Agathon Rwasa: “I am in danger”

The first vice-president of the National Assembly announces a fabrication intended to move him away from the 2020 elections.

Rwasa-4-600x521Would there be a concocted scheme against you?

There are, indeed, plans to harm me for political reasons. I have accurate information.

Would you give more details?

There is talk of a rebellion that would be linked to me so that my political decline would take place and thus deprive me of immunity. If I am not shot by some fanatics, I will find myself in jail.

For what reasons?

They think they would be peaceful enough to move towards the 2020 elections.

Do you take this threat seriously? Any evidence?

We must never take any information for granted, especially in a country like ours. For me, it is serious. Most recently, it has been difficult to work with Adolphe Banyikwa, Former Secretary General of our political party. He did not accept that there was a crisis. He preferred to slam the door in my face. He, then, told those who wanted to hear that I was not made of metal, that I had just signed my death warrant. His plan will have to succeed at all costs.

What is his plan in concrete terms?

To my knowledge, it would not be far from this alleged rebellion. He sent demobilized soldiers to Nzabampema in the DRC. Thirty are already back. Others would be on their way. The aim is to carry out some mock attacks and hold me accountable for them.

The Attorney General will take it as a rebellion in the country. Adolphe Banyikwa will evoke dissensions that would be linked to this rebellion, which he could not endorse. The National Assembly will be requested to dismiss me.

Who would be the brains behind this plan?

I have no doubt that the generals are involved in the act as such a plan cannot be put into action without the collaboration of the leading lights of the regime. Adolphe Banyikwa himself said that I have no support from generals. I do not need it.

Have you expressed your concerns to the appropriate authorities to enhance your safety?

It is not the number of soldiers that counts to strengthen my security. In this situation, responsibility rests more with those who manage the country so that this kind of plan does not succeed.

No citizen deserves death. It is a shame for a modern state claiming to be independent that people disappear, others are found dead, with no explanation from the public authority. The Constitution guarantees us life and plurality of opinions. Why am I, then, persecuted? I do not necessarily have to belong to any other political group, except that of my choice.

Can these threats force you into exile?

I do not think that those who want to force me into exile love Burundi. Those who have fled are a loss to the country.

It is time for the government to come to its senses, be lucid and understand that Burundi must evolve with everyone. We should rather consider improving the political situation in Burundi so that it even inspires those who are abroad to return to the country. Will it attract those who are abroad if those who are inside the country are being harmed? I’m not running away. I’m here. We will all die someday.

In any case they will fail. This is not the first time they plan my assassination. I have got to do what I have to do. And I will not do it in exile.

A very negative assessment of the current governance

” They will fail. This is not the first time they plan my assassination”

” They will fail. This is not the first time they plan my assassination”

Agathon Rwasa is very critical and does not mince his words. He regrets, for example, that the President of the Republic did not meet at least once, in almost twelve years of office, the leaders of various political formations, to discuss politics in this country. He believes that one cannot solely rely on their own political formation. “There is also this contribution from others that the current regime is missing,” he said.

This opposition actor criticizes the split of political parties into several wings. He also sees the hand of power: It must see what is more important. Is it continuing to divide political parties? Is the record of past dissensions positive? “I would say no. If everyone is silenced, this risks bringing about a social explosion someday. ”

The former rebel believes that “people do not necessarily have to think the same way or be in the same political family as the one who leads.”

Agathon Rwasa sits in the National Assembly as the first vice-president. But according to him, this position does not change anything for him.

“As a member of the National Assembly, I am told that I cannot meet the population because I do not have a political party. This is an aberration. A parliamentarian does not represent a party, s/he represents the population. ”

And how does he do that? Without going much into details, a bit mysterious, he explains that he “gets by”. As Burundians say, when your leg breaks, you learn to limp. We do things differently, we meet people, one word is often enough to bring comfort.

In spite of everything, Mr Rwasa always says he is optimistic: “Even if the situation is as such, I think that there is always reason to hope for better days ahead”.

On this rebellion that they want to link to him, he asks himself the interest of spending hundreds of millions to finance a pseudo rebellion just to get rid of him. “Why not take this money, buy food containers and distribute them to the population, saying that Rwasa has nothing to offer,” he concludes, mockingly.