PRESS RELEASE (PDF)
On 31 January 2021, Mrs. IDAMANGE IRYAMUGWIZA Yvonne, resident of capital Kigali, posted a video on YouTube in which she broadly exposes the grievances against the public authority in relation to the injustices suffered by the population. It details the state of distress that prevails following the lockdown and other measures taken in relation to the Covid-19 pandemic. The FDU-INKINGI party, and the political opposition in exile in general, have constantly denounced the injustices committed against the population in various areas of daily life in Rwanda. Rwandans at home are languishing under the RPF dictatorship and are afraid. Few dare to speak out about the harm done to them.
Instead of responding to the grievances exposed by MS IDAMANGE, the authorities remain silent and react by discreetly orchestrating a smear campaign against her through online newspapers close to the government such as Igihe.com and Rushyashya.com, as well as on social networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube etc.).
At the same time, the National Commission for the Fight against Genocide (CNLG), the state body fighting against genocide, published on 5/02/2021 a press release intended to intimidate her for exercising her freedom of expression, under the pretext that her criticism of government policies can be interpreted as propagating genocide ideology.
What is surprising is that the CNLG press release refers to articles 164, 194 and 204 of the Rwandan penal code, articles which have nothing to do with genocide or genocide ideology. Hence the following question: how is it that the CNLG seems to be replacing the Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB), the state body in charge of investigating criminal offences?
It should be noted that the CNLG is not even placed under the hierarchical authority of the RIB. Moreover, the same press release refers to the press law, an area that is not under the jurisdiction of the CNLG.
The explanation for this interference lies in the fact that the state authorities hide behind certain institutions including the CNLG, online newspapers and individuals (including RPF ruling party fanatics: called Intore) to harass, bully and nip in the bud any person claiming his/her rights or holding views divergent from official views. Genocide is used as a weapon to silence any government critic. The CNLG and Law No. 59/2018 of 22/8/2018 on genocide are regularly and abusively used whenever voices are raised to criticise the government or claim rights. The CNLG goes outside of its remit and abusively behaves as the guardian and interpreter of the Constitution, the Press Law and the Penal Code, in place of the bodies empowered to do so.
The Rwandan population is tired of injustices of all kinds that it has been enduring for a long time, and which, moreover, have just been raised at the United Nations in Geneva during the UPR37.
The FDU-INKINGI party calls on State authorities to stop hiding behind their surrogates and other blinders and openly take their responsibilities, to deliver services to all and above all to play fair. We note that the only visible authorities on the ground are the military and the police, who are busy, violently repressing the population.
The authorities who seem to be absent, including the President of the Republic, ministers, and members of parliament, must go out to the population to help and give them comfort, given the difficult conditions in which they are living in now. Their word on current problems is long overdue to clarify the situation.
The policy of hiding has lasted a very long time and has done too much damage and injustice. It must be abandoned and give way to a dialogue between State authorities and the population, which is only asking to be listened to and be heard.
The FDU-INKINGI party considers that the absence of a clear response from the official state authorities can only lead to mistrust and a crystallization of demands. Failing to play cards on the table, the Rwandan authorities will have chosen the cynical option of pitting citizens against each other. From then on, people’s demands will only increase, and the movement cannot be stopped by the weapons of the police and the army.
A political response coming out of listening and seeking consensus on adequate solutions have become critical in order to alleviate and relieve the suffering of the population.
Done in Rouen on February 8, 2021
FDU-INKINGI Commissioner for Information and Communication