Home NewsNational Thirty Years On, President Kagame No Longer Fazed By Criticism. Here is Why!

Thirty Years On, President Kagame No Longer Fazed By Criticism. Here is Why!

by Edmund Kagire
5:05 pm

RPF Chairman and Candidate Paul Kagame, says he is used to criticism.

Incumbent President Paul Kagame, who is also the candidate for ruling party Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF-Inkotanyi) coalition in the forthcoming polls, says that he is no longer bothered by the constant criticism that comes his way, thirty years later, simply because he knows the main reasons behind the sustained attacks.

The incumbent Head of State made the revelation on Tuesday, during an interactive session with content creators at the Rwanda Liberation Museum in Mulindi -a site that once served as the headquarters of RPA High Command during the Liberation struggle, in Gicumbi district, Northern Province.

Reacting to a question on how he has been able to handle the haranguing from different critics and western media over the past 30 years, RPF Inkotanyi Chairman Kagame said that until today he is still taking it as he should but in reality, there is nobody in this world who hasn’t been criticized at one time or another, but rather one has to look at the reasons.

On his part, he said that while everybody can be criticised, it largely depends on the interests or the views of those from whom the criticism is coming from, adding that most importantly, it also means that to be criticized means that you are something or you are doing something right.

“It also means you are actually somebody if you have to be criticized. Somebody who is nobody won’t be criticized because they criticize you for something that in one Way they associate with but would want it different. That is one possibility,” said Kagame.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame and RPF Vice Chairperson, Consolee Uwimana, were in attendance.

“The other is either your thinking or your actions are a danger to them. In other words, it is like they deprive them of something,” he said, giving an example of two people coexisting but one wants the other to be dependent on them, even though the other party is not interested,” he said.

“They will not be happy that you are trying to be independent, so they will attack you for wanting to be independent because they don’t want you to be independent from them,” President Kagame said.

He pointed out that there are many tactics and different ways of doing it, which means that they  may not tell you directly because it would be ridiculous that they are attacking you for wanting to be independent.

“So they just find ways of creating a bad name for you so that that works against you and it’s not seen that they are the ones working against you. What is working against you is what they have created about you -the image. They make it happen like that and it absolves them the responsibility of attacking you or criticising you,” he said.

Citing Rwanda’s history as an example, he pointed out that the Genocide against the Tutsi happened because the country was divided  by colonialists but when you tell that story as it was from colonial times to the time the Genocide happened, the one’s responsible don’t appreciate it, every merely mentioning the cause of it.

President Kagame said that once you highlight that responsibility, they start attacking you as a violator of human rights and freedoms and make claims around democracy. He said that they use that to claim that what happened had nothing to do with them because Rwandans used to kill each other and the Genocide was not any different.

President Kagame urged young people with platforms to be alert to naysayers who would want to used them.

“They sort of turn the victim into a perpetrator. You have seen how many times they are out there accusing RDF (Rwanda Defence Force), accusing Rwanda and more,” he said, referencing the so-called Forbidden Stories authored by a consortium of journalists who recently came up with various unfounded accusations targeting the Rwandan Government.

“They are saying that Rwanda has spies all over the world killing the opponents- everywhere in the whole world,” he said, adding that they churn out these stories and more, showing that Rwandans have for long killed each other, and there is nothing surprising about what happened in the country.

“When you get lost in that story, there is no outside blame. The outside blame disappears. Even the UN that was here and did nothing to stop the Genocide, or even the whole world that watched and did nothing about genocide, ends up being absolved. It is now Rwanda, the victims, the perpetrators. They change positions,” he said.

He pointed out that some individuals, including journalists who were busy orchestrating and supporting genocide, are the same people who turned around to spin the story, mainly because of their interests or how they were associated with the Genocide and now they want to shape the narrative of Rwanda the way they want.

With such, he said that if Rwanda was weak, it was going to succumb to the machinations and even be apologetic even when it was the victim.

“They shape it the way they want, they promote people they want,” Kagame said, citing an example of Victoire Ingabire, who is known to harbour genocide ideology but she is promoted as someone who can be a president.

“Actually they want that one to be the President of Rwanda and she also believes it. She is everywhere giving lectures, but this is not a Rwandan who believes this story,” he said, adding that those imposing her on Rwandans are the only people who believe it, quipping that he will be attacked for speaking about her.

Advice to young people

President Kagame told the young influencers that they are called influencers and opinion leaders for a reason but if they don’t grasp the politics behind such, they are likely to fall into a trap of not being aware of what is going on, urging them to not be apologetic when it comes to defending their country.

He said that himself he has never been apologetic for what RPF Inkotanyi is doing or the path the country has chosen, reminding the young content creators that they should not fall into a trap of ‘being on the other side’, as some influencers or journalists, who become tools of imperialists behind such schemes, as is the case with the so-called “Rwanda Project”.

“You must really try and learn to be sophisticated, at least in understanding the nuances of these things and the world we live in,” President Kagame said during the interactive session in which he tackled a series of questions.


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