April 2, 2019
By: Jeanne Mukamurenzi
I greet you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I’m writing this open letter to you, your Excellencies to bring to your attention the current deteriorating political, social and economical situation in Rwanda.
Your Excellencies, your role as church leaders does not end at the altar on Sundays after you have delivered the word of God. You are called shepherds and shepherds are supposed to look into the welfare of their sheep on a daily basis and courageously defend them whenever they are attacked by the wolves.
Your Excellencies you have failed to take the stance against the brutal regime of President Paul Kagame. At several occasions your Excellencies, some of you have been given a platform to speak before the presence of President Paul Kagame and his entire leadership, but you have never used the occasion to speak against the killings, the disappearances, the tortures and imprisonments of many Rwandans.
You have never spoken against social injustices and inequalities that the majority of Rwandans have been subjected to by the RPF regime.
Your Excellencies you have never spoken against the economic injustices, inequalities and favouritism that some section of Rwandans have been subjected to where the economy of the country is controlled by the clique of few individuals at the expenses of the rest of Rwandan population.
Your Excellencies you have failed to speak against political injustices where the political power is controlled by a few clique of individuals at the expenses of the majority Rwandese men and women who have been barred from taking part in the political dispensation of their country .
Your Excellencies, your prophetic voices have been missing in all these ills that your flock have been subjected to. The wolves in the political skins have taken advantages of your missing prophetic voices and they are inflicting all kind of miseries to your flock.
Your Excellencies, in a country where the political space is closed, the opposition voices are not allowed to provide checks and balances to the current government, in a country where civil society doesn’t speak and non-existent for the oppressed, in a country where the judicial system has collapsed and can’t provide justice to The persecuted, you as the church leaders remain the only voices for the marginalized in society.This you have failed to do for the last 25 years of Paul Kagame regime and Rwandans are like sheep without shepherds.
Your Excellencies, Rwanda’s relationship with its neighboring countries has completely collapsed due to President Paul Kagame’s bad diplomatic policies based on sending his militia groups to cause insecurity in neighboring countries.
Your Excellencies, what are you saying about the recent closure of the Gatuna border by Paul Kagame?
What are you saying about the harassment of Rwandans who are being brutalised by Kagame’s soldiers while trying to cross over to Uganda in search for food? What are you saying about the recent death of a pregnant woman Elizabeth Mukabagwiza who collapsed and died while she was being chased by Paul Kagame’s soldiers preventing her from entering into Uganda?
Your Excellencies, the closure of the Uganda and Burundi borders may have no negative bearing on Mr.Paul Kagame and his cliques whom he shares power with, but your Excellencies think about cross border traders whose livelihood depends on buying and selling small marchandises from Burundi and Uganda. Please think of Rwandans near those closed borders.
Your Excellencies, you are all aware of bad agricultural policies introduced by the RPF regime, where farmers are forced to grow certain crops against their wishes and needs. You never condemned this act which left many Rwandans poor, destitute and most opting to migrate to Uganda in search of agricultural land and labour work.Now that their last hope is gone, what is your stance your Excellencies?
Your Excellencies, it was about time you came out of your silent mode and spoke with clear voices against the atrocities being committed by Mr.Paul Kagame and his clique.It is time for you to come out of the silent mode and speak about accountability and good governance in Rwanda. Where capable honest men and women are included in the governance system of our country without being discriminated against on basis of one’s tribe or region he/she comes from.
Your Excellencies, I would love to conclude by urging you to play a unifying and reconciliation role by encouraging President Paul Kagame to seat with leaders of opposition political parties and resolve the current deteriorating political, social, security and economical situation that Rwandans are faced with.The dialogue is needed so that millions of Rwandans who have fled Rwanda can come back home and be able to participate in building of Rwanda where all the citizens shall enjoy the equal opportunities, unlike today where the opportunity is a preserve of the few elites group who are in power.
I thank you very much your Excellencies.
His Holiness Pope Francis.
Episcopal Conference of Rwanda.