Rwandan President Paul Kagame is not happy with the country’s top court decision to uphold a law that prescribes jail terms to anyone who insults the president.




The law, which went into force in August last year, punishes anyone insulting or defaming the president with at least five years in prison. The media, campaigners, and rights groups condemned the law, saying that it undermined freedom of expression.

A lawyer, Richard Mugisha, petitioned the country’s Supreme Court, in his private capacity, challenging the law. The court, however, ruled Wednesday that the law should remain because the president is an important personality to the nation whose integrity cannot be allowed to be insulted, reports The Chronicles.

Kagame has, in response, taken issues with the Supreme Court’s decision, and said that defamation should be decriminalised, irrespective of who is involved.

“The President of the Republic respects the independence of the judiciary and the recent Supreme Court decision to decriminalise the offences related to humiliation of public officials,” a statement from the presidency said.

“The President, however, takes issue with the decision to retain as criminal offences, insults or defamation against the Head of State, who is also a public official. His position has always been that this should be a civil, not a criminal matter.”