Rwanda’s President Gen. Paul Kagame said the wealthy western nations have no right to question the progress of democracy in Rwanda or any other African country, and therefore he is not ready to enertain lectures from them on the matter.
President Kagame was speaking at the sidelines of the 2022 Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) which was officially opened in Kigali Rwanda over the weekend, just after he was handed the Chairmanship of the Commonwealth.
He said, it is time the US and the West (the Global North) refrain from the arrogancy to assume that they are the ones to define the values of democracy, and the Africans must remain just followers.
Kagame was responding to a question from British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) journalist Anne Soy who asked him what priorities he is set out to achieve as CHOGM chairman in terms of upholding the values of democracy basing on Rwanda’s questionable Human Right record.
“I want to assure you: there is nobody in BBC or anywhere else -thereabout who would be holding values better than we do here in Rwanda. Those from the North who always assume -where the BBC comes from -who always think they are the first of values, the rest have to follow, Its a big mistake. Its not true. We have values too. We, here in Rwanda, we do. No question about it” Kagame said.
A military General whose government has been criticized for jailing journalists and opposition politicians, Kagame told off European governments for being part of Africa’s problems but turning around to lecture African leaders on how best to manage the affairs of the continent.
“The danger also is, it doesnt matter how long you learn, you will never qualify. You will always be branded somebody who has no values, or who comes from a place where there are no values” he added.
He stated that Rwanda has a government with strong systems to both offer justice but also enforce laws where necessary. Kagame accused the West for pampering several opposition figures in Rwanda including his strongest critic Ms Victoire Ingabire who she said belongs to the prison but currently enjoying a presidential pardoned.
Gen. Kagame pointed out how leaders of European countries maintained a blind eye while several participated ditectly in the 1994 Rwandan Genocide which saw more than a million people killed. He reminded the West that the 20million Congolese died under Belgian King Leopold’s brutal rule, and not under African leaders.
“What we can say as leaders is to commit ourselves that we shall listen, we shall work together, we shall find solutions along the way, there is no question about it” Paul Kagame said.