Editorial: Rwanda’s judiciary is not a pushover nor is it prone to pressure

It is quite interesting to see people outdoing themselves in milking political capital in an event they had no say or even an iota of influence over.

The release by the High Court of Diane Rwigara and her mother is just one example. The hysteria that followed her, especially ever since her family business trouble began to unfold, had no bounds, and at the very least, it brought out piles of ignorance.

Most of all, it shone a light on many patronizing individuals and organizations, who thought that – in their folie de grandeur - their opinions mattered more than that of the Rwandan judiciary.

The traffic in the media in the past few weeks as judgement day loomed for the Rwigaras is very revealing. They expected the worst and had petitions waiting. Then they were caught flat-footed by the verdict before recovering and rushing to cash on it and claiming responsibility.

That was the highest level of disrespect and insult to the Rwandan justice system.

Justice did its job, as it should be expected elsewhere. It was up to the prosecution to prove its case beyond reasonable doubt and the bench’s role to weigh all the evidence. So when some people come out with pompous chest-thumping claims that it was their pressure that determined the outcome, it is more than laughable.

All those leading the anti-Rwanda campaign first adopted Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza as their battering ram to create a chink in Rwanda’s armour. When Ingabire received a presidential pardon, they lost their weapon and quickly sought another; Diane Rwigara, “a prominent opposition leader”.

It will be interesting to see their next move and one cannot rule out the possibility of them shifting their attention elsewhere, and megalomaniac wannabes are not in short supply.

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