RUSESABAGINA’S PLEA FOR CLEMENCY — disingenuous and self-serving

RUSESABAGINA’S PLEA FOR CLEMENCY — disingenuous and self-serving

Rusesabagina, the self-styled humanitarian and alleged philanthropist, is a free man today following the commutation of his 25-year prison sentence by Presidential decree, along with 18 other co-defendants. Let’s see how long he remains free. I will tell you why.

Soon after the launch of the much acclaimed fictitious movie “HOTEL RWANDA” Rusesabagina’s ego bloated and he thought he was bigger than life. After all, he fantasized, he was a Hollywood “hero”. Little did he know so is Mickey Mouse.

Following approval by Cabinet on March 24, 2023, and in accordance with Article 228 of the Law on Criminal Procedure, the prison sentences of Rusesabagina and 18 others convicted of terrorism-related offenses were commuted by Presidential Order.

Paul Rusesabagina

Under Rwandan law, commutation of sentences does NOT extinguish the underlying conviction, and any individual benefitting from early release repeats offenses of a similar nature, the commutation can be revoked and the remainder of the prison sentence will be served. The fines that were levied by the court, which remain outstanding are not affected by the commutation.

Having served well over two years at Nyarugenge Prison, one would assume that Rusesabagina has learned a lesson and now knows that Rwanda’s long arm of the law can go beyond her borders.

But I doubt this. After all, here is a man that boarded a private plane he had not reserved, hired, or paid for and did not bother to ascertain its destination. But nobody has ever accused Rusesabagina of being intelligent or politically savvy.

Paul Rusesabagina being taken to court

Much will be made of Rusesabagina’s release by those not familiar with what goes on in Rwanda or are simply anti-Rwanda. This is NOT the first time Presidential clemency has been granted, and it will not be the last time. In fact, people who have committed more heinous crimes than Rusesabagina (genocide and crimes against humanity) have been released in their hundreds. Including the foul-mouthed Victoire Ingabire, the so-called opposition leader.

Rwanda is a country of laws, not men, and her Judiciary has withstood the test of time.

In his plea for clemency to President Kagame, Rusesabagina writes; “There are many reasons I cite in favor of this request, the most predominant of which is my advanced age and a number of chronic maladies that unfortunately will persist for the remainder of my life.” Baloney. Before he embarked on his terrorist activities Rusesabagina knew how old he was and was well aware of his alleged poor medical condition.

This self-pity is reprehensible and offensive.

The man shamelessly goes on to say that “ I do not condone violence. Violence is never acceptable, including the use of violence to achieve political aims.” As Joe Biden would say, malarkey. When he was leading the FLN to launch cross-border attacks in Rwanda, did Rusesabagina think he was leading a Troop of Boy Scouts?

Rusesabagina continues; “I regret not taking more care to ensure that members of the MRCD coalition fully adhered to the principles of non-violence in which I fully and deeply believe, and have always ascribed.” Utter garbage. MRCD and its military wing are terrorist organizations. That is like Osama bin Laden expressing regret that he failed to supervise his Al Qaeda converts.

And listen to this; “Moving forward, I know you will focus on securing a peaceful future for all Rwandans. I hope all Rwandans can find peaceful ways to overcome national disagreements and bring Rwandans together through the power of words” Rusesabagina writes.

Rusesabagina, a convicted terrorist, and an avowed negationist is not in a position to give advice or comment on peace, or the “power of words.” Then what the hell was he doing in the jungles of the DRC and sending armed thugs to kill, maim and terrorize innocent Rwandans? Talk is cheap.

Rusesabagina’s plea for clemency which fails to show remorse pales miserably compared to his Deputy, Callixte Nsabimana, AKA Sankara, who writes; “I am addressing to you this letter to request for your presidential pardon for THE CRIMES I COMMITTED against the Rwandan society… I HAD GONE ASTRAY … HAVE ADMITTED TO ALL THE CRIMES I WAS ACCUSED OF…”

In all this, Rwanda’s Judiciary has shown its true colors. It rests on delivering justice, not vengeance, and that is a firm foundation for true democracy and the rule of law.

After Rusesabagina un-ceremoniously landed in Kigali a stern warning was issued to those who seek to destabilize Rwanda: You can run but you can’t hide.

1 comment
  • I totally agree with your analysis of the situation
    Let us hope that releasing the entire group will lead to the US in showing its gratitude for his release help to untangle the mess in the DRC to give the east African community a chance to florish