I travelled to Kigali, yesterday, and was very impressed by government leaders, including the president of the Senate, Dr. Vincent Biruta for calling for open dialogue on the country’s political dynamics and the need for Rwandans to always speak the truth about what is happening in the country.
I attended this conference on Public Dialogue on Political Space and Human Rights and was impressed by the kind of openness and honesty that characterized the debate. Participants especially from the civil society raised some pertinent issues.
Pertinent issues in the sense that civil societies that organize such debates are believed to be representing the people. But at the end of the day, they received convincing answers from government leaders and other experts in attendance.
The environment was very healthy and participants sounded satisfied after hearing government leaders encouraging them to guard their rights more jealously and to always report to relevant authorities whenever their rights are violated.
Like several research findings have shown in the past, the major problem in Rwanda is surely not lack of political space but lack of knowledge by some people about their rights to free speech.
I, therefore appeal to government leaders together with Rwanda Civil Society Platform, which organized the event to conduct such debates more often so that people get to know their rights.