In an article that appeared in the pro-government paper, “Igihe” of July 31, 2019, allegedly controlled by the Rwandan intelligence services, Mr Tom Ndahiro, a researcher in the Rwandan National Commission for the Fight Against Genocide (CNLG), mounted a hateful campaign against Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza, President of FDU-Inkingi. He dared to compare her to Ebola, a rare and deadly disease that is on rampage in some African countries.
He called on the public to avoid her lest they are contaminated by her political ideology. It was published in native language, Kinyarwanda, in order to reach the highest number of Rwandans. This article is by all standards a breach of the law:
- This is an attack on the personal integrity of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza;
- By comparing her to Ebola Ndahiro aims to create maximum fear of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and her party as serious threat to public safety and therefore deserving jail, assassination and enforced disappearances.
- The comparison dehumanises Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza and excludes her from moral consideration hence providing a moral ground to hate her and even harm her;
- It is not only an incitement to hatred and harm against her but also against members of her entourage who are considered to have been contaminated by Ebola.
Mr Tom Ndahiro is public figure. He is a senior member of the ruling Party and a researcher on genocide and should be aware of what he is doing. The article is published in a pro-government paper. If it is considered an abomination and incitement to genocide to call someone a cockroach, it is worse to compare a person or a group of persons to Ebola because of their political belief. Therefore, the law should take its course without fear or favour.
We call on the Rwanda Investigation Bureau and the Ministry of Justice to act against people like Ndahiro who incite the public against innocent citizens especially when they are employed by the government or its agencies like CNLG. We take the international community as a witness if anything harmful happened to the President of FDU-inkingi, Mrs Ingabire Umuhoza Victoire. Inaction is tantamount to complicity.
We would like to point out that this is the highest escalation in an attempt to wipe out the FDU-Inkingi party inside Rwanda. Ten leading party were rounded up and thrown in jail, two other members were assassinated, Mutuyimana Anselme and Jean Damascene Habarugira and three others including the 1st Vice President Boniface Twagirimana, Iragena Illuminee and Eugene Ndereyimana, are missing. We may recall that Mr Tom Ndahiro who was at the war front in 2010 calling for the arrest of Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza was very prominent in the extremist group that was strongly opposed to her release and has since been calling for her head to roll. Mrs Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza has been released after 8 years of unjust detention.
We call upon President Kagame to rein on the extremist group within the RPF ruling party who look hell bent to push the country over the edge into the abyss, in defence of what they feel is their innate right to an unchallenged rule.
Done in Rouen on August 5, 2019.
Commissioner of the FDU-Inkingi in charge of Information and Communication