Kagame a proclamé que son régime est « aussi solide qu’un roc ». Son prédécesseur Habyarimana s’est déclaré « invincible ».

David Himbara

David Himbara

Le philosophe allemand Georg Hegel a observé que « la seule chose que nous apprenons de l’histoire, c’est que nous n’apprenons rien de l’histoire ». Son homologue hispano-américain, George Santayana, a également observé que « ceux qui ne se souviennent pas du passé sont condamnés à le répéter ».

C’est exactement ce que j’ai pensé lorsque j’ai entendu les déclarations de l’homme fort du Rwanda, le général Paul Kagame, le 9 janvier 2023. S’adressant aux membres de son régime au parlement, le général a frappé la poitrine, déclarant: « nous sommes solides comme un roc ». Kagame a prononcé son discours dans l’adulation, acclamé par un tonnerre d’applaudissements de la part des responsables de son régime.

Et c’est précisément le point de vue de Hegel et Santayana. Nous l’avons déjà vu. Débordant de bravade, le général Kagame a fait preuve des mêmes illusions de grandeur que son prédécesseur, le général Juvénal Habyarimana, qui a dirigé le Rwanda de 1973 à 1994. Habyarimana aimait aussi sonner de sa propre trompette. Il s’est lui-même qualifié de « Ikinani », un mot kinyarwanda signifiant « invincible ». Pendant son règne, les exécutants du parti au pouvoir de Habyarimana ont fait chanter et danser les gens en adulation de l’homme fort lors de concours de masse d’« animation » politique.

Nous savons, bien sûr, que le général Habyarimana n’était pas invincible. Aucun dirigeant autoritaire ne l’est jamais. Le Mahatma Gandhi l’a bien exprimé lorsqu’il a observé qu’« il y a eu des tyrans et des meurtriers, et pendant un certain temps, ils peuvent sembler invincibles, mais à la fin, ils tombent toujours ». Habyarimana est tombé du pouvoir de la même manière qu’il l’avait pris à son prédécesseur, Grégoire Kayibanda, lors d’un coup d’État. Après avoir renversé Kayibanda en 1973, Habyarimana est devenu le nouveau dictateur du pays, poursuivant la fraude électorale de Kayibanda dans laquelle Habyarimana a « remporté » les élections présidentielles par 98,99% en 1978, 99,97% en 1983 et 99,98% en 1988.

Alors maintenant, nous voici en 2023 avec le général Kagame déclarant que son régime est « aussi solide qu’un roc », une phrase qui a provoqué un tonnerre d’applaudissements de la part de ses responsables gouvernementaux. Pendant ce temps, comme ses prédécesseurs, la fraude électorale de Kagame se traduit par des élections présidentielles absurdes.

Lors de ses élections de 2017, par exemple, le général Kagame a « gagné » à 99 %, à la suite des amendements à la constitution rwandaise qui lui ont permis de rester au pouvoir après la fin de son deuxième et dernier mandat. En effet, cette manœuvre lui a permis de se présenter pour un autre mandat de sept ans, et deux autres après celui de cinq ans chacun, ce qui signifie que le général pourrait rester au pouvoir jusqu’en 2034.

Et comme si cela ne suffisait pas, Kagame s’est accordé une immunité à vie contre les poursuites pénales, même pour les pires crimes.L’article 114  de la Constitution rwandaiese de 2015 se lit comme suit:

« Un ancien Président de la République ne peut être poursuivi pour trahison ou violation grave et délibérée de la Constitution lorsqu’aucune procédure judiciaire n’a été engagée contre lui pendant qu’il était en fonction. »

Adopter une telle loi revient à avouer être un criminel – mais pire encore, cette loi illustre un échec plus étonnant à apprendre de l’histoire. L’efficacité de telles lois dans les États totalitaires est au mieux douteuse. Le Général doit savoir que lors du changement de régime politique ou des coups d’État, en règle générale, personne n’obéit aux lois, y compris à la constitution.

Je termine cet article comme j’ai commencé avec les mots de Hegel : « La seule chose que nous apprenons de l’histoire, c’est que nous n’apprenons rien de l’histoire. » Dans notre cas, l’incapacité à tirer les leçons de l’histoire signifie que chaque nouvel homme fort arrive violemment au pouvoir. Le transfert ordonné du pouvoir sans coup d’État ni guerre civile reste un rêve lointain au Rwanda.

A la prochaine!

Récit original du prof David Himbara,traduit par AFRIQUELA1ERE

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