It’s quite unlikely to talk about renown world leaders who are active on social media without mentioning Rwanda’s controversial President, Paul Kagame.
With over 260k followers and following nobody, @PaulKagame’s stray tweet, according to The Washington Post, could have pulled off the veil regarding so many controversies.
It all started with a one @RichardGoldston twitter account, who in rebuttal, to a Radio France International article about the killing of political dissidents within Rwanda and the diaspora. Written by RFI journalist Sonia Rolley, the article received approval of a political scientist with Colby College, Laura Seay. But this time around not in a newspaper article style or white paper but via Twitter –that is in less than 140 characters.
One of the slurry allegations in the tweef between Rolley and Richard was that the former had been a mistress to Patrick Karegeya, the former head of Rwanda’s intelligence communities who was found strangled in a Johannesburg hotel on 1st Jan. 2014. Karegeya had become one of the most vocal critics of Kagame since falling out with the president in 2007.
Even though for the past few months, Rolley had been reporting on the death of Patrick Karegeya, many other Twitter users joined her to counter Richard’s misogynistic rumblings.
After a little back and forth, something strange happened: Kagame himself apparently stepped in, tweeting directly at Terrill (one of the other participants). The tweets have since been deleted, but not before people were able to get a screenshot:
Twitter trolls are two-a-penny, of course, and even if Kagame’s Twitter ghostwriter is really behind the @RichardGoldston account it may look like an embarrassment rather than a scandal. However, the fact that the tweet that started this was a reference to Rolley’s reporting on the death of Rwandan dissidents lends the situation a darker tone.
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Twitter screenshot via The Washington Post