By: Jean-Charles Murego
A free translation from French by Chaste GAHUNDE
On March 21, 2020; Victoire Umuhoza received in her residence Aimable Karasira, a university professor who also manages a Youtube channelduring his spare time. In his videos, Mr KARASIRA carries analyses on social phenomena, and counts many followers.
A gesture of washing hands
Before granting an interview to Karasira, Victoire Ingabire washed her hands with soap, following the example of President Paul Kagame, who in a video, had invited Rwandans to protect themselves against the corona virus by washing hands regularly.
The journalist filmed this sequence before he, himself washed his hands. The interview focused on a unique topic: The corona virus and its consequences in a country like Rwanda in general and in the city of Kigali in particular.Karasira made it clear that he is not in politics, that he does not belong to Ingabire’s DALFA (Development And Liberty For All) party or to Paul Kagame’s RPF. He invited Victoire Ingabire to limit herself only on this one topic in her statements.
During the interview, Victoire Ingabire drew attention to the damage caused by the corona virus to the Rwandan economy. She notably pleaded in favor of small self-employed people (hairdressing saloons, motorcycle and car taxis, repairers of all kinds, vendors at markets, etc.) who saw their activities closed while tha was their onlys source of income and daily bread. She suggested that the state provide assistance unto them.
In fact, the quarantine measures decreed by Rwanda are extreme since they go as far as the closing of all borders, which will weigh heavily on the supply of essential goods from neighboring countries. Meanwhile, the authorities are asking traders not to raise prices and have even ordered rationing.
War dogs unleashed
Instead of criticizing this proposal by Victoire Ingabire, the presidnt’ daughter, Ange Kagame and her team, via Twitter, launched an action to denigrate the political opposition, focusing on the gesture of washing their hands made by Victoire Ingabire. The attacks were virulent and some suggest that Victoire Ingabire be taken to the psychiatric hospital for examination (1).
Among the eminent members of the team include not only Ange Kagame but also another figurehead of the entourage of the president, a certain Yolande Makolo, director in charge of communication of the president Kagame; Lucy Mbabazi, Visa Rwanda Country manager and an important woman in Kagame’s system; or Edwin Mukiza, a lawyer and legal adviser to cabinet offices.
Like father like daughter ?
Since her arrival in Rwanda in January 2010 to stand for the presidential elections, Victoire Ingabire has been designated as the person to be killed by all means. It didn’t take long, and in his official speeches, President Kagame verbally attacked her, calling her a hooligan in particular and predicting her imprisonment. It didn’t take long, Ingabire was taken into prison the same year. The appeals were unsuccessful and in 2013 the Supreme Court sentenced her to 15 years of prison, for “conspiracy against the authorities by terrorism and war”, inter alia. She was released after eight years by presidential pardon. Recently, she founded a new political party: DALFA (Development And Liberty For All) but her troubles are far from ending. In fact, in one of his legendary angers, the president threatened to have her put back in prison.
It is worrying that Ange Kagame joins his father in harassing political opponents. Young, and holder of American universities degrees, one would wonder what what she has learned from the country pionneer of the modern democracy. How comes she cannot understand and measure the importance of political opposition in a country for the promotion of a true democracy and a real respect for human rights?
But the dice are loaded and therefore it cannot be otherwise. Isn’t Ange Kagame’s husband Billy Ndengeyingoma cited in the Panama Papers, an investigation in which the world press denounced the owners of bank accounts hidden in tax havens! The couple therefore rolls on gold. The couple has millions of dollars in blocked bank accounts, especially in Panama. Ange Kagame has an interest in seeing no political changes in Rwanda, scared that she migh lose her colossal fortune stolen from Rwandan taxpayers. If Ange Kagame unleashes her war dogs to silence any dissident voice according her father’s policy, she knows that by the time she won’t be in power any longer, the castle will collapse. When that time comes, it will be “la fin des haricots”!
N.B: This means a lot to Rwandans, since recently another political opponent was sent to a mental health facility and injected drugs in order to silence him. A new strategy to fight the dissenting views.