Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Rwanda Police escalate harassment of Rwanda Greens

Frank Habineza, interim President of the Rwanda Green Party, forwarded this Rwanda News Agency (RNA) report, from Kigali, Rwanda's capitol, on 11.24.2009.   The Rwanda Greens fourth attempt to convene in Kigali ended in violence and arrests, and, now Rwanda Police will not grant them the certificate they need for a fifth attempt to convene in Gasabo District, Kigali.  

I fear for the Rwanda Greens, the other political parties attempting to register and participate in Rwanda's 2010 elections, and the Rwandan people. 

  Police chief Brig Emmanuel Gasana (left) and Green Party leader Mr. Frank Habineza (right): The Police boss wants names of the trouble-causers from the Green Party

Police refuses to give Green Party crucial document        
By RNA Reporter      
Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Police chief Brig Emmanuel Gasana (right) and Green Party leader Mr. Frank Habineza: The Police boss wants names of the trouble-causers from the Green Party

Gasabo district cannot allow the controversial Green Party space on its territory unless it has a Police Certificate indicating they will “not cause trouble again," but now the Police also says it cannot avail that document at the moment, RNA reports.

Police Commissioner-General, Brig Emmanuel Gasana instead informed the Green Party yesterday that he does not intend to grant them the clearance “because investigations are still ongoing” on the chaos that erupted on October 30, as the party conference got underway.

“I take this opportunity to request that if you have any information on the people who caused the chaos, indicating that they were not your members, then you should avail that to the National Police, because those arrested at St. Paul turned out to be innocent saying they had instead been hit with chairs in the meeting you were presiding,” the new police chief writes.

The chaos erupted in the founding conference on the morning of that October day at the Diocesan hall St. Paul in Nyarugenge district. The trouble ridden party then decided to ask neighbouring Gasabo district for space to hold another conference, at which they hope to finalise their registration dossier.

The Green Party leaders had planned to hold the conference in Gasabo on November 20, just a week before the Heads of State Commonwealth summit due this weekend in Trinidad and Tobago. President Kagame is expected to lead a high-level government delegation to the event where Rwanda could be allowed into the 53-nation block.

However, the embattled Mayor of Gasabo district, Ms. Nyinawagaga Claudine, who has also resigned over other issues, declined to offer the space demanding for the police clearance. She said the document would give her assurances that the same trouble would not be repeated in her administrative area.

This means that the Green Party has been put to task to prove that the chaos in which several people were seriously injured was not caused by them. In a response letter to the Police chief, Green Party officials have sent him two names of people it alleges where behind the troubles.

The individuals whose names have been submitted to the Police Commissioner-General are Mr. Kimenyi Claude, from Nyamurambo in Nyarugenge district; and Mr. Kayisire Emmanuel, from Kimironko in Gasabo district. 

Mr. Kimenyi, according to the Green Party is a money-changer in Kigali, and Mr. Kayisire is a Blocker, also here in Kigali.

The Green Party also seems to be desperately trying to move fast so it can have the founding conference which has been postponed for five times. In the correspondence to the Police Chief, party leaders say the situation which happened at St. Paul hall has been “resolved” because those who caused it are out free, and those who were injured have been treated.

“… that is why I am requesting you that you accept to give us the clearance, such that in the next congress we will collaborate with you especially on security,” they write in the letter sent Tuesday. 

It was not clear by press time, when the Police Commissioner-General will respond.

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