Kangura No. 18

Editorial: The Situation Should Be Easily Understood

Hassan Ngeze

I notice that many Rwandans do not seem to know what politics is. It is not only the people living in the rural areas who have this failing of not being concerned about the affairs of the country. Even in Kigali town, among the so-called enlightened people or the intellectuals, only very few of them can explain what is going on at present. What can one say? The people do not as yet know what the Constitution stands for and how it differs from the one the members of Parliament have just amended. The people only hear on the Radio that the Constitution has been reviewed or that such and such article has been adopted. In my view, this is not good, because a more permanent way should be found to explain to the people what the Constitution is. It is a pity to note that out of 100 communal councilors, only five can explain the importance of the Constitution; the rest are completely in the dark about its significance. Even when those who have studied it want to criticize it, you find that they confuse it with the Penal Code—by this I mean those who spend all their time discussing it or at the courts. Anyone who does not believe what I am saying can approach the Bourgmesters who have served for more than 15 years and ask them what the Constitution means. I personally posed the question to one such Bourgmester and he replied that what matters is to know the manifesto and statutes of the M.R.N.D. and then mobilize the people for community work and activities; the rest is the responsibility of the top-level politicians. How can you blame a citizen for being ignorant of the laws of the country when even his authorities, who interact with him on a daily basis, know absolutely nothing about them? Multi-party politics is soon to be introduced. The citizens have expressed the desire to have only Habyarimana as President of the Republic. However, to date, no one has explained to the citizens how Habyarimana can become President at this time when people are talking about leaving the M.R.N.D. to join other parties such as the M.D.R. They say they are going to vote for Habyarimana in the elections in spite of everything. So, you understand that people who think like this are to be pitied since clearly they are led by blind guides. When will the forthcoming multi-party system be explained to them? This is precisely what the M.D.R. is using to deceive people by asking them to join that party and that nothing will stop them from electing Habyarimana. No, you are doing your country a great disservice. Explain your policy to the people.

M.D.R.: 7%—M.R.N.D.: 90%—P.S.D.: 2%—PDC: l%

It is the majority population, right from the farmers-breeders residing in the rural areas who know my policy. It is the Rwandan Armed Forces who know my dedication. And all of you who love Unity, Peace and Development, let no one deceive you by making you false promises; first of all, you should carefully examine the conduct of those who are deceiving you. If you see that someone wants to take power in order to avenge himself or to sack people because of misunderstanding, disown that person totally.

Tell the population that you will do what you can, but do not promise them what you cannot do.

As for you fellow citizens, I do not think that anyone can mislead you any longer if you wish Habyarimana to continue to lead us. There is no other way for Habyarimana to remain in power than for you to vote for his party, which has been reformed, anyway. To vote for President Habyarimana is to vote for the reformed M.R.N.D. party. If you want to keep this man, who is admired by the international community, there is no other way apart from what we have just explained to you.

What do we think of Habyarimana in particular? Although, Kangura has already declared that he is the one it will support, that does not prevent us from saying something about his regime or about the actions of his favorites, because for us, supporting President Habyarimana means supporting an upright man who loves the truth and who is supported by the international community. Does anyone doubt that the assistance that Zaire has given us during this war, and which they will continue to give us, is the fruit of the friendship between Habyarimana and Mobutu? This friendship dates back a long time. Who does not know about the assistance given by the French President to Rwanda and which the Habyarimana regime will continue to benefit from? You remember that

Rwanda receives all this assistance within the context of the special friendship that exists between France and Habyarimana. It is not my duty to inform you about France’s assistance to Rwanda, because whoever has any special interest in that subject can contact Mr. Casimir Bizimungu, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, or the French Representative to Rwanda. Examples abound. Anyone with a differing view can give us his interpretation of the events; this is the procedure in a democratic system. If Habyarimana is admired abroad, it is because his regime is especially devoted to the advancement of the majority population.

If indeed Faustin Twagiramungu of the M.D.R. intends to stand as a candidate for President of the Republic, who will continue to assist Rwanda, given his infamous greed and cowardice? And that is not all; he is also responsible for the mismanagement of funds received from abroad for the transport sector. The Government had invested these funds in STIR. If need be, Twagiramungu could be prosecuted and we could, perhaps, pardon him along with all the other people from other parties who were managers like him.

As far as Gatabazi is concerned, he became famous in Rwanda and abroad for his notorious embezzlement of refugee aid funds. You know that the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) provides assistance to Rwanda and will continue to do so. Would we not look ridiculous in the eyes of the international community if Gatabazi were to win the elections? His trial was closely followed all over the world and everyone was satisfied with the sentence imposed on him. The mere fact that he was imprisoned for embezzlement shows that he cannot dare to present himself as a candidate for the elections, given that even the people of Butare who know him well, denounced him. He aligned himself with Nzamurambaho, the one who caused the famine in the Gikongoro area, where he hails from. A man who cannot even manage agricultural projects in his own region! This Bangamwabo [Translator’s note: one who hates his own] rather got busy planting marijuana and neglected to promote national development, although he was Minister for Agriculture!

In your opinion, what good can such a person do for this country? Moreover, he was denounced by the International Narcotics Control Board. Is this really the person who is going to stand as a candidate for such important tasks? The population must be informed of the actions of those who form political parties in order to loot national heritage, after avenging themselves on those who prevent them from stealing. There is ample evidence to suggest that their only objective in founding the political parties is their personal gain.

President Habyarimana himself accepted the multi-party system. This means that he agreed to compete with several candidates for the position of President of the Republic. We ask all founders of political parties to find us honest, intelligent, competent, devoted and patriotic candidates who are supported by the international community and who are of the same caliber as our father Habyarimana. Failing that, these parties should cease from leading the people astray! Where are the real candidates?

In short, you see that Habyarimana must be elected at all cost, because those whom I can call his opponents [he publicly accepted the multi-party system himself] should reconsider their position Cue to what the people know about them, or wait for the general amnesty which, it seems, will be granted to all the criminals who want to engage in politics. Radio Rwanda should explain to the people the true meaning of power in a multi-party system.

What can be said about the people’s dissatisfaction with the authorities who enjoyed the confidence of the Head of State and who, subsequently, fell so badly that the people began to complain to Kangura? For example, what can the President of the Republic do for the people of Cyangugu?

The people of Cyangugu want a political party that will win the elections in order to rid them of Bourgmester Mubiligi of Kamembe; and meanwhile the authorities are distracted! Don’t you see that Habyarimana’s representatives are wronging him? However, it is already obvious that those favored by the Habyarimana regime and who belong to other political groupings wish these authorities who are hated by the people remain in power, so that the people can see and abandon the M.R.N.D. for failing to safeguard their interests.

How do you explain the fact that the political parties managed to assault the Bourgmesters of Muhazi, Nyamyumba, Rwerere, Gisuma, Gatare, Kama be in their own strongholds? To illustrate the situation, it seems that the Bourgmester of Nyamyumba heard that he was going to be dismissed. Now, before the letter of dismissal arrived, he resolved to misappropriate funds in the public coffers. Is it not a shame that a handful of people determined to throw him out of his office by force? If the State is not vigilant and if it does not resolve this problem as quickly as possible, M.R.N.D. will suffer because of Egide Karemera of Nyamyumba.

With regard to those who wish to form parties, to date they have not said how Rwanda is going to vanquish the Inkotanyi or resolve the famine situation, nor have they told us what they are going to ensure that foreign aid doubles, nor shown us another country with which we have refused to have bilateral relations, although it is important to us. In fact, even they themselves do hot know what they are doing or what their objective is. A certain diplomat accredited to Rwanda recently told me that all those who form political parties in Rwanda did so suddenly and without much thought, that they only wanted to be known and to be talked about. He added that it is seen that even the newspapers which are established daily do not help the people at all and that in reality they hide behind the parties and only teach the people how to denigrate each other and to insult each other.

The Media

A lot of people say that Kangura works with the authorities because each time that it points out anomalies, the Government quickly remedies the situation. Isn’t this what happens worldwide in the case of all newspapers that are respected by the people? When such a newspaper complains about a given situation, it has to be rectified at all cost.

Kangura is the single most-read newspaper in Rwanda and abroad. It employs all categories of people. It reports on all kinds of anomalies without engaging in denigration. Remember that Kangura is the voice to awaken the majority population and to safeguard their interests. Strangely enough, there are leaders who do not want to rectify what Kangura has disclosed for fear of the citizens saying that it’s Kangura that runs the country.

We are fighting to highlight irregular situations, join forces to find their causes, criticize them collectively and to find solutions to them.

It is sad that the people who prepared the file for the dismissal of the Bourgmester of Rubavu are the same ones who prepared that for the Bourgmester of Nyamyumba and that only the file for the Bourgmester of Rubavu was forwarded to the high-level authorities.

He could be suspended and taken into custody directly, because no one can bear the thought of State funds being embezzled without prosecution. His case will be considered after the funeral of his older brother, who was the Director of TRAFIPRO and who died recently.

We also wish to take this opportunity to tell the Minister who was supporting the Bourgmester of Rubavu not to worry because we are not going to expose him because the problem was resolved after the publication of issue No. 17 of Kangura. What needed to be remedied was remedied; only Nyamyumba, Rwerere, Kamemba, Gatare, Gisuma, Kigombe and Muhazi remain.