By Joyce Uwase
In the wake of the United States inauguration, impeachment trials, and insurrection attempts of January 2021, world leaders and citizens alike are beginning to realize the full impact of accountability on moving forward politically. The United States is one of many different countries with a lot of work to do moving forward, and organizations like Transparency International were created to help those efforts.
About Transparency International
Transparency International is an independent, not-for-profit organization with chapters in 100 countries around the world. They have chapters in most countries in North America, South America, Western Europe, and nearly half of African countries. Their mission is to end corruption within local, national, and global governments, with the end goal being to create a better place for the world’s citizens and stop injustices from happening.
Transparency International chapters do their work in the following ways:
* Exposing people and systems at the center of governmental corruption worldwide
* Giving corruption grades to countries around the world and providing reasons behind those grades, which allows citizens of those countries to see through government propaganda
* Hosting events to educate people about corrupt organizations, systems, and governments
* Holding a social media presence to showcase examples of good and bad systems
* Continually updating their organizational information to hold governments accountable for their actions
Their ultimate goal is to “expose the systems and networks that enable corruption to thrive, demanding greater transparency and integrity in all areas of public life.” The organization believes that the only way people can live their lives without the fear of corruption is accountability and transparency, hence their name and devout stance.
Transparency International chooses its organization’s leadership based on these ideals, striving to find the right leader for each country.
Unfortunately, in Rwanda, Transparency International is being run by a notorious informant of Paul Kagame’s cabinet. Marie Immaculée Ingabire, the head chairman, is a member of the current ruling Rwandan Party, the RPF — the party run by the corrupt president who has been in power since 2000.
Exposing Marie Immaculée Ingabire
Upon first glance, it might make sense that Marie Immaculée Ingabire was chosen to head up Transparency International’s Rwandan chapter. She has made her feminist viewpoints, and human rights campaigns the forefront of her public life in an attempt to show that she cares for others. However, even if Marie Immaculée Ingabire’s dedication to feminism and human rights is true, her connection to Paul Kagame automatically prevents her from holding her position as chairwoman of the organization with objective transparency.
Marie Immaculée Ingabire is an outspoken critic of all who oppose Paul Kagame. Just last year, Immaculée Ingabire taunted Victoire Ingabire on Twitter, a member of the Republican Rally For Democracy in Rwanda, whose goal is to introduce a democratic process to Rwanda regardless of ethnic background. Victoire Ingabire was detained by the Rwandan Bureau of Investigation (RIB) like so many before her under false accusations of domestic terrorism. When Victoire Ingabire spoke out against her treatment, which included torture, Marie Immaculée Ingabire joked about her parents having tortured others. This is only one instance of many showing political favoritism toward a Kagame-led government and an instance that shows blatant disregard to the feminist ideals she supposedly holds dear.
Paul Kagame’s cabinet is notoriously corrupt and molded by him to ensure he remains in power for as long as possible. Even Transparency International sees and understands this — Rwanda is ranked 49 in the world for corruption. Without a Kagame supporter lording over the Rwandan chapter of Transparency International, we can only wonder how much lower the organization’s rank would be. With politically-backed arrests and killings happening every year in Rwanda, we can only guess that the rank would be significantly lower.
What Can I Do To Help?
We call on anyone comfortable doing so to please write Transparency International and demand that Marie Immaculée Ingabire step down willingly or be fired from her position. Her loyalty to Paul Kagame and his legacy of suppression and violence will never represent the efforts of Transparency International, and Rwandans can never hope to move forward without transparency.
Write a letter to Transparency International at this address demanding Marie Immaculee Ingabire step down from her role at Transparency International Rwanda:
When writing your letter, be sure to clearly and directly call for the firing or immediate resignation of Marie Immaculée Ingabire, citing her hypocrisy and adherence to the Kagame regime:
KN 3RD Street, Plot Nr 120
Call Transparency International at one of these numbers using the following script:
Hello, my name is [your name], and I am a citizen of [Your country]. As a citizen of [Your country] committed to fighting corruption, violence, and the suppression of free speech, I’m asking that you fire Marie Immaculée Ingabire from her position at Transparency International Rwanda. Her ties are too close to President Paul Kagame, making her incapable of holding an unbiased post or committing to the goals of Transparency International’s anti-corruption campaigns. She must be removed before any transparency can take place at Rwanda’s Transparency International headquarters.
+49 30 3438 200
+49 30 3438 20 666