Rwanda’s president, Gen. Paul Kagame has defended his government’s record on matters of human rights and protection of people’s freedom saying the countries that criticize him are worst violators of rights.
Kagame said the Human Right’s situation in Rwanda has been exaggerated by people who lack the moral authority to criticize him, saying on judgement day he will get better marks against leaders of European countries criticizing him today.
“Remember Habyarimana; praised as a democrat because of his friendship to some in Europe, despite being behind the genocide. And then those who tried to do something about [the genocide] are accused of being the violators of human rights. This is absolute stupidity” Kagame said during an interview with The Africa Report, a full excerpt of which was published on July 11, 2020.
He said, the consistent accusations are derived from his accuser’s own guilt because they are part of the mess in Rwanda which he has been trying to clean for years.
“Any one of those want to tell me that everything bad that happened or the history of this genocide that happened was purely and exclusively by the hand of Rwandans unless they are just shameless” before adding;
“When it comes to Judgement Day, I will get much better marks than those people who criticize us, when it comes to judging us for what we did in the name of human rights and defence and protection of freedoms. I’m way ahead of these fellows who think they are better than anyone” Kagame said.
Asked to comment about the high-handedness his government has used against his critic, Victoire Ingabire after she expressed intentions to challenge him for presidency, Kagame said there is evidence implicating Ingabire in criminal acts and her matter has been handled through a transparent legal process.
“There was unquestionable information of her involvement. So on that basis she was tried in the court of law, convicted, went to prison for it. And the trial was done in the open in the courts of law, everyone had the right to follow it, even journalists, diplomats, everybody showed up. When she went to prison, the same noises were being made every day just ignoring the fact of why she is in prison and how she was tried. In the middle of that, two years ago, this woman was given clemency, she was forgiven on my instructions as the head of state and a consultation with the cabinet and everything, and she was released.
As soon as she got out of the prison, she went back and started doing exactly the same things. So we’ve been over time collecting information about it again, direct links, we can see even some links leading to possible violence in the near future and associating those groups outside.
So she will be put in the right place, irrespective of the noise that is being made. I think our government is able to do things rationally, reasonably and contain any situation that is likely to destabilize us and so on.” He said.
Kagame also had no kind words for Kizito Mihigo, a musician who recently died in detention following his arrest for trying to cross into Burundi illegally. His death was later reported as suicide, according to an RIB investigation.
“He is responsible for his own mess. So which we can’t assume responsibility for, Kizito Mihigo or anybody, whether you are a singer or you are anybody, or a scientist or some Nobel Laureate, if you drive yourself into a mess, it’s your mess”