Tuesday, July 20, 2010
The presidential election campaign has started in Rwanda. Although many people seem to exagerate the fear surrending this crucial political event as far as the political and security issues in Rwanda, contrary to rumors, there is an overwhelming sens of confidence and calm in Rwanda. As is always the norm in Africa during the presidential campaign, many people fear for unpredictable outcomes should such or such candidate fail or succeed. This was the case in Kenya couple of years ago, when the outcome of election triggered a civil war which resulted in the death hundreds of thousands lives.
The question is, should people be worried about the whatever outcome of the election in Rwanda? I guess the question should be much more specific as to which people exactly who should be worried in the event of a one candidate succeeds or fail as opposed to the other. The short answer is: No one social or cultural group should be worried about their safety, should President Paul Kagame win the election. Not because the defeated candidate could not try to make trouble, but because any one who tries will be suddenly contained, and peace will be quickly restored should troubles rise. This is because the man has proven it the first time, and the second time is no different.
It can be truely argued that in the likehood that the current sitting president His Excellence Paul Kagame wins the election, few if any group of people should be really worried for their safety for the simple reason that Kagame has proven his plan for social development.
Whereas the same could not be said about the other candidates whose track records is uncertain. It couldn't definately be the case for Ingabire, the banned candidate from Belgium who was denying the genocide of Tutsis before she even started her campaign. Only God knows what could that vicious woman do to Tutsis, not only in Rwanda, but also in the Region in the likelihood she won. She was openly anti-Tutsi, and no security or peace agenda, leave alone development agenda should be expected from her political agenda.
Thank God, she was put back where she belongs.
While President Kagame has not yet unveilled his political plan for the next 7 years should he win the election ( which one can safely predict he will); it can be easily assumed that he will certainly continue with his 2020 vision that must achieve. Unfortunately, there are people who doubt as to whether or not Paul Kagame will really achieve what he started even if he wins the election. The argument being that it looks like he has also started to manifest certain symptoms of African political dictators who start well but end up by destroying what they have built.
This school of thought seems to link the current political climat in the Rwandan politics where some formerly known influencial figures have been arrested, alianated, threatened, and jailed, in addition to a growing number of unhappiness among many former supporters of the current Regime due to the arrestation of Gen. Nkunda of DRC, Gen. Nyamwasa, etc. and the perceived or suspected indifference and suspecion towards Tutsis from DRC among other things. Given this shifts in Kagame's politics, as it is claimed, some people are afraid that the giant and prominent political leader that he is known for, Mr. Kagame may be shifting his well and good intentions of developing the nation and leading the region as well as protecting Tutsis as he was assuredly expected.
However, my inclination is that Kagame is not the type of politician who flip flop when it comes to his conviction. He has proven beyond reasonable doubt that he is capable of taking the country from ushers to one of the most and fastest developing, growing, and safest in all Africa within a relatively a short period of time, with relatively little resources possible. He is obviously known for his determination and intolerance for opposing views. But who is not? I don't buy the views of those who think that his regime will turn violent and dangerous for some group of people juged to be unfavorable to him or his regime. Not because he cannot, but simply because he has proven to be beyond that when he has willingly chosen to tolerate and accomodate hardliner Hutu extremists, to the point of even tolerating and freeing notorious interahamwe criminals now running free from prisons in Rwanda.
If President Kagame has not allowed revenge after genocide, did not alienate hutu political and military officials whom he knew for a fact that they hated him personally and hated everything he represents and stood for, why would anyone think that he will suddenly decide to allow mass prosecution, descrimination and violence of Tutsis from DRC simply because he suspect them to be supporters or unhappy about Gen Nkunda or anyone else for that matter. In fact, there is no reason to suspect that himself was not at one point a supporter of Gen Nkunda or anyone figures that presently is no longer his favorite to say the least.
I also have a word to those who are zealously fanatics and alarming: who would you rather be the president of Rwanda right now? the genocide negationist? any of the three guys we absolutely know nothing about? Who does not feel absolutely proud of being a Tutsi or even an African when you arrive in Rwanda, be greeted by a clean and safe environment, belong to a society of the most tolerate people on the planet (except of course the cruel segment of the population known for their evil soul). Rwanda is the only African country I found where anyone feels welcomed, has a space to breath and relax, and even belong without being constantly reminded that it is not your country or threatened. That cannot be said about most the country in the world including some western countries.
In the final analysis, logics and reason ablige that credit be given to president Kagame, and where he fails, common sens also dictates that as a human being he is also entitled to his share of mistakes. I am not defending him, but I have not seen so far anyone without them. Certainly not the candidates who have no track records. So, if you want to know what Candidat I am supporting, you guest right__ the one and only President Paul Kagame!!!!
Having said that, let's look at the other candidates facing president Paul Kagame:
Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo of Social Democratic Party, Mr. Prosper Higiro of Liberal Party and Mrs. Alvera Mukabaramba of the Progress and Harmony Party. As for Victoire Ingabire, she was rightly banned due to her genocidal ideology implied in her negotionist views.
The following information was posted on RPF's site:
President Paul Kagame will face three challengers in Rwanda's August 9 presidential elections, the electoral commission has announced. Social Democratic Party candidate and Deputy Parliament Speaker Jean Damascene Ntawukuriryayo, the Liberal Party's Prosper Higiro and Alvera Mukabaramba of the Progress and Harmony Party -- the only woman candidate - will challenge Kagame in the ballot. Kagame, who has led the Central African country since the end of the 1994 genocide, is the favourite to win the vote. Rights groups have accused Kagame of stifling any form of dissent in recent months, while the US blamed Rwandan authorities of taking "worrying" actions to restrict freedom of expression ahead of the president poll.
"They are the four [candidates] who were cleared because they fulfilled the legal requirements," said Charles Munyaneza, the electoral commission's secretary. Opposition leader Victoire Ingabire, who tried to register her party for the election, was briefly detained on charges of denying genocide and collaborating with a terrorist group. Another opposition candidate who intended to run for the top seat was arrested last month and charged with a terrorism offence, and his trial alongside nine co-accused is under way.
Posted by Minembwe at 1:30 PM