Saturday, April 17, 2010

Kagame rules Rwanda like the family ranch

Rwandan journalist Godwin Agaba

The San Francisco Bay View, National Black Newspaper agreed to publish Rwandan journalist Godwin Agaba's editorial on this year's Rwandan presidential election, so-called, including this highlight:

What is clear though is that Paul Kagame, having commanded the forces that he says ended the genocide and helped restore order in chaotic Rwanda, has embarked on a self-destructing campaign. He will stop at nothing to make himself clear and louder to all that Rwanda belongs to him and only he knows what is good for the country. He does not even appear bothered by the idea of ruling the country as if it is some family ranch, because according to what he knows, he is popular, charismatic and knows his country’s history better than anyone else. And who are we to challenge him? What exactly do we know? To him we are rejects who should either shut up or put up with whatever nonsense is being paraded as long as we rise up at the end of the day to toss to the monsieur – only this time, in English!

I wrote an introduction to Godwin's piece, to make it comprehensible to Americans unfamiliar with Rwandan politics, and Godwin and I shared a joint byline, but the point was letting Godwin speak for many of us who have been following this, both on the Kagame family ranch and off:

Rwandan President Paul Kagame wants a safer Rwanda … safer for whom?  (Click to read.) 

After six months of covering the Rwandan presidential election story, since the beginning of October, I'm all but through, because there isn't going to be anything like a real Rwandan election, just another day on the Kagame ranch, with EU election monitors serving as wranglers.   

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