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Sixteen years after the mass murder of some 800,000 Rwandans the country is making a remarkable comeback: Rwandans go to the polls on Monday.

Paul Kagame, the incumbent president, gets much of the credit for the nation's progress, but at what price?

Critics say Kagame has become a dictator who uses a vast network of "spies" to shut down dissent and intimidate the opposition.


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Kagame counters that it is not his job to foster a vibrant opposition and says that democracy is meaningless unless there is food on the tables and a basic level of services.

On Monday's Riz Khan we ask: At what point does a strong leader become a dictator and what will it take to deal with the legacy of genocide? And what chance is there of free and fair elections?

Joining the show are James Kimonyo, Rwanda's ambassador to the US, who supports the president, and Joseph Sebarenzi, a former parliamentary speaker who fled the country after learning of an assassination plot against him.

This episode of the Riz Khan show aired from Monday, August 9, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera