Rwanda is a relatively small country of 26,338 square kilomentres and with over 11 million inhabitants, making it the most densely populated country in Africa.
Unlike most countries in Africa, Rwanda was not among the countries that were demarcated by the Europeans. When the Europeans arrived in Africa, Rwanda had already existed for hundreds of years, with its own borders and recognised leadership that united its inhabitants.
It was respected by the neighbouring countries with which it had relations.
The Europeans found Rwanda politically independent, with its own laws that were cautiously designed to ensure they benefit its entire citizenry. The country had its own recognized and respected leadership that united its people. Rwanda was also economically independent with self-sustaining activities (cultivation, animal husbandry, iron smelting, carpentry…).
Since there was no actual currency in Rwanda at the time, people relied on barter trade to satisfy their needs.
Because the economy was based on agriculture, the Rwandan people established a system to provide land for those who had none; this was known as ubugererwa while cows were also provided to those who did not have through a system known as ubuhake.
In this system of bugererwa and ubuhake, there were some injustices like in the history of any other country in the world; the masters did not always give their servants what they deserved.
Rwanda was independent and had its own culture, which was the uniting factor for all her people.
There was also a common religion, education and others.
Rwandan children were taught to love and work for the country, to follow the rules that governed human relations such as respect, integrity, honesty, discretion, friendliness and others. It is obvious this unity among Rwandans was the source of the country’s strength.
When the colonialists arrived in Rwanda (Germans 1899-1916 and Belgians 1916-1962) Rwanda lost all political economic and cultural independence. The Rwandan leadership was controlled by the colonial masters and worked to promote their interests at the expense of the Rwandan population.
The colonial masters established laws and selected leaders for Rwanda in a manner tailored to satisfy their own advantages, while the economy was manipulated to ensure all locally produced commodities end up being shipped to the colonial markets to no benefit of the Rwandan people.
The colonial masters introduced schools and religious beliefs that only served the purpose of teaching their culture while alienating the culture that Rwandans already had.
The colonial masters used the divide and rule principle in Rwanda, creating malicious myths claiming that Rwandans actually had different origins, did not arrive in the country together, do not have equal intelligence, should not do the same work or have the same education, all aimed at dividing the people.
It is this seed of segregation and favouritism among Rwandans that ultimately destroyed their unity.
During the early 1950s, when African nations were fighting for independence, Rwandans as well fought for their independence. The majority of those who fought for Rwandan independence were Tutsi, so the Belgians began spreading the ideology that Tutsis were themselves foreigners and had originated from Abyssinia (the present-day Ethiopia).
They encouraged Hutus to destroy and burn their homes, kill them and send them into exile. At the end of 1959, the PARMEHUTU party followed this ideology and even carried it out with the help of the colonial masters.
Rwanda gained its independence in 1962 after the killings carried out by MDR-PARMEHUTU in which many Tutsis lost their lives while others fled into exile. That party was then rewarded with the leadership of Rwanda.
After Rwanda gained its independence in 1962, the MDR-PARMEHUTU (1962-1973) regime as well as the MRND (1973-1994) regime decided to carry on the segregation legacy of the colonial masters and the problems were compounded further. Those regimes were characterised by bad methods such as:
- Openly preaching segregation propaganda;
- Propagating hatred among Rwandans;
- Exclusion of some Rwandans in school, work and politics;
- Oppression of fellow Rwandans, destroying and burning their homes, killing them and sending them into exile, even culminating into the 1994 genocide;
- No democracy and no opportunity for the people to participate in their leadership;
- No effective economic agenda for the development of Rwanda, leaving the Rwandan people in poverty, disease, ignorance and dependence on foreign aid;
- Promoting the profit of the leaders above the people’s welfare giving rise to corruption, favouritism, waste and embezzlement of national resources;
The RPF-INKOTANYI was formed with the objective of fighting bad governance that characterised Rwanda’s history and to solve all the problems that resulted.
Both the political and the armed struggle were aimed at liberating Rwanda from the bad dictatorial leadership in order to build a nation that abides by law, and upholds democracy, peace, security, justice and development.
The Political Programme of the RPF-INKOTANYI is explained in this document. It is aimed at solving those difficult political, economic and social problems faced by Rwanda.
THE POLITICAL PROGRAMME OF THE RPF-INKOTANYI
The RPF-INKOTANYI, having studied in detail the problems facing our country, Rwanda, as evidenced by in its history, and more particularly:
- Given the need to re-establish unity among Rwandans, and for that unity to be the foundation for building peace and development in Rwanda;
- Given that segregation and the abuse of basic human rights among Rwandans resulted in a terrible genocide in this country;
- Considering that giving the people the right to participate in choosing their leaders is the basis for true democracy and development;
- Determined to commit itself to the resolution of Rwanda’s political, economic and social problems;
Has decided to elaborate and implement a political programme aimed at building a nation that is free and fair to all Rwandans.
That programme comprises the following nine points:
1. Restoration of unity among Rwandans;
2. Defending the sovereignty of the country nd ensure the security of people and property;
3. Establishment of democratic leadership;
4. Promoting the economy based on the country’s natural resources;
5. Elimination of corruption, favouritism and embezzlement of national resources;
6. Promoting social welfare;
7. Eliminating all causes for fleeing the country and returning Rwandan refugees back into the country;
8. Promoting international relations based on mutual respect, cooperation and mutually beneficial economic exchange;
9. Fighting genocide and its ideology.