Despite Paul Kagame's visible and commendable achievements in infrastructure and security, his leadership qualities have always been called to question especially on how he handles feminism, opposition and criticism.
Kagame does not condone any form of criticism and burns anyone who stands against him with dragon fire - especially if they are women. The only two Rwandan women who have tried to run for president against Kagame ended up in jail, and the only woman that has ever held a top public office in Rwanda, was the female prime minister who was assassinated in 1994.
He has also not handled issues of Free Press and freedom of expression very well when either him or his government is criticized. According to reports, Rwanda has passed a law that criminalizes statements and publications deemed humiliating by government officials.
The law which was passed last week states that:
Any person who, verbally, by gestures or threats, in writings or cartoons, humiliates a member of parliament when exercising his/her mandate, a member of the Cabinet, security officers or any other person in charge of a public service in the performance or in connection with the performance of his/her duties, commits an offence,”
The law stipulates an up to two years prison sentence, and a fine of up to USD$1,145 with the penalty doubling if it’s about a member of parliament or top government official, reports local media.
Paul Kagame, who has been described as an authoritarian leader, already has a law that criminalizes defamation against him and attracts five to seven years in prison and a USD$8,140 fine, reports Associated Press.
Defamation is a criminal offence in Rwanda, and media organisations including the Rwanda Journalists Association have criticized the laws that stifle dissent and suppresses the media.
Paul Kagame's landslide victory last month evokes one to question whether he is really loved by the Rwandans or it is just a matter of fear and di…
A justice ministry official who spoke to Associated Press on the condition of anonymity questioned how the law will determine whether someone has been humiliated, and who to make that decision.
The Rwandan government is facing a series of allegations for the disappearance of opposition figures as well as the imprisonment of those who oppose the president.
Kagame gave clemency to 2,140 convicts, including one of the two women who had tried to run against him in the 2010 polls, Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza.
Umuhoza was sentenced to 15 years at the Kigali Central Prison for terrorism and threatening national security.
She had returned home in 2010 from a 16-year exile to vie for the presidency against Kagame, only to be arrested three months after she landed in Rwanda. The arrest came after she was considered a threat to Kagame’s government following her speech honoring the victims of genocide.
She had also been accused of collaborating with the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR) in a bid to destabilize the government.
Another Kagame opposition is latest political prisoner, Diane Rwigara, who is behind bars over allegations of an insurgency. She is the only other woman who tried to vie against President Kagame.
Just days after she announced her candidature, she was hit with a series of scandals including the release of nude photos believed to be hers; errors and inadequate signatures on her presidential form and raids on their house.
She has still not been charged.
It's been more than 365 Days of unlawfully detention of opposition leader, Diane Rwigara, her mother, sister and about 20 others on accounts of Tr…
Source: Face2Face Africa
Image Credit: Paul Kagame official Youtube Account