‘Rwanda’s political messiahs’

Editor, RE: “Rwanda’s political messiahs” (The New Times, October 2). I watched the extreme violence used by the Spanish government’s national police and the civil guard to try and prevent the referendum for independence by the citizens of Catalonia.
Electoral agents count votes in Remera, Gasabo District during the recent presidential elections. (File)
Electoral agents count votes in Remera, Gasabo District during the recent presidential elections. (File)

Editor,

RE: Rwanda’s political messiahs” (The New Times, October 2). I watched the extreme violence used by the Spanish government’s national police and the civil guard to try and prevent the referendum for independence by the citizens of Catalonia.

While I have no view about the rights and wrongs of the Catalans’ quest for independence from Madrid, I am struck by the level of violence employed by the central government to prevent the citizens of one of its constituent states to exercise their democratic right to vote on whether or not to remain part of Spain.

This violence has taken place in total silence from the West’s power centres, including Brussels. And yet these are the same power centrrs that would usually be extremely vocal in condemnation if the government of an African country applied the same degree of violence to try to prevent similar secessionist attempts by any of its constituent regions.

We have also seen how the same Western power centres not only supported Kosovo’s secession from Serbia (including militarily) —without even without the fig leaf of a referendum — while condemning Russia for allowing Crimea to rejoin it, after a referendum.

All this tells us one thing: there are no standards or rules of democracy. How the West judges any secession—whether supported by popular referendums or not—depends on how the West judges its interests to be affected by such a development rather than whether it conforms to any principle of what international behaviour should be like.

Similarly, the desirability of democracy or a given model of democracy for a specific country is judged by Western power brokers on the basis of what they believe to be in their own interest, rather than what is best for the people of the country concerned.

That is why they have no qualms about wanting to hoist the likes of Victoire Ingabire — a Genocide denier and revisionist, or Diane Rwigara, someone without any political weight whatsoever, onto Rwandans. To these power brokers the views of Rwandans are really not all that relevant. It is only their own interests they see as being supreme.

Mwene Kalinda

Thanks Mr Rugira, you have covered everything in relation to the current phantom political atmosphere in Rwanda. I can only add that I am sick of former Rwandan Patriotic Army officers who have chosen to follow the wrong political path that’s full of lies motivated by greed and thirst for easy gain. Many of them have revived the memories of RTLM and other toxic media outlets before the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi through social media propaganda and publications. Something has to be done to halt or counterattack this slow motion damage on our country.

Butare

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