I have great respect for Rwanda’s president, Paul Kagame.
There’s no doubt that he is an exceptional leader who helped Rwanda turn its mess into an important message for the whole world: a message of reconciliation.
He redeemed a country known for some of the most brutal killings of the twentienth century, a genocide that left thousands dead.
For the last Twenty-one years, Rwanda has emerged as a winner in all aspects of life.
Mr. Paul Kagame, known to be a tough fighter after defeating the genocidal regime, advanced to the Democratic Republic of Congo (former Zaire) and neutralized the former genocidal forces.
He is highly respected on the international scene, and is the top feared man in Rwanda .
A heavenly gift
A few days ago, petitioners within his party, who want him to go for more than two terms in office described or labelled him as a “Heavenly given gift”.
Under his tutelage, the economy of the tiny and land-locked country grew by 7 per cent in 2014, from 4.6 per cent in the previous year.
Like he said back in 2012, “We (Rwanda) are a small country, but not small people” .
He has enlarged Rwanda’s territory by joining a regional bloc- East African Community, Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa-COMESA, and the Commonwealth.
Though he makes inspiring speeches, some people have been belittling themselves while praising Kagame as the only person to carry burden of the country. Is he irreplaceable?
I have seen great men with important positions in the country trembling before him. He is the most feared person.
Kagame has maintained discipline in both the police and the military forces, and the general population seem to be paying him back with full trust. The military and police officers are on the street day and night, to ensure everyone’s safety.
Over three million Rwandans, including inmates, have petitioned the parliament to allow a review of the country’s Constitution, a move that would allow President Kagame to rule the country for more than two terms.
Of course, I’m concerned with the future of our country, which has never had a smooth power transfer.
After the era of monarchy, our country has been characterized by military coups and ousted presidents were either killed or imprisoned. There is no such thing as a ‘former Rwandan president.’
The only hope we had was Paul Kagame, whom I was expecting to see retire after his Constitutional second and last term in office.
Apparently, Kagame is there to stay as a life president.
I’ve trusted him before, because I thought he means what he says. I thought he was going to respect the Constitution and present a challenge to his fellow African presidents.
I trusted him as a unique person, but now he wants to do the reverse.
“People want me, I have to stay”
Instead of appearing as if he is imposing his will, Mr Kagame wants to give the impression that it is his people who are convincing him to stay, and not the other way around.
The ruling party has already endorsed him as their potential candidate for the 2017 elections, but they have to break the constitutional barrier before that time.
More than three million Rwandans, including inmates and illiterates, have ‘signed’ petitions seeking a third term for Mr. Paul Kagame.
No wonder. He has no political opposition, but a dormant civil society and highly censored media.
Kagame has employed opportunistic officials who are good at serving him with rumors, instead of supporting his projects and challenging him whenever it’s necessary for betterment of our country.
Some hardly ever think, and are too lazy to look out for the future of the country. The only thing they are good at-is to work hard for their boss’s stay and keep milking the Rwandan people.
They are good at mobilizing people to support Kagame’s third term because the longer Kagame stays, the longer they also live. They are political parasites!
They are hiding behind the hard- working man, and trapping him to lose a legacy that he has earned for more than two decades.
Trust me, the departure of Kagame will not destroy what we have achieved, unless we have built everything on a weak foundation.
If the people around President Kagame convince him that he’s the only salvation and firm foundation of Rwanda’s future, we are sitting on an explosive device.
This Opinion was earlier published on http://www.wazaonline.com/en