The controversial catholic priest-turned politician who was blocked in Kenya from boarding plane to Rwanda should have been let through, according to President Paul Kagame.
Fr. Thomas Nahimana has been living in France for past 11 years. In 2013, he formed a political grouping ISHEMA after he had been dismissed from the Catholic Church. On November 23, he surfaced at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi-Kenya with a tourist visa seeking to travel to Kigali.
According to statements released earlier, he had indicated he was coming to register his political grouping in preparation for the 2017 presidential elections in Rwanda. But at the airport, Kenya Airways refused to allow him on board citing ‘directive’ from Kigali that he is not let on the plane. A day later, he went back to France. Officials in Rwanda have branded him as ‘dangerous’ to the psych of ordinary Rwandans.
Genocide survivors umbrella association IBUKA has demanded that Rwandan authorities issue arrest warrant for Nahimana. And they have vowed not to rest until he is behind bars.
Today, President Kagame commented on the issue for the first time. While speaking at the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) party political bureau, Kagame wondered why Nahimana had been refused entry.
‘If there are crimes Nahimana stands accused, he should have been let into the country so he can be held accountable,’ said Kagame.
The President said he does not comprehend the fact that someone being sought by the judiciary can be barred from entering the country simply because they think he could intoxicate people with the genocide ideology that he so openly preaches.
KT Press has documented some of the cases in which Fr Nahimana has openly called for Rwanda to be governed along ethnic lines. Nahimana has also called for a ‘Hutu uprising’ to force the ‘Tutsi Government of RPF’ to negotiate.
In one of the many interviews, Nahimana said: “They (Hutu) can topple RPF government if they boycotted work for some 15 days without reporting to places of work. Such a mass action by the majority Hutus would force the RPF government to the negotiating table.”
Nahimana’s unusually extremist views prompted even the Catholic Church, for its part also with a long history of protecting genocide deniers, to expell him from its clergy.
For President Kagame though, there was no need of keeping Nahimana away.
‘As a Rwandan, Nahimana should not be prevented from entering the country despite the fact that he carried a foreign passport,’ said Kagame, in reference to the French passport Nahimana holds.