Monday, May 16, 2011

Rwanda: Kagame on Twitter



Paul Kagame
:
No, the point underlined is that while some in UN,Human rights grps n media criticise,they r not without serious flaws..!
Flashback to a similar excerpt from his second inauguration
speech - here.

AP:
Kagame appears to closely monitor Twitter for any mentions of Rwanda. His official feed is dominated by notes of thanks to others who have tweeted Rwanda-related developments. "It is great (Kagame) engaging with a critic like me on Twitter," Birrell noted. "Just shame he doesn't allow such debate in Rwanda with his own people."
London Dispatch:
But you have to give credit to a man who feels so passionate about his country that he is willing to take on any critic of his on the ground, at home, away from home and in the air (read cyber space).... You begin to see the reason why PK behaves the way he does. He has been made to believe that he is Rwanda’s savior, Stephen Kinser even referred to him as the Man Who Dreamed Rwanda’s Rebirth. Bill Clinton has showered him with all sorts of prizes for excellently guiding Rwanda out of the rubble to a respectable status as a nation...
A View from the Cave commenter:
Rwanda needs to look at NGOs as partners and address their criticism with valid points. Saying everyone who dares speak against the regime and its president is "out of touch with Rwanda and Rwandans" does not address any of the problematic issues. If you tell me that I'm not a professional photographer because you see me using a point and shoot camera, I won't just point out your being out of touch with photography, I will tell you why I chose to use that particular camera. Might be its features, need for subtlety, etc. Same with Kigali, they need to say, for example, that the tabloids were banned because of A, B, and C. That the investigation into the murder of Rwisereka is ongoing, closed, or in some other phase. That Ingabire and other political prisoners are held because of plausible reasons. Based on what I have observed, however, the reasons given by the Rwandan regime don't add up so they seek to attack and marginalize whoever dares raise questions about them. If this is what progress for Africa is, I don't want it and there are many who don't want it either. True progress will come from empowering the people and not hoodwinking them.
Kigaliwire... on the technology, the exchange and Rwanda's soft skin:
I can’t recall seeing a similar Q&A exchange between a head of state and a journalist on Twitter. I’m not sure Twitter is the ideal place for tit-for-tat arguments on substantial questions – 140 character messages leave little space for nuance or depth. In addition, while I see engagement in general as a largely positive step on Rwanda’s behalf, I do worry that Rwanda spends an unusually large amount of time responding to critics across social networks, blogs, newspapers and other media. Criticism aside, the geek in me likes the fact that both the President and the Foreign Minister tweet from Blackberry phones… It’s also worth noting that since April, 2011, you can tweet in Rwanda from SMS text message. It’s been surprisingly useful in traffic jams, during power outages and Internet downtime in the capital.
Sky and Soil...on foreign minister Louise Mushikiwabo's performance:
Kagame didn't actually answer any of the questions posed by Birrell about his government's silencing of political and media opposition. Instead it was a slinging match in which the foreign minister, Louise Mushikwabo also got involved. In a rather strange move, she protected her tweets the very next day as if it was an act of self-protection from a threat, but its an act of hiding. Doesn't she know protecting your tweets only restricts who can see them, but those already following you, can still interact with you and retweet your tweets for others to see? Restricting dialogue won't stop truth-seekers and critics, nor does it advance the democracy and openness which Kagame claims his government does, in the YouTube interview.
More links over at View from a Cave  + Kagame actually said the exact same thing in a Q&A after giving the Oppenheimer lecture at IISS in London last year and this was what we thought.

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