Media Watch

Rwanda opposition to stage anti-Kagame protest during CHOGM

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By staff writer

BRISBANE/PERTH-Some of Rwandan communities living in Australia who are believed to be mobilised by Rwanda National Congress will put up peaceful protest against Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s visit to Australia on October 28 in Perth.

Kagame will be in Perth on a three day working visit to attend the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM 2011) from October 28 to 30 at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre.

According to the press statement that Great Lakes Voice bears copy, about 500 people from across various states of Australia will participate in this protest against Kagame’s participation in Chogm.


However, sources who spoke to the Great Lakes on phone believe that it’s “a sect of people” who are mobilised by Rwanda National Congress with little number behind the infamous the protest.

“We don’t know those people. The Rwandan community and Diaspora in Australia are not aware of the protests, I doubt if the number reaches to 100 people,” said Peace Uwanyirigira of a Rwandan student in Sydney

The protest is coordinated by some Rwandan communities in Perth, Queensland and Sydney and will be supported by the Rwandan National Congress.

“We are well prepared to put up a huge peaceful demonstration against President Paul Kagame’s visit to Australia. He has committed grave atrocities in Rwanda and perpetrated heinous crimes in the Democratic Republic of Congo,” said the Anti-Kagame Protest Taskforce Co-ordinator, Robert Mukombozi who is also a journalist.

According to the press statement sent by Robert Mukombozi himself who sources in Rwanda Diaspora believe in RNC diehard, the Rwanda Patriotic Front government maintains its hold onto power through acts of repression, including arbitrary arrests and detention, torture, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings of critics and opponents of the regimes.

In 2010 President Paul Kagame rigged elections and scandalously allotted 93.5% to himself, reminiscent to ousted Egypt President Hosni Mubarak.

“In Rwanda, leaders of political parties are languishing in prisons scattered around the country on fabricated charges of treason, inciting ethnic violence, sectarianism and genocide revisionism among other forms of vague accusations. They are currently imprisoned under cruel and inhumane conditions in Kigali.


Ms Victoire INGABIRE UMUHOZA, Mr Bernard NTAGANDA, Mr. Deo MUSHAYIDI, Mr.Charles NTAKIRUTINKA, Ms.Seraphine MUKAMANA, Mr.Andrew MUGANWA are among the critical voices that are perishing in prisons.

Other politicians like Andre KAGWA RWISEREKA have been murdered while members of popular political organisations like the Rwandan National Congress are now exiled” the statement adds.

Opposition parties such as United Democratic Forces-FDU Inkingi, Democratic Green Party of Rwanda and The Social Party-Imberakuri have been blocked from participating in the political affairs of Rwanda.

According to Robert Mukombozi, apart from harassing the opposition, the government of Rwanda has enormously tampered the freedom of speech in the country, shattering independent media meant to hold the government in checks.

In July 2010, Mr. Jean-Léonard RUGAMBAGE, a journalist and critic of the government, was murdered. Newspapers that are critical of government have been forced to close down (UMUSESO, The Weekly Post, Umuco, Le Journal Afrique and UMUVUGIZI Newspapers among others) and their owners forced to flee the country, because their lives were in danger.

Many Rwandan journalists are now operating online from exile because of threats to their lives.

Mr Ally Yusuf Mugenzi, Jean Bosco Gasasira, Bonaventure Bizumuremyi, Thomas Kamirindi, Steven Baguma, Lucie Umukundwa, Charles Kabonero, Eleneus Akanga, Mugisha Furaha, Didas Gasana and Amiel Nkuliza are among those exiled.

Journalists are jailed on charges related to their freedom of expression. Two Editors of UMURABYO Newspaper (Ms.Agnes UWIMANA NKUSI and Ms.Saidat MUKAKIBIBI) are in Prison.  Other media houses exercise self-censorship in order to survive. Civil society organisations are forced to take the official Government line in order to operate the statement adds.





This post has already been read 20019 times!



  1. Umubyeyi

    October 24, 2011 at 11:01 PM

    many thanks to the Rwandan community in Australia for the protest against President Kagame.
    Turi kumwe! hold on!
    Twese hamwe tuzatsinda

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