By David Himbara
Dear Jeanne K from Kigali, of all folks who request that I help explain something about Rwanda and its president, you have asked me the toughest questions. You wish me to confirm that President Paul Kagame is mentally unwell. While I believe that his actions are most often irrational, I am not equipped to assess his mental state. That said, Kagame’s body language and several persisting behaviors give us clues. These two factors suggest a seriously troubled mind.
Jeanne K from Rwanda asked me two related questions about President Paul Kagame. Jeanne figures that I should know the man I worked for as a principal private secretary and advisor. Jeanne’s questions and comments are:
- Why is our president so aggressive even over simple things? This does not seem right.
- Is he mentally ill? He appears to be.
My answer is that I do not know whether President Paul Kagame is mentally ill or not. I am not a medical doctor/scientist or some kind of an expert on mental issues. Nonetheless, the body language of any individual often reveals more than his/her words. Further, certain behavioral patterns add useful insights to the understanding of this matter.
And so it is with Kagame. Looking At his body language may offer clues of his mental state. So do some of his behaviors — they paint a picture of a seriously troubled mind.
The over the top aggressive posturing
A picture is worth a thousand words — so says the English language-idiom. Kagame’s over-the-top aggression comes very close to physical violence against those who happen to be near him — Kagame uses this aggression to achieve total dominance. It is widely known that Kagame regularly humiliates public servants, including Chief Justice, senators, and cabinet ministers. At the 2015 National Leadership Retreat, for example, Kagame called the three branches of government — executive, legislative, and judiciary — a sick army unfit to govern. This meant that only himself is an able leader.
Watch Kagame dismissing the entire Rwandan leadership as useless at the 2015 National Leadership Retreat. Revealing, the person defending the leadership is Andrew Mwenda, a Ugandan journalist who doubles as Kagame’s strategist.
But Kagame can suddenly go into reverse — extreme shyness
He often appear totally frightened and lost. In a room full of people, Kagame seems terrified. He can be very shy — and as we know, extremely shy individuals typically suffer low self-esteem. Kagame is astonishingly preoccupied with what others think of him. Kagame is seriously challenged in this regard. There can be no doubt that he is driven by an inferiority complex and associated fear of rejection.
Because Kagame fears rejection, he actively seeks acceptance by the entire world
Kagame will do anything to be accepted. He craves for medals and awards. He actively looks for opportunities to be invited to global gatherings. The man is almost always in the air. Look at his conferencing and visits since January 2018.
1. On April 29, 2018, Kagame attended the Heads of State and Government Summit of the Congo Basin Commission, Brazzaville, Congo.
2. On April 28, 2018, Kagame attended the ”Conversation on ‘’Public services in 21st century Africa”, Kigali, Rwanda.
3. On April 27, 2018, Kagame attended Ibrahim Governance Weekend, Kigali.
4. On April 24, 2018, Kagame attended the Premiere of “Rwanda: The Royal Tour”, New York City, USA.
5. On April 23, 2018, Kagame attended the Premiere of “Rwanda: The Royal Tour”, Chicago, USA.
6. On April 19, 2018, Kagame attended the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, London, UK.
7. On April 18, 2018, Kagame attended the Commonwealth Business Forum, London, UK.
8. On April 18, 2018, Kagame attended a high level roundtable discussion on the ‘State Fragility, Growth and Development’ chaired by former UK Prime Minister David Cameron, London, UK.
9. On March 25, 2018, Kagame made an official visit to Uganda.
10. On March 11, 2018, Kagame attended the International Solar Alliance Founding Summit, New Delhi, India.
11. February 18, 2018, Kagame attended Roundtable discussion on Human Security, Munich, Germany.
12. On February 17, 2018, Kagame attended a panel discussion on Securing the Sahel, Munich, Germany.
13. On February 17, 2018, Kagame attended a Stabilization and Development in Africa Session, Munich, Germany.
14. On January 28–29, Kagame attended African Union Summit, Addis, Ethiopia.
15. On January 23–25, Kagame attended Davos Economic Forum, Switzerland.
16. On January 14, 2018, Kagame visited Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.
No other president can match Kagame’s global travels.
And then there is Kagame’s addiction to luxury and material wealth
- The cars…
Kagame has four Audi A8. A brand new Audi A8 costs over $120,000 — that is $480,000 in total.
Kagame also has four Range Rover Sentinel four-wheel drive vehicles.
Each of these costs $446,000 — four of them cost $1,784,000.
Which means that Kagame’s vehicles have cost Rwanda taxpayers a shocking $2.2 million, excluding the fleet of vehicles for his republican guard security details. This in an extremely poor country with a per capita income of $702, which becomes $58.5 per month, and $2.7 per day.
- The jet…
Kagame the president of Rwanda charters the $65 million Gulfstream jet from Kagame, the chairman of the ruling party and its business empire, Crystal Ventures. The more Kagame travels outside Rwanda, the more Rwanda’s taxpayers’ money goes into the pockets of Kagame’s ruling party and Crystal Ventures Ltd.
- The farm…
The population density in Rwanda is 507 per Km2 (1,312 people per mi2). This makes Rwanda the most densely populated country in Africa. Kagame is the only public figure allowed to own 45 hectares of land.
- The biggest fraud
For the past eighteen years, Kagame has been boasting to the world that he is transforming Rwanda into a middle-income nation. His roadmap was Rwanda Vision 2020. By 2018, Kagame’s Vision 2020 is on the verge of being discovered for what it is — a fraud. Less than two years away from 2020 when Rwanda was supposed to reach $1,026 per capita which defines a middle-income country, per capita stands at $702. Kagame has quietly admitted to the IMF that Vision 2020 is dead. His latest fantasy is that Rwanda will become a middle-income country in 2035. In other words, Kagame hopes to increase Rwanda’s per capita from $702 to $1,026 in fifteen years.
So, Jeane K, I have not given you a definite answer but…Kagame is clearly a troubling heap of contradictions
History is rife with tales of rulers who were irrefutably insane. From the body language and behavioral patterns, it is apparent that Kagame might be a potential candidate for this club. It appears that we have a troubled mind leading Rwanda. How Kagame’s rule might end, nobody knows.