Rwanda: Is Green Party becoming an RPF satellite party?
Rwanda News Agency has published an article in which it is alleged that the Green Party is surprisingly flirting with Paul Kagame and the RPF party in order to get registered. Here is what RNA writes in the article titled:
“U-Turn from Green Party amid registration uncertainty”
Frank Habineza – Chair of Democratic Green Party of Rwanda
Kigali: The Green Party has distanced itself from opposition colleagues and come out in support of the “different achievements made by the RPF led Government” – in a wide ranging declaration as uncertainty looms over its future, RNA reports.
After forming a new team as it tries to recover from the defection of its senior members last month, the group now seems to make concessions to the authorities. In a declaration adopted Monday, the yet-to-be registered party declares “commitment to non violence and strive for a culture of peace and cooperation”.
Observers are now saying the party could be distancing itself from embattled opposition politician Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza – currently facing charges of terrorism and Genocide ideology. The firry head of the yet-to-be registered FDU-Inkingi group is also accused of forming a rebel group to topple an elected government.
The Green Party and FDU-Inkingi, as well as PS Imberakuri of Bernard Ntaganda formed a coalition in February. However, PS Imberakuri which is registered is now broken up into two factions – with one actively operating within the political party forum and that of Mr. Ntaganda furiously preferring to stay out.
Mr. Ntaganda is under fire from different quarters including Genocide survivors groups and Parliament over alleged Genocide ideology and ethnic divisionism. President Kagame has described him and the other opposition figures as “hooligans”.
With no clear future, Mr. Frank Habineza has already met with the Ministry of Local Government to discuss the Green Party registration. This was unthinkable a few months ago as the group sought to confront the authorities head-on. No names are mentioned in the Green Party declaration but the message is open.
Mr. Habineza has been a darling of international media, the global green movement and foreign campaign groups. President Kagame actually branded the party as not for Rwandans because, as he put it, the group was getting more support from the outside than from within Rwanda.
The pressure is enormous and the Green Party is feeling it, asserting in the declaration: “In the process to register the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, we were always pushed on the wall and ended up in reactionary politics; this has coasted us a lot and never gave us chance to tell Rwandans our message of peace and hope.”
It continues: “We re-confirm our commitment on the principle on non-use of confrontational politics, since it only helps to make matters worse other than improve them,” reads the declaration in part.
“We re-confirm our position to not work with people or groups, who may have intentions of taking back the country backwards. The good things the country has achieved have taken a lot of efforts and energy. This should be highly valued.”
This is a clear rebuke of the opposition colleagues as the Green Party positions itself as not in accordance with the inflammatory comments of Ms. Ingabire and Mr. Ntaganda.
“We commit ourselves to condemning any causes of war and conflicts by understanding and respecting the Rwandan culture, eradicating racism, promoting freedom and democracy, and eradication of poverty,” adds the Green Party declaration.
Government has accused the fire-spitting opposition groups and other exiled critics, as well as the rights groups of undermining Rwanda by not recognizing the visible developments in the country. Local Government Minister James Musoni said recently that the Green Party needs to put its house in order to be registered. He also claimed there was chaos in the party.
For his part, President Kagame has even accused the “hooligans” of abusing him, but said he does not “give a damn” – which were very strong comments made during the start of the Tutsi Genocide commemoration week April 07. The Green Party has now taken notice of this as it points out in the declaration.
“In the process to register the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, we were always pushed on the wall and ended up in reactionary politics; this has coasted us a lot and never gave us chance to tell Rwandans our message of peace and hope,” it says in the two-page document.
But also quickly adds: “We believe that there is still a big room for improvement in other areas like democracy and good governance. As an opposition party, we also have an important role to play in the sustainable development of Rwanda.”
In a final note, the Green Party says: “Non-violence is indeed the sustainable solution to Rwandan problems; we encourage all Rwandans to embrace it. It’s our guarantee for a better future and better Rwanda.”
Though the group affirms that it is committed to “consultative politics, diplomacy, cooperation and peaceful competition for political power,” in possible reference to the cooperation agreement with Ingabire and Ntaganda, the Green Party makes it clear in the declaration that this will be “But based on mutual understanding, truth and avoidance of abusive language”.
Rwanda News Agency (ARI-RNA).