Why the hero of Hotel Rwanda fears for his people





As Rwandans prepare to vote in their presidential elections, many are questioning the rule of incumbent President Paul Kagame.

The former manager of the Hotel des Milles Collines, he famously sheltered more than 1,200 Tutsi refugees during the 1994 genocide, persuading local militiamen to turn a blind eye by plying them with best Burgundy.

But 16 years after the slaughter that killed 800,000 people, the man whose quiet tact inspired the Oscar-nominated film Hotel Rwanda has abandoned the role of diplomatic maitre d'. Instead, he is an outspoken critic of the other Rwandan hailed as a hero in the West - President Paul Kagame, the shoo-in favourite to be returned to power in tomorrow's elections.

Critics of the 52-year-old incumbent say he shows all the signs of becoming yet another African "Big Man", welshing on the democratic reforms he promised when he came to office 10 years ago. In recent months, his intelligence services have been linked to grisly murders, several opposition supporters have been arrested, and two independent newspapers suspended - all part of a Mugabe-like plan, critics say, to cling to power....



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