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Kagame did not want RPF to become like Mugabe and ZANU-PF

Rwandan President Paul Kagame said initial successes in Zimbabwe after independence had been overtaken by President Robert Mugabe’s many failures and he did not want his Rwandan Patriotic Front to become like Mugabe and his ZANU-PF.

He was addressing the party’s politburo where he criticised party officials against nepotism within the party and government.

 

Full cable:


Viewing cable 08KIGALI872, RWANDA – MONTHLY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

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Reference ID

Created

Classification

Origin

08KIGALI872

2008-12-24 13:41

CONFIDENTIAL

Embassy Kigali

VZCZCXYZ0000

PP RUEHWEB

 

DE RUEHLGB #0872/01 3591341

ZNY CCCCC ZZH

P 241341Z DEC 08

FM AMEMBASSY KIGALI

TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 5807

INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 0364

RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0463

RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 1277

RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 2053

RUEHKI/AMEMBASSY KINSHASA 0603

RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 0377

RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 1385

RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 0636

C O N F I D E N T I A L KIGALI 000872

 

SIPDIS

 

E.O. 12958: DECL: 12/23/2018

TAGS: PREL PGOV PHUM RW

SUBJECT: RWANDA – MONTHLY POLITICAL ROUND-UP

 

REF: A. KIGALI 810

B. 07 KIGALI 865

 

Classified By: DCM Cheryl Sim for reason 1.4 (b) & (d)

 

1. (U) In this edition:

 

 

 

– Effort to Form New Political Party

 

– Protests Continue at German Embassy

 

– FDLR Officer Reaches Rwanda

 

– President Kagame Presides at National Dialogue and RPF

Meeting

 

– New Labor Code Under Consideration

 

 

 

Disaffected PSD officer Tries to Form New Party

——————————————— —

 

2. (C) Bernard Ntaganda, a disaffected District President of

the Social Democratic Party (PSD), announced December 15

that he would begin efforts to establish a new political

formation, the Social Ideal Party (PSI). Ntaganda, a

lawyer and business consultant, told local and international

media that PSD leadership had failed the

party faithful, and he intended to start a party that would

truly function as an independent political body and attempt

to expand “political space” in Rwanda. In a later

conversation with Embassy staff, Ntaganda noted

his next step would be to hold a “constituent assembly” of at

least five persons from each of Rwanda’s 30 districts, as

required by Rwandan law, their identities to be verified by a

notary public in attendance at the assembly. Ntaganda said

he had found “great interest” among PSD members at the

district level, and he expected to have no problem meeting

the statutory requirement. In an earlier meeting, PSD Vice

President Marc Rugenara told pol/econ chief that Ntaganda in

fact reflected a fairly general “feeling of uneasiness”

within the party regarding its low political profile (note: a

profile adopted by all parties, aside from the RPF, in

Rwanda’s present political dispensation). However, “this is

a time for careful deliberation,” he said. At this point in

Rwanda’s political evolution, “cooperation, consensus,

working together,” were the values and messages that his

party members realized were required. “As time goes by, as

we work together, we hope to see the system open up,” he said.

 

3. (C) Comment. Of Rwanda’s nine political parties, aside

from the ruling RPF only two, PSD and PL, make some attempt

at true organizational independence, each having run its

own slate of candidates in the September Chamber of

Deputies elections, and each gathering funds and

maintaining offices. The other six parties joined the RPF

in an election coalition, and make little pretense of an

existence outside the RPF cocoon of support. PL went

through its own calvary of internal dissension in 2007 (see

ref B), with dissident senior officers cashiered, and the

party weakened as a result. Ntaganda’s announcement does

not appear to reflect a full-fledged revolt from within the

PSD. End comment.

 

Daily Demonstrations Continue at German Embassy

——————————————— —

 

4. (SBU) Although Presidential Chief of Protocol Rose Kabuye

is now back in Kigali, her arrest in Germany and six-week

stay in France (ref A) led to modest daily protests marches

outside the German embassy.

Police cordoned off the short lane outside the embassy, and a

small white tent directly across from the Embassy entrance

housed half a dozen women, who supposedly maintained a

24-jour vigil, awaiting Kabuye’s return. Bus drivers,

motorcycle taxi chauffeurs, retired soldiers, women’s groups,

civic organizations took turns in front the

civic organizations took turns in front the

embassy for an hour or more, sometimes with music or

amplified speeches. Some Some local merchants grumbled at

the interruption of their affairs. One woman recounted that

one day it was local residents, another day her women’s

group, and the next her market traders’ association — she

could not open her stall for a week. All agree that the

marches are staged by the RPF and government officials, who

command a daily stream of protesters. The German charge told

us that no one has interfered with the embassy’s activities,

visitors come and go, and local employees faced no harassment

or ridicule. He surmised the protests continued in front of

the German Embassy “because there is no French

embassy in Kigali.” (Note: Rwanda closed the French embassy

in the fall of 2006, when a French judge indicted nine

senior Rwandans on criminal charges related to the shooting

down of former President Habyarimana’s jet in April 1994 —

charges the Rwandans vociferously contest. End note). Now

that Kabuye is back home, these daily protests may

end.

 

FDLR Officer Defects, Dies in Rwanda; Numbers Up at Mutobo

——————————————— ————-

 

5. (SBU) Local press outlets disclosed the arrival on

December 14 of an FDLR major, Jacques Uwumuhizi, from South

Kivu in the DRC. Gravely ill, he was apparently brought to

the Rwandan border post at Cyangugu by MONUC and UNHCR.

Rwandan Demobilization Commission officials told us later

that the RDC had been in quiet contact with the officer for

some time, encouraging his return. When the officer’s

continuing illness took a turn for the worse, he decided to

come home, they said. Unfortunately, his illness was in an

advanced state, and he died soon after his arrival.

Despite this loss, demobilization officials noted that the

number of returned FDLR combatants at Mutobo Camp in

northern Rwanda was higher than it had been for months,

with 176 officers and men at the camp (note: the camp

stages training programs every three months for the

returned fighters). Although still a modest number, the

176 returnees was double what it was a year ago, noted the

officials. Additionally, there are 52 FDLR child soldiers,

some as young as eight years old, in a separate facility in

Muhazi.

Comment: although the numbers of former FDLR

solders who return to Rwanda fluctuates month by month, the

recent efforts by MONUC and the Congolese army to press the

FDLR might explain these higher numbers.

 

Kagame Presides at National Dialogue, RPF Political Bureau

——————————————— ————-

 

6. (U) On December 18-19, President Kagame presided at

Rwanda’s sixth National Dialogue, a meeting of hundreds of

senior and mid-level Rwandan officials, including ministers,

mayors, provincial governors, heads of parastatals,

military and police officers, and parliamentarians. Topics

ranged from

economic development, prosecution of genocide cases by

gacaca courts, and the planned transition to English as the

language of instruction in Rwanda’s schools. Each topic

also had a question-and-answer segment, in which officials

from various parts of the country could put questions

directly to President Kagame and his ministers. Kagame

also made comments on the DRC and the recent UN report on

alleged Rwandan assistance to the CNDP (septel). As a

capstone to the two day event, each of the nation’s 30

mayors signed new performance contracts with President

Kagame, undertaking to meet various goals from education to

health care to rural development. In a particularly frank

presentation, Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara castigated four

presentation, Ombudsman Tito Rutaremara castigated four

categories of local officials for their corrupt practices:

the “abunzi,” mediators who handle local disputes, many

concerning land; the Local Defense Force, a quasi-police

force that assists the regular police throughout the

countryside; gacaca judges, who preside over village-level

genocide trials; and administrative heads of sectors

(Rwanda has 416 sectors, operating one step below the

district mayors). At the end of his remarks, he said,

“there are people in this room abusing their office. I

won’t name you, but I will be watching you.” In later

remarks, President Kagame reinforced the Ombudsman’s

remarks with a call for greater action on corruption.

 

7. (C) The following day, President Kagame presided

over a meeting of the Political Bureau of the ruling Rwanda

Patriotic Front (RPF). According to several participants,

Kagame had blunt words for those suspected of assisting

Laurent Nkunda’s

CNDP recruitment efforts in Rwanda. Kagame reportedly said

he would put these RPF officials in jail “himself” if the

assistance occured. Kagame also cautioned the assembled

officials about reports of nepotism within party

and government ranks — this criticism taken by some to be

aimed at Finance Minister James Musoni, who plays a large

role in the appointment of senior cadres throughout the

government. Drawing a parallel with Robert Mugabe in

Zimbabwe, Kagame said that the initial successes in

Zimbabwe after independence had been overtaken by Mugabe’s

many failures in recent years, and he did not want the RPF

to become like Mugabe and his ZANU-PF.

 

New Labor Code Coming

———————

 

8. (SBU) Labor Minister Anastaze Murekezi discussed a

new labor code for Rwanda at a recent workshop in Kigali,

praising the draft act as an important step forward in

aligning Rwanda with international labor conventions and

with Rwanda’s own constitution. The draft includes such

advances as enhanced death benefits for workers, greater

maternity leave, and adjustments in contract law. Eric

Manzi, Secretary General of CESTRAR, the largest of

Rwanda’s several labor union confederations, echoed these

comments to pol/econ chief in a later conversation, saying

that the labor movement regarded the new code as an overall

advance for the nation’s workers. The most important

accomplishment, he said, was clear statutory recognition of

all categories of Rwandan workers, including day workers,

rural and seasonal workers, and domestic workers, as

covered by the labor code. Two areas in which the unions

did not succeed, he said, included the continuation of

provisions that allow subcontractors to avoid requirements

imposed on the main contractor by the code, and a limited

compensation clause for what he termed “abusive”

terminations. However, Manzi said he was hopeful that the

new National Labor Council mandated by the code, in which

employers, unions and government serve, would give a useful

avenue to continue discussions on these and other issues.

 

SYMINGTON

 

(13 VIEWS)

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