Johannesburg — A press release written in Kinyarwanda - ordering all local authorities of Buye district to open Twitter accounts and follow President Paul Kagame and other high ranking officials in the country - has surfaced.
Twitter user @MuvunyiF, who wrote about the copy of the press release, is calling the order "an act of dictatorship".
There have been several reports of Kagame's authoritarian style of ruling even though many Rwandans view him as a saviour. In the late 1990s as he ascended into the global political stratosphere, Kagame was proclaimed to be part of a "new breed of African leaders" that would usher in a new era in African leadership and politics - an era devoid of past shortcomings.
Kagame came to power as a 36-year-old guerilla leader. The country was in ruins, the treasury empty. When he started out, he wasn't at the center of power yet. With help from international donors, he poured money into education and infrastructure. In 2003 and 2010, he was re-elected by the general public with a 95% and 9% majority, respectively. When he stood for re-election in 2010, he said this would be his last term in office. However, there was a referendum in December 2015 to enable Kagame to run for another 7-year term and two 5-year terms. 98.3% of voters said yes to that proposed constitutional change which enables Kagame to stay in office until 2034.
Former US President George W. Bush called Kagame "a man of action" when he was in office with Kagame British ex-Premier Tony Blair calling him "a visionary leader".
There were several responses on social media, and not everyone thought the action showed dictatorial tendencies:
This is a personal initiative and many people disagree. I don't even get your point. In real "dictatorships", all Mayors would have written a similar letter, which is not the case here. It's rather this kind of cheap globalization thay indicates dictatorial tendencies. - Ndoli Gitare (@ndoligitare) November 27, 2018
In response, Fred Muvunyi (@MuvunyiF) said: I would always expect you to be the last person to understand this. Men in chains understand less about Freedom.
Dictatorship for sure... People deny it all the time, but People in Rwanda are in trouble for sure... it is so sad that no one will be able to stand and refuse to do this. - Charles Karangwa (@KCharles83) November 27, 2018
Tweeting's not dictarorship, ahubwo ubuze icyo atuka inka aravugishwa ngo dore igicebe cyayo " fake new" - Kalisa Kevin (@KalisaKevin5) November 27, 2018
Ariko it is another way of communication these days anyway!Just look @realDonaldTrump! namwe you should think twice before let out those nosense words. - Rwambali Alex (@alex_rwambali) November 27, 2018