By David Himbara
Tito Rutaremara and Paul Kagame recall the novel Frankenstein by the English author, Mary Shelley. The story is about a man who built a human-like monster in his laboratory. The result was disastrous for both the monster and the person who built it.
The monster is initially warm and kind, seeking to learn. But after the monster is rejected, abandoned and mistreated by its creator and society, the monster turns to revenge. In taking revenge the monster eliminates any hope of ever joining human society.
Soon revenge also consumes the man who built the monster. The main victim of the monster’s revenge is, in fact, the man who built it. The monster murders his creator’s relatives. In the end, revenge transforms both the creator and the monster into victims.
According to Tito Rutaremara, there is only one person in Rwanda who is visionary, organized and capable of saving the country— Kagame. In so saying, Rutaremara is taking well-deserved credit for creating a monster. We can cite five historical moments when Rutaremara perfected his creation.
- The early years of unchecked authoritarianism and mysteriously deaths of many leaders of the Rwandese Patriotic Front (RPF), 1990–1994. Tito Rutaremera was the mobilizer-in-chief who fully supported his monster without question. The mysterious death of the entire RPF military leadership in 1990 took place under Rutaremara’s watch. Rutaremera was RPF’s Secretary General from 1987 to 1993.
- The humiliation and removal of President Pasteur Bizimungu, 1997–2000. This was the time Rutaremara was the senior most and intellectual leader of RPF in the Transitional National Assembly advocating Kagame’s total control and removal of President Bizimungu. When the then Vice President Kagame made himself Chairman of RPF, and reduced President Bizimungu to Kagame’s deputy, Rutaremara cheered and plotted along.
- The writing of the constitution, 2000–2003. The 2003 Rwandan Constitution was Rutaremara’s masterpiece. Rutaremara was the Chairman of Legal & Constitutional Commission that wrote the constitution. The constitution handed over to Kagame all branches of government – effectively killing any notions of separation of powers between the executive, legislative and the judiciary. Kagame would now appoint and dismiss all public officials in Rwanda. Rutaremara turned Kagame into the King of Rwanda.
- The media manipulation of the ownership of a pair of Bombardier executive jets valued at US$100 million, 2010. When the story of the Kagame jets leaked out, Kagame wheeled in Rutaremara to explain away the financial and moral corruption. Rutaremara at first lied to the world that the pair of Bombardier Global Express costing US$50 million apiece belonged to a character called Manasseh Nshuti. The story soon changed to RPF’s ownership — Kagame the president chartered the aircraft from Kagame the chairman of RPF and its US$500 million business empire, Crystal Ventures Ltd.
- The constitutional amendment that removed presidential term limits from the Rwandan constitution, 2015. As the most senior member of RPF in the Rwandan Senate, Rutaremara was instrumental in removing presidential term limits. Kagame is now free to rule Rwanda until 2034 according to the 2015 amendment. After he leaves office, Kagame will not face any prosecution for any crimes he committed, thanks to the amendment. If Kagame hangs onto power until 2034, he will have ruled Rwanda for 40 years. Kagame will then be 76 years old.
The monster soon claimed Rutaremara’s friends
As in Mary Shelly’s story of how the monster turned on his creator, Kagame did just that. Rutaremara’s colleagues and relatives became Kagame’s victims including the following:
And then the monster struck in Rutaremara’s own family
Soon the monster took away Rutaremara’s cousin, General Frank Rusagara. Rusagara’s ”crimes” included calling Kagame’s Rwanda a banana’s republic. Rusagara was previously the General Staff Officer in Charge of Personnel and Administration, Director of Finance, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence, Commandant of the Rwanda Military Academy, and defence attaché in Britain. He was thrown in jail in 2016.
Is the creator of the monster happy?
As the German philosopher Hegel used to say, the only thing we learn from history is that we do not learn from history. Tito Rutaremara may realize this wisdom when it is too late. Appeasing an autocrat never pays.