The president of Rwanda, who has been in charge for twenty years, has stated he would be open to serving another twenty years. Paul Kagame said to a French television station that he would run for president once more in the 2024 election. He amended the constitution in 2015, extending his tenure until 2034. Official results from the previous presidential election, which took place five years ago, revealed that he received 99 percent of the vote, which many people outside of the nation condemned as a fraud.
When asked if he would run for office again, Mr. Kagame, who is 64 years of age responded, “I would consider running for another 20 years. I have no problem with that. Elections are about people choosing.” Lewis Mudge, the director of Human Rights Watch for Central Africa, told the BBC that “what comes as a surprise is that some people are indeed surprised. “Rwanda is a country where it’s very, very dangerous to oppose the government, let alone to be a political opponent… and this authoritarian system is going to be the system for the foreseeable future,” he said. Even harsher criticism has been made by a well-known Rwandan.
According to Charles Kambanda, a lawyer and university lecturer now residing in the US, “If he continues for another 20 years Rwanda will be real hell,” According to Mr. Kambanda, there is already a culture of terror in Rwanda, and he claims that several ministers have admitted to him that they stay in office out of fear of being killed if they resign. But President Kagame has consistently stood up for Rwanda’s human rights record, most notably in June during a Commonwealth summit in the country’s capital Kigali.
In April, some months prior, the UK made contentious plans to divert some asylum seekers who came to its shores to Rwanda for processing and possible refuge there. The UN denounced that, comparing it to “trading commodities,” but the British prime minister’s office has promised to continue the approach even after Boris Johnson left. Having helped put an end to the genocide with his rebel forces, Mr. Kagame himself came to power in 1994. Since then, he has positioned himself as a proponent of progress, but according to his critics, he still maintains a firm grip over the country’s autocratic government.