Rwanda President Takes Critics Head-on on Twitter

You remember the strong argument the President of Rwanda, Paul Kagame, had with a Dutch Human Rights activist, P. Kuiper, on Twitter in April? The argument was long and refreshing in that it gave you a different side of Paul Kagame. He would rather face his critics with facts and figures and wont “ignore” the small critics as other leaders would rather have it.

Kuiper asked President Kagame about Victoire ingabire who is the Chairperson of United Democratic Front (UDF) and is in Prison on various counts of treason related charges.

The Tweets;

The conversation went on and  on until P.Kuiper was convinced that the “laws of Rwanda” had to be followed and the President was not going to let it go easily.

But Ian Birrell, a former deputy editor of The Independent, took it upon himself to call President Kagame “despotic” and “deluded”.

Then the Minister For Foreign Affairs , Louise Mushikiwabo, joined to back up her boss;
@ianbirrell wld u care 2 know what 11.000.000 Rwandans think of Paul Kagame b4 u spread ur formed opinion?
And it went on and on. But President Kagame might be doing well engaging critics on Twitter on the other hand he might be playing into the hands of opportunists. Ian Birell has launched Africa Express, he might have been looking for some marketing with such controversy. Major European media outlets picked on the story including the Independent, NRC, Channel 4, and you can find the whole conversation here.
There are rules to engaging opponents on social media and we should share them with President Kagame. Someone these people on Facebook and Twitter are not worth engaging. There is something wrong with the perception of International journalists, media and activists.

Written by Robert

Respected Kenyan blogger, tech evangelist, and social justice activist. Robert is known for his hard-hitting articles and opinions disseminated through his Twitter handle @RobertAlai or Facebook page (

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