There was unpaid for drama at Kigali airport Tuesday when police clashed with University of Rwanda Professor, Christopher Kayumba.
A vocal critic, columnist for The EastAfrican newspaper and writer for Rwanda Chronicles media, Kayumba was headed to the Kenyan capital, Nairobi.
“I’m at Kigali I international airport destined to Nairobi and airline leaves at 1:10pm and doors are closed?!” he stated.
He said police was using guns to bar him from boarding the plane.
“[Police] keeping you as long as it wants! This coercive power will NEVER bring sustainable power,” he lashed out.
He added: “Beating people or threatening them doesn’t yield confidence! Beat!”
Rwanda police in response, shared the details on his ticket saying he came too late for the flight.
“Dear Mr. Kayumba, contrary to your claims, you arrived at the airport at 09:50am for a 10:10 flight to Nairobi as can be seen on your ticket. You were 30 minutes late per aviation rules as check-in closed at 09:20,” Rwanda police said in a tweet.
Police said while flight attendants tried to book Kayumba on another plane, the professor instead turned rowdy threatening to shut down the airport.
“An airport staff informed you that the doors were closed for that flight but could help you get another flight which you refused and threatened, “If you don’t let me on the flight, I am going to shut down the airport” You should ask yourself why you were late and missed the flight,” police explained.
A dissatisfied Kayumba maintained that as long as everywhere the solution is the gun, Rwandans will always fight.
“Sad! Poor souls! The real Rwandans? A Congolese wanted me through; about 5 Rwandans said no! No paid anything people should!” he noted.
He is the author of a book titled: “Threatening & Appropriate Bodies in Nation-building: Paths to World’s First Female Parliamentary Majority in Post-genocide Rwanda”.
A PhD holder, he is a Senior Lecturer at the School of Journalism and Communication, University of Rwanda (UR).
He is also a Lead Consultant at MGC Consult International located at Kigali Kay Plaza Building, Kiseminti, Kimoronko Rd Kigali city.
He once publicly stated that Rwandan police “systematically kills people” in its “reign of terror”.
On September 29, 2018, Dr. Kayumba made a series of statements about the Rwanda n government — in particular, the national police.
Besides killing innocent people, stated Kayumba, the police terrorizes the people of Rwanda in other ways.
For example, when the police decides to target an individual for whatever reason, the police labels that person a ”genocider” — somebody who participated in the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.
Then the police arrests that person under false pretext. In other words, the Rwanda national police is a human rights abuser.
Writing on Twitter, Kayumba made a series of statements including the following:
“Rwanda police beats and even kills innocents. Do you know people you killed? Do you know people you have killed in refugee camps? Do you know you can’t even allow any demonstrator? You are used to people who don’t respond to whatever you want and don’t respond; NOT any more.”
“Police has no respect for Rwandans nor does it treat them with respect. It does what it wants & treat citizens with contempt. I know it. I have seen people beaten. I have seen them in prison refused pple to go to the toilet. And I have seen the police pretend to work for us; zero.”
“I have been a subject of intimidation, fake audits for years and imprisonment of Journalists like Iddrissa Byiringiro. You have followed me since 2012. Why? You cook up crimes against me and my colleagues! Why? Because we speak our minds, because we want to be free.”