjens, Rwanda’s National Institute of Statistics has doctored the definition of poverty in its household surveys, so that it looked as though poverty had declined between 2010 and 2013, when it actually seems to have risen.
Indeed, a British consulting firm that had collaborated on past household surveys pulled out of this one, citing an unspecified “difference of view.” Western aid workers claim they’ve witnessed the undercounting of maternal and child deaths in health surveys and, in 2015, a Rwandan doctor who confronted the health minister about mismanaged health sector funds died in prison under mysterious circumstances.
According David Himbara , the Rwandan government has a habit or systemic policy of “statistical manipulation “ that hardly anyone knows what the reality is. In these elections in the Kagame Rwanda, five candidates declared their intention to run against Kagame. But Kagame’s electoral commission with just a remote control ordered it to block Thomas Nahimana who was not even allowed to come to his country and now remains in France.
In fact many opposition supporters have been found dead in gruesome circumstances; others have landed in jail without charges; others have disappeared or been physically attacked.
Kagame’s only woman challenger in these elections was recently disqualified, Diane Shima Rwigara, daughter of the late Assinapol Rwigara, a business mogul and one of the top financiers of Kagame’s Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) during the 4 year bush war that brought RPF and Kagame to power.
The Rwigara family parted ways with the Kagame regime after Assinapol’s death two years ago. The government claims he died in a car accident. However, the Rwigaras say that he was assassinated after winning a series of court cases against the government, frustrating the government’s efforts to seize their assets. The family says that on the day he died his wife and their other daughter, Anne, arrived on the scene to find him still alive with a fresh, bleeding wound on the back of his head. According to the autopsy report, it was caused by a blow to the head. In an interview with the BBC, Anne describes how they pleaded with the police to allow them to rush him to a hospital, but the officers refused. An ambulance arrived, but the police turned it away. Then, according to Anne, the police put her still-breathing father in a body bag, and drove him past a hospital to a police morgue, where they eventually finished him off.
Kagame has publicly declared the outcome of the elections and has castigated the international community and other critics who have challenged the legality and legitimacy of these sham elections. Now that Kagame has declared himself the President, all Rwandans need to resist Kagame’s staged elections by all means necessary. Indeed, the only language Kagame and RPF will listen and understand is the natural resistance that all human beings will react and respond to when they are oppressed.