By Staff Writer
Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s regime has been likened to a re-incarnated Animal Farm where members of parliament have neither the backbone nor the authority to challenge him.
In a statement he released on the occasion to mark two years since he helped found the Rwanda Peoples Party (RPP), John Karuranga the party’s President said the fact that President Kagame has so many women in his country’s parliament and in his government is only meant to dupe Kagame’s international supporters. “They are mere cheerleaders, more interested in their buttered bread and bacon rather than the interests of the Rwandan people,” Karuranga said.
Saying that President Kagame could have written Animal Farm himself, Karuranga said Rwandan MPs visit their victimised constituents in four-wheel air conditioned driven cars while their victims hardly have any porridge or milk with which to feed their malnourished children [and] while Rwanda orphans of the 1994 genocide continue to be systematically ‘raped and destroyed’ on a daily basis.
The RPP leader said he disputes the assertion by some in the international community that Rwanda is a democracy and therefore a role model for Africa. “Democracy in Rwanda and freedom of association is virtually none-existent. Rwandan people live a hand to mouth existence and we challenge anyone to say they are free,” Karuranga said.
He went on to add that his party condemns the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF)’s policy of sterilisation of Rwanda’s poor. “This is a crime under international law and violates the human rights of the person and their unborn child if they are forced to carry out an abortion or sterilisation against their will.” The RPP claimed that so far, at least 700,000 Rwandans have been sterilised.
Commenting to a recent statement by the Rwandan ambassador to Uganda, Frank Mugambage in which he called upon him to return to Rwanda and join the RPF, Karuranga reminded the ambassador that the RPP had proposed a Road Map to peace that could bring all Rwandans regardless of what political party they come from, to sit down at a round table and discuss their differences. “What we need are comprehensive peace negotiations on the basis that we have outlined in our Road Map to Peace. Making peace is a long, complicated and painful process and cannot be achieved just by bribing or co-opting individuals or organisations who hold views different from those of the RPF,” the RPP chief said.
On those who are accused of having perpetrated the 1994 genocide, the RPP vowed to bring them to justice, especially their leaders. “This is a task that the Arusha court has so far failed to achieve, despite having been operational now for more than 17 years,” the statement said. It added that once the RPP got into power, it would release all Rwandan prisoners convicted of genocide who by then had served at least 15 years of their sentences. “These prisoners were misled and misguided by a small group of educated elite and many of them are capable of rehabilitation and of playing a useful and productive life in the new Rwanda we [are proposing],” the RPP statement says.
The RPP has vowed to ‘critically examine and expose’ President Kagame’s ‘failed policies’ while putting to the Rwandan people, alternative viable programmes and policies that can rescue Rwanda and its economy from its current malaise. “As a party, we don’t believe that peace and democracy will return to Rwanda if President Kagame resigns or dies today. This is because if he resigns or dies today, the RPF system and inner-cell will replace him with another brutal dictator even worse than him,” said Karuranga in the statement.