After Sudanese strong man Omar Hassan Bashir's indictment by the ICC, Rwandan President, Paul Kagame, within a hair’s breadth of being indicted, has smelled a rat. He recently manipulated Rwandan parliament to enact a law giving him immunity from prosecution for life!
Many wonder. Why should this come after the indictment of Bashir? Is Kagame trying to save his face before the hammer lands on him? Is this going to be a loophole for other African skew-whiff rulers to manipulate their parliaments so as to do away with it?
He who lives by the sword will die by the sword. Nonetheless, Kagame can wrongly rest assured: his ploy will work. His involvement in genocide will never be forgotten. His hands are dripping with blood. His despoilers say. If he jumps this smoking gun, he’ll never do the same to heinous killings and theft he committed in Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). DRC sued Rwanda and Uganda and the matter is still sub-judice. We thus can not discuss it.If anything, Kagame and Ugandan dictator, Yoweri Museveni are likely to end up in prison just like Charles Taylor former President of Liberia.
To prove that this move aims at protecting Kagame, many still wonder why this law should come after Rwandan former president Pasteur Bizimungu has already been imprisoned, if at all it aims at protecting former rulers.Will Rwandan authority redress Bizimungu whose offences were framed?
The amendment says that a former president cannot be prosecuted on charges for which he was not put on trial while in office. This clause tells it all. Being in power and making sure that he won’t be prosecuted, Kagame introduced this clause purposely well aware of his manipulation of Rwandans. This has also been used in Uganda.
The pressure is on and high. Judges in France and Spain have accused President Paul Kagame of involvement in killings linked to the 1994 genocide. In April, a Spanish judge said he had evidence that Mr Kagame was linked to the killing of Hutus after the genocide, sparking fury in Rwanda.
In 2006, a French judge accused Mr. Kagame of ordering the attack against the plane carrying former President Juvenal Habyarimana - whose death sparked the genocide. President Kagame has always denied the charges and says Mr. Habyarimana, a Hutu, was killed by Hutu extremists and blamed on his Tutsi rebels to provide the pretext for carrying out the genocide.
In another attempt to hoodwink the world, the parliament passed the law saying that the constitution will now refer to the 1994 genocide as a "genocide committed on Tutsis". What of the so-called moderate Hutus that were killed? Some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were slaughtered in 1994 after Kagame’s Rwandese Patriotic Forces invaded and topple the former Hutu-led government.
It’s alleged that RPF brought down presidential jet carrying president Habyarimana Juvenal and Burundian former president the late Ntaryamirwa Cyprien. They all died thereof. Is it a right time that Kagame faces the moment of truth? Shall ICC ignore this, indeed it’ll be tad hypocrisy.
Source: The African Executive Magazine-Nairobi July 23, 2008.