If you aren’t an avid Rwanda watcher then you’ve probably never heard of Mr. Frank Habineza, the grandiosely titled ‘Founding President’ of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, or the Greens as I’ve decided to call them.
Heard of the politician who was decapitated in Butare in the run up to the last presidential elections in 2010? Well, the deceased politician, Andre Rwisereka, was Habineza’s deputy. This is the gruesome picture of the man in the morgue. Look at it at your own risk.
Anyway, after unsuccessfully attempting to register his party, Frank left the country. While some Rwanda observers said that he fled political persecution in 2010, the politician himself said, in a press conference that he held today at Hotel Umubano, that he “had to go to Sweden to do other duties”.
The press conference, which I attended, was meant to reintroduce the Greens to the Rwandan public and allow the Media to quiz him. But before we could do that, we were handed the Greens ‘Interim Political Platform’. A mishmash of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the US Constitution and Green Party themes, it is a contradictory and rather silly document.
The document states that, among other things, that the Greens will balance “the interests of a regulated market economy and community-based economics”. What in the world does that mean? Did the writers simply copy and paste some Swedish mumbo-jumbo? Perhaps the economists out there can interpret this for us lesser minds.
You know why people don’t politicians? Because they are populist liars. In one section of the Platform, the Greens believe that “Government MUST practice fiscal responsibility, limit taxation and control spending”….then two pages later say that the Party will propose “ a modernized social welfare system. We will propose policies that can provide un-employment benefits”.
Now, I’m not a genius but even I can understand that you cannot lower taxes on one hand and then increase social spending at the same time. Especially when you are talking about a country where half of the people don’t even PAY taxes therefore overburdening the rest that do. Throw in the fact that unemployment was about eight percent last year and one has an impossible situation. Mr. Habineza, the math simply doesn’t add up.
The rest of the press conference was kind of fun. He was bombarded by the press corps and he ducked and weaved. But will he be able to land a blow, never mind a knockout blow, of any kind to the RPF coalition? Not in a million years. He’s way out of his league and I mean no disrespect.