RE: “President Kagame’s re-election – a perspective from the Global North” (The New Times, September 5).
It is 23 years since the worst genocide in modern history happened in Rwanda; the Government of Rwanda under the leadership of Paul Kagame has handled and achieved things the western world didn’t think he could.
When I was promoting the return of Kigeri V Ndahindurwa as a constitutional monarch and viable leader to rebuild Rwanda, I myself was mistaking and underestimating Kagame’s vision for the country. It was often upsetting me that he (President Kagame) was not letting the King return back and have a referendum on the constitution of the country.
Whether Rwandans want a monarchy or a republic, with the hope that my party UNAR will win and restore the kingdom, history was reminding Rwandans that the two precedent republics had divided Rwandans ethnically, leading to the Genocide against the Tutsi, and that Kagame was neglecting the need to revive the Rwandan traditional culture spirit which was the backbone of the ‘nation-building’ 1,000 years ago.
What changed my mind and opinion on President Kagame was when in 1996, he advised the King to return back and help in nation building. I was very impressed to see that today under the leadership of Kagame; Rwandans can celebrate the most cherished Rwandan royal traditional culture, umuganura, in order to build unity, dignity and solidarity among Rwandans.
It is my opinion that freedom and democracy will be shaped and should be judged according to the Rwandan spirit and model, but not foreign interference. It is without any doubt that, with President Kagame, Rwanda is on the right path to building a powerful and stable country.
When I met Kagame in 1995, I saw a man with determination to fight for the independence of Rwanda. Rwanda does not have the margin of error to elect a leader who will not stand up against the enemy of the nation.
Thank you for your very kind and supportive comments. I have had quite a lot of feedback, some good, some not so good, which due to the nature of the topic does not come as a surprise.
Some appear to be missing the point a little in that this is very much an opinion piece and not a formal research paper (although of course my opinions have been formed by the extremely large and detailed amount of research I have carried out). Nor is it an article where I intended to capture the entirety of Rwandan society and politics - this would take an encyclopaedia not an article.
What does make me happy is that the vast majority of comments and feedback I have received from Rwandans have been positive and reflective of my thoughts in writing this.
Interestingly, the negative comments have been coming from those who are native elsewhere in the world. Others can draw their own opinions on if this is telling or not.