About a month ago during his visit to Zambia many speeches were given and newspapers wrote about the warm welcoming of Paul Kagame of Rwanda by the government of that country. It was repeatedly said that Zambia would like to really learn a lot of things from Rwanda. Of course someone from Rwanda like myself and who for that matter loves my country as well, these statements made me laugh always, since I knew well that it could rather be the other way round. Learning from others is good and it should be encouraged as well, but I had been reflecting on what Zambia should really learn from Rwanda and I could really not find anything. Indeed Rwanda is being praised for so called development and economic growth. But do these people who praise Rwanda know what the war that Paul Kagame started on 01/10/ 1990 destroyed before and after Rwandan genocide? Are really these same people very sure that since Paul Kagame is on power over 24 years, he is really very innocent in what Rwanda has gone though up to now, just because he has won the war in Rwanda and that he is in control of everything and he does not want to release it till his death? Have really people dag and found out if it’s not really fear to face justice, if he goes out of power that drives him to cling onto power? What kind of development you can talk about when you are rebuilding what you have destroyed yourself deliberately? Some people praise Rwanda for good economic figures that are always offered by the government. But do they really know anything about the reality about misery, suffering and poverty in Rwanda? Where more than 85% of the population are said to be living under below poverty level? And only less than 15% are enjoying the wealth of that tiny and poor country? Above all, should we really sacrifice human life forever to the so called good economic figures? Is the world aware of the number of the people who disappear in Rwanda every day and every night and no one knows where to go launch the complaint? Is the world aware of how many widows, orphans Paul Kagame has made in Rwanda? Does the world know that only under Paul Kagame over 24 years Rwanda has become like the “factory of refugees?” And why is it so if the country is said to be prospering and peaceful? Is the world aware of the man haunting of the so called unwanted elements of the ruling party that goes on forever in Rwanda?
It is true that there is so called stability in Rwanda but is the world aware that Rwanda has been living under state of emergency over more than 24 years now? Soldiers and police are everywhere in Rwanda and not barracks like in any other peaceful countries. Rwanda is described as military and police state because it is controlled by soldiers and police. Civilians or citizens have no value in that country but soldiers and police and militia/ cadres of the ruling party called “INTORE” who have replaced the notorious so called “INTERAHAMWE.” “INTORE” cadres of the ruling party RPF are even worse than “INTERAHAMWE” since they are trained like soldiers and they are heavily paid by the ruling party to follow even Rwandan people where they are all over the world to crack them down or to silence them. Is the world aware of how much the Rwandan government spends on military and police activities at the detriment of the poor people? Can Rwandans express themselves on how they feel when they spend months without getting their salaries for those who work? How much do they get any way compared to neighboring countries? Rwanda has got more 50,000 generals and more than 100,000 soldiers over 23,338 Square Kilometers of its soil. Has anyone asked how much a soldier and a police is paid in Rwanda, against a teacher for example, since their role is to maintain the president in place? Where does the government gets the money for these police and soldiers who are everywhere in the country and who just step only on them every day? Of course from the poor taxes payers money.
We hear that people of Rwanda and yet majority are happy about the dictatorial regime. Yet they are not allowed to express themselves. Rwandans are forced to say that they are “all happy”, when on contrary they are not, because they rare oppressed. They can’t resist the against the rules wish and will. People in Rwanda are said to be “happy” with totalitarianism just like people in Zimbabwe are said to be happy and it was so with people in Zaire under Mobutu, in Iraq of Sadam Hussein, In Libya with Kadhafi and in Uganda under Idi Amini Dada. Idi Amini too said that it was all the Ugandans who forced him to be their ruler for his whole life. Rwanda is run under fear, terror, intimidation, discrimination, nepotism, lies, showing off, parading, favoritism, oppression, repression, segregation, lack of freedom, propanda, lobbying. Rwanda is a no-go-area for democracy, freedom of expression and of association. There is no private ownership of property in Rwanda. And All the formal, informal and private sector and business in Rwanda are in the hands of the president, his family and his sole own ruling party RPF. There is no rule of law in Rwanda. In Rwanda “might makes right”. The president is the Judiciary, the Executive and the Legislative. And he controls all the media. Opposition Political leaders are, kidnapped every day, killed, imprisoned and tortured, exiled and if they are luck they are put in prison for life. Rwanda now is leading in gross human rights violations and in crushing and cracking down completely the opposition. In Rwanda we have more than 10 opposition political languishing and being tortured in full prisons of that small suffocated country. A good number of politicians have been killed or sent out of the country to allow the president to be the only sole player in the whole country. In Rwanda life is good on paper and in media but the reality o the ground proves the contrary. Life in Rwanda is shown like a cake which is very well creamed but inside is rotten or as they say “not all that glitters is gold”. In reality life in Rwanda is not as good as it is presented by the government. Honestly I cannot wish Zambia to be like Rwanda or to learn anything from Rwanda or to emulate anything from Rwanda or to copy anything from Rwanda as to apply it to the peaceful people of Zambia. Let Zambia continue to care for its people as it has been always doing it and be a haven of peace as it has been and be truthful. Zambians are used to enjoy freedom for expression and of speech and that is what I can wish them always to keep up with. When Paul Kagame was burning people and house and looting in 1992 many people were saved by Zambian peace keepers due to how they value human life. This is the spirit Zambia should continue having. Life of a every human being is above all what we can talk about. We should safeguard it and protect it because it is precious. There are can never be any real development in a country under dictatorship, totalitarianism, authoritarianism and autocracy. Rwandan people don’t really love Paul Kagame as he portrays it but rather he forces himself on them because he gets more protected by the powers of the state house which give him more immunity and impunity for his crimes against humanity in Rwanda, RDC and Rwanda genocide as well. Paul Kagame has got only one option in his life: to remain, to be stuck, to be caught up, to be stranded in state house in order to evade justice. Therefore Paul Kagame has to impose himself onto the people of Rwanda until he dies for his own luxurious life and above all for his safety against being judged. Finally, THE ONLY ONE THING THAT ZAMBIA CAN REALLY LEARN FROM RWANDA NOW IS TO TRY BY ALL MEANS NOT TO BE LIKE RWANDA IS NOW.
Culled from Amani Mahoro Peace