French broadcaster RFI fabricates Kagameâ€™s quotes
Franceâ€™s state funded broadcaster RFI has fabricated quotes from a speech delivered by President Paul Kagame at the annual breakfast prayer yesterday in which he apparently mentions Patrick Karegeya by name, when in fact no names where cited.
At the event, President Kagame made strong comments about people he said â€œbetrayâ€ Rwanda, and that some countries which support such people have committed more grave crimes. However, the President did not mention any names or countries during the speech.
But according to RFI, he said as quoted from the screenshot below:
In translation, he is quoted as saying: â€œThose who accuse us of being responsible for the death of Patrick Karegeya have done the same a thousand times more to defend their nationsâ€
The President did not mention any names during his hour long speech that is widely accessible online. The story was submitted by French journalist Sonia Rolley who has been accused on social media by people who seem to be Rwandans of allowing her personal relationship with Patrick Karegeya to cloud her professional career.
Since the death of Patrick Karegeya, a former spy chief in Rwanda, whose body was found at a hotel in South Africa, the French broadcaster has taken particular interest in the story. There have been daily online and on air updates. Sonia Rolley has interviewed Karegeya and his colleague Kayumba Nyamwasa several times. And all the stories about the issue have been from the reporter.
In 2006, Sonia Rolley was expelled from Rwanda, and RFI signal switched off at the time, as relations between Kigali and Paris hit a low end over indictments by a French judge targeting senior Rwandan officials. RFI broadcasts have since returned but Rolley has never set foot in Rwanda again.
Over the years, Rolley has maintained a constant coverage of exiled opposition politicians. The most recent case is where she travelled to South Africa specifically to cover the attempted murder case of Kayumba Nyamwasa. She had lengthy interviews with Karegeya and Kayumba over the French indictments.
On social media, her attackers have accused her of having a personal agenda in the Karegeya affair, and taking advantage of RFI to publicize the agenda.
Her case however is not alone. Several other media have used the Kagame speech to suggest that he confirmed responsibility for the murder of Karageya. South Africaâ€™s biggest daily â€˜Mail and Guardianâ€™ in writing about the speech tried to push the South African government to feel directly attacked and respond.
But the South African department of international relations and cooperation dismissed the paperâ€™s version of the speech. Spokesman Clayson Monyela said he was aware of President Kagame’s remarks but these had no bearing on diplomatic ties between South Africa and Rwanda, and declined to comment.
President Kagame did not name “any individual or country” in his remarks on Sunday, and South Africa would not “second guess any head of state”, the paper quoted him as saying.
“The incident that happened in Johannesburg is being investigated by the police and we are all awaiting the outcome of that investigation. But we are not going to second guess any head of state; we don’t conduct diplomacy like that,” added Monyela.