For any discerning political analyst events over the past weekend marked yet another defining moment on Rwanda’s political scene, sending a clear signal to foes and allies alike that the country is on an onward march from which it will not easily be diverted.
The Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) elected President Paul Kagame, its candidate for the August presidential elections, at a colourful ceremony attended by thousands of the party faithful from across the country.
The RPF effectively launched its election campaign, which included naming campaign teams from national down to provincial levels.
The August election marks a new era in Rwanda’s politics, which defines it from the tired stereotype of being the poor central African country where a devastating Genocide took place, to one that stands tall in its great achievements over the past 16 years.
It is an election that effectively cements a period of transition from the past of bad politics towards the consolidation of democratic gains and development goals so far achieved.
While our common humanity dictates that we must never forget the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, in which over 1 million people died, in our commitment to the ‘Never Again’ vow, we have the special obligation to move in tandem with the aspirations of the Rwandan people and their leadership – for a better peaceful future for all.
The biggest threat to the current peace and stability will once again be the bungling of certain naive international actors who can’t see the wood for the trees.
This is against a background of those in constant denial, who refuse to acknowledge the positive developments in Rwanda, stuck in a mindset that seeks to resuscitate the past in the most nauseating ,intriguing, fashion they maintain a watchful eye over the country seeking to score points at any opportunity that presents itself.
Consequently, they have taken to fabricating or cutting and pasting pieces of unrelated information in order to build their case, strangely in a court in which they are the judges, jury and the witnesses.
The make up of these people can best be described as the strangest mix of revionists/negationists of the Genocide against the Tutsi and the more gullible lot who when the words ‘human rights’ and ‘democracy’ are uttered, immediately join the bandwagon without so much as a clue – wherein it headed.
Thus many have been led up the garden path.
When it was first exposed that extremist genocide forces especially those based in Europe were some of the forces or brains behind the mushrooming political parties and anti- RPF campaigns, it sounded like a total disdain for democratic diversity on the part of the claimants.
The Belgian government has since arrested some of these who include Charles Bandora, a key Genocide fugitive, who was among other equally dangerous fugitives still on the run.
Or take the fact that evidence first pointed to their chosen candidate Victoire Ingabire, the leader of the FDU-Inkingi, by a United Nations Group of Experts linking her to the notorious Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) and its operations in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, before she even set foot in Rwanda.
In a case of selective amnesia these are facts that have been set aside, or even the emerging glaring facts of those now producing more information that gives credence to the UN report.
It is demonstrably foolhardy to continue on the path of denialism in the fragile and intricate situation that the Rwandan leadership is confronted with, one that requires pragmatism, in handling the balance between justice and democracy.
The champions of change against Kigali, who include Human Rights Watch’s Kenneth Roth, have been mum on many of these glaring issues, as they score own goals in the see no evil --hear no evil approach when it comes to handling those whose hands are dripping with the blood of innocent citizens.
They have taken the attitude of being the saints, there to save Rwandans from themselves, while at the same time perpetuating the situation that resulted in the Genocide in the first place, by giving life to extremist genocidal forces who were otherwise on the road to extinction.
To be continued