Sunday, January 12, 2014

Kagame on Karegeya: Betraying Rwanda Is Costly

Rwanda President Paul Kagame has spoken out for the first time on the recent murder of dissident Patrick Karegeya in South Africa, saying “anyone who plots against his country will turn out to be the loser.”
By Giles Muhame
Jan 12, 2014
A visibly angry Kagame told a huge gathering at the Rwanda Leaders Fellowship Prayer Breakfast on Sunday in Kigali that “those who were made who they are by Rwanda and then turn their backs on the country can be dealt with. We can fight back.”
Kagame’s speech appeared to defend government officials’ recent remarks that Rwanda would not regret the strangling of Karegeya at the luxurious Johannesburg Hotel.
“Whoever is undermining Rwanda usually faces serious consequences wherever they are,” the President warned.
Kagame further said government officials should not waste time defending him on Karegeya’s murder, saying there are better things to do.
Karegeya, who was a founding member of Rwanda National Congress, a political organisation with headquarters in South Africa, was found dead in a hotel on New Year’s Eve.
Kagame urged God to give Rwanda the “strength to build and the ability to protect what our nation has built.”
He added: “I was elected and sworn in as the leader of this nation so I can aggressively defend it. But each Rwandan has their role to play. My job as President is to confront and defend Rwanda against people who want to destroy what we have been building.”
Kagame said Rwandans should not forget their past.
“There are those who have forgotten so soon, who were made who they are by this country but turned against it. Our faith should be lived, we should see it in your actions. The God who gave us power to build our nation also gave us power to protect it.”
Kagame said Rwanda’s tragic past should serve as a lesson and should be a source of energy to ensure tragedy never happens again.
In reference to the west, Kagame said those defending Rwanda's critics have committed crimes that are one thousand times worse.
“Those who are actively plotting against this country stand no chance; with God's grace we have the ability to defend it. Every Rwandan has got a stake in our progress, through quality service. God blesses us but we should be thankful while guarding our progress,” he added.
Still on Karegeya murder, Kagame said “betraying your country and wishing the worst for it is costly. We should have the strength and courage to do good things and defend your country. There is no politeness when it comes to people who commit treason against their own country. A country makes you who you are you betray it?”
Rwanda is currently holding several activities to remember lives lost in the 1994 genocide.
Kagame said “we can't change our history; we can only learn from it and build a better country. We should draw energy for coherence from it and move on. Our country has experienced tragedy but we should not waste that tragedy, we should draw lessons from that tragic past.”
The President also emphasised unity among Rwandans, saying, “Cohesion is about having unity and trust among yourselves. You can't be Godly if you do not value who you are and your neighbour. I thank God for all that we've achieved but also thank the people who are partaking in this journey.”
Kagame said when news of Karegeya’s death broke; several government officials were “busy on Twitter denying. That was unnecessary. People must be ready to pay for their action.”
He added: “We should not be blamed for those whose interest is to destroy what Rwandans have built. Those who criticize Rwanda know how far they go to protect their own nation. Those who forget how far they have come from should remember they cannot put themselves above nation and people of Rwanda.”
He made it clear that he would never be apologetic about people who forgot that Rwanda made them who they are and kill innocent people and children, possibly referring to reports that Karegeya was masterminding grenade attacks in Kigali.
"It is a matter of time for anybody trying to undermine Rwanda to face consequences of their actions anywhere.”


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