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Rwandan Green Party cries foul over sabotage

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Frank Habineza, interim Preisdent, Rwandan Democratic Green Party

As of 2:25 P.M., PST, on 10.06.2009, "New Green Party cries fowl over possible sabotage," seemed to be the only story about Rwandan state suppression of the Rwandan Democratic Green Party still accessible on the website of the state run Rwandan News Agency (RNA). I reported on state suppression of the Rwandan Democratic Greens and state media suppression of the news, on both Colored Opinions and the OpEdNews.

The Rwandan News Agency has made all other stories about this unavailable, consequent to "big pressure" on the agency's editor, according to Green Party co-founder Frank Habineza, so I'm saving the story here, as I did another, now unavailable, story, "Sad day for democracy in Rwanda":

"New Green Party cries foul over possible sabotage

By RNA Reporter
Thursday, 01 October 2009 Kigali:

Officials of the newly formed Democratic Green Party of Rwanda (DGPR) were in disbelief Thursday evening after government officials informed them they will not be available Friday to notify some of their registration documents, RNA can reveal.

Interim party leader Frank Habineza told RNA the development means the delegates conference scheduled Friday may not take place because that is when the signatures of the 1000-plus delegates expected in Kigali were to be verified.

"The 'Notaire' rang me at 5pm informing me that he will not be available because he has not been granted permission to verify our signatures by the minister of Justice," said a visibly angry Habineza.
"When I called the minister of Justice, he told me the Notaire does not need his permission to conduct such a function. Now I don't know who to believe and what to do."

According to Mr. Habineza, he has already postponed the delegates conference "three times", with every of the previous timetables, the Notaire claiming he is not in position to notify the party's nomination signatures.

However, Mr. Habineza declined to name the Notaire in question, but the minister is Tharcisse Karugarama.
"We have made a lot of losses financially because for example we called the delegates and diplomats last Sunday for the same function but we had to cancel it because there was no one to verify our documents," he said.

The new political party law requires that a government Notaire is present to verify all the signatures of those nominating a given party for registration before they are submitted to the Ministry of Local. The party needs at least 600 "verifiable signatures" from across the country to be able to register.

RNA was not able to get official response by press time.

Interim President Mr. Frank Habineza said last month that the party will "call for a delegates Congress in September, after which we shall deposit our dossier to [the Ministry of Local Government]". "Right now, we are recruiting members from all districts of Rwanda.
Last Updated (Monday, 05 October 2009 )


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Ann Garrison is an independent journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2014, she received the Victoire Ingabire Umuhoza Democracy and Peace Prize for her reporting on conflict in the African Great Lakes region. She can be reached (more...)

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