Rwanda Opposition Boss Attacks Kagame (PART 1)
Opposition Rwanda People’s Party (RPP) President John V Karuranga has spoken out on his political organisation's plans for his countrymen.
In an exclusive interview with Chimpreports.com editor Giles Muhame, Karuranga says RPP intends to cause democratic change with the view of making Rwanda a “free and democratic country.”
Based in London, Karuranga says RPP aims at giving a voice to the voiceless and reducing the presidential terms to two and from seven years to four and half. He says most Rwandese are disappointed by President Paul Kagame’s government. This interview will run in a three-part series. Excerpts:
If Rwandans elected you today as their President what would you contribute towards the development of your country?
The RPP is a national democratic party that draws support from a cross-section of Rwandan society.
Many Rwandans feel betrayed by the current regime ruled by President Paul Kagame and want to introduce democratic social change so that they may make Rwanda a free and democratic country.
The RPP is an internationalist political party that wishes to continue building links and alliances with political and governmental authorities throughout the world.
As a party, we affirm our position that Rwanda cannot be built on the cracks in the pavement of ethnicity, fear, genocide and wars of yesterday. Those experiences could be used as lessons learned but not as a model for solving the current and future problems of the country.
Instead, we want to build a Rwanda based on a foundation of belief, motivated and energized by the desire for progress and the pursuit of happiness and self-fulfillment.
The RPP wants to build a new Rwanda that lives in peace within itself, with its neighbours and with the rest of humanity.
We want to build a Rwanda that gives legitimacy and hope to the local people as sole stakeholders of the nation but not politicians that come and go. The RPP is committed to give the voice to the voiceless.
Political Pluralism: The RPP will establish a political system that guarantees the realization of principle democratic values. The RPP plans to protect these rights and freedoms and to channel these efforts to the building of the institutions of governance in a way that lends its effectiveness and honesty.
Such a system should guarantee impartiality and freedom in the election process and monitoring of the elected, during their term of tenure, relying upon constitutional basis that controls the conduct of government and guarantees its soundness, and the peaceful transfer of power.
The RPP plans to support and encourage a political pluralism that represents the firm foundation for rotation and safe transfer of authority between organised political groups.
The RPP will encourage political parties based on the needs of the country; thus non secretarial, violent or ethnically based political party.
Freedom of speech and expression are core elements of the RPP but also protecting the liberty and freedoms of the individuals would be paramount.
Presidential terms: We intend to reduce the presidential terms to 2-terms of 4.5 years. We want ministerial, parliamentary and ambassadorial tenure not to exceed 13.5years.
Give power to the people: We want to give power to the people by guaranteeing their rights to elect and replace their leaders without fear. We want the local people to take part in all affairs that affect them. We aim to build a platform of relationship between the state and the people.
National interests: Rwanda, as a nation, has strategic interests like any other country. Therefore, the RPP aims to ask the law makers to guarantee immunity from prosecution against crimes or mistakes that may have been committed by the outgoing president during his tenure in the interest of state security. The RPP will take that as a lesson learned but without further action.
Protection of civil servants: The RPP aims at protecting non executives and local people from losing their jobs because of their political affiliations. We would like to set up a political programme that would only affect politicians (executives) whenever there is change of governments.
Mass media: The RPP believes a pluralist, democratic and responsible mass media are essential to social freedom. The freedom of media is indispensable in helping to form citizens’ opinions and to encourage them in civic participation.
They can contribute to transparency in political affairs, to democratic control of administrative actions, to a genuine expression of the people's will through elections, to knowledge of reality and to the collective effort to solve the nation's problems.
Further, to improve the people's cultural level, as well as friendship and understanding among the people. The RPP aims at allowing existence - side by side with privately owned media - of a public sector including the different media (television, radio, press) which by virtue of its constitutional and legal status will be independent from the Government and political parties and explicitly bound to guaranteeing pluralism and the expression and clash of different trends of opinion.
Rule of law: Justice cannot be established without guarantees of freedom, equality and expression. Through justice, balance can be achieved between the rights of individuals and groups, and through it we can guarantee that the state and its institutions do not turn against the interests of the citizens.
Establishing justice is a practical endeavour which necessitates that society owns the tools and means to realise justice and defeat aggression. This is so that individuals are brought up on values and principles which encourage them to sacrifice in the cause of justice and establishing equality between people. Governance is based on justice and must be represented by the governing authority in itself and by implementing it in its domain.
The RPP intends to institute a viable judicial system that is effective, accountable and independent and which will replace the Gacaca courts and establish a judicial and justice system which will deliver justice to all Rwandans.
Education: Education is the future of the country and as such the RPP aims at providing free education for all up to the university. Emphasis will be put on sciences, technical, agriculture, research and business.
The RPP plans to build a Rwanda of tomorrow on the platform of education for future generations. We will revise the education system from learning to work to learn to teach. RPP will suspend all government scholarships on courses that could be taught in Rwanda.
Instead, the RPP aims at training local Rwandan and importing thousands of professors and lecturers to provide education to the Rwandan people. The RPP will also encourage and support all Rwandans in the Diaspora to return home to engage in rebuilding of the new Rwanda we all want.
Agricultural and rural development: The RPP intends to develop and rapidly modernise Rwandan agriculture, improve life in the countryside; increase agriculture, livestock and forestry production and productivity; improve the level of self-supply of basic foodstuffs; and preserve the rural world.
Part II Runs Tomorrow
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Updated on 2013-05-09 09:25
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