President Paul Kagame has said that he has come to learn about the issue of sexual abuse in Miss Rwanda organisation which lacks clear regulations that would prevent crimes from happening.
Early this week, the CEO of Rwanda Inspiration Back Up Ishimwe Dieudone famously known as Prince Kid was arrested over sexual abuse of Miss Rwanda beauty queens who participated through several years.
The issue raised concern of the whole community much as, news has it that Prince Kid would have been working with several other people, not only to seek sex pleasures for himself, but also to trade the girls within sponsors and beyond.
In the Rwanda Patriotic Front (RPF) Inkotanyi congress, April 30, the president who learnt about this issue from Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) and the media said that initially, he was not much interested in Miss Rwanda.
“You know, there are things you just ignore because they don’t add anything. I was compelled to talk about it because people who were supposed to benefit from the event are not getting value for their money, but organisers themselves in an awful way do benefit,” the President said.
“You find that men behind it are involved in trafficking and abusing participants. It happens and some people know, but don’t denounce it.”
For the president, if such things can happen in Rwanda, “It means to some extent we are either absent minded or we know but don’t care.”
He said that while the country encourages job creation, it is shame that someone can build their business on abusing people.
“There are two ways to prevent this; the law. People should come out and denounce it for judicial institutions and other relevant institutions to address the issue,” Kagame said before tabling another potential concern.
“Unless these institutions themselves belong to people who are even worse. That would be sad.”
The president said that in cases like the one of Miss Rwanda, the girls should come out and denounce the authors who lure them, showing them some favours.
“Our children should have the courage to denounce it even though they may say that they will lose what they are otherwise entitled to,” President Kagame said.
Cross Cutting issue
President Kagame said, that even though the issue was reported in Miss Rwanda, in other institutions including in central government and in the army, sexual abuse is becoming a concern.
He said while touching his shoulder, that in the army some officers would be promoted only because they pleased somebody.
“Even if you escape the law, God will punish you,” the President said.
The president said that this issue has even reached schools where teachers give marks for sex.
“It’s really bad and we should denounce it. But girls, women themselves should understand that men don’t own them.”
The President said that promoting a woman is a right, not a favour from men.
“A woman does not owe you anything. If anything you owe each other. The first thing you owe each other respect. Their rights are not custody of a man,” he said.
In other issues, the president took note of the lack of footwear factory in Rwanda.
“A couple of years ago I learnt that Rwanda’s hides and skins are best worldwide. How do we fail to make shoes?” the president asked and he addressed his specific question to CEO of RDB and Minister of Trade and Industry.
All of them said that some investments have started and “they will work hard to have them deliver quickly”.
However, they failed to give timeline.
The president said that the country is ready to even hire experienced people who can help start strong ventures in the shoes industry which has taken shape in some African countries like Ethiopia and Somalia.