By David Himbara
Every year, President Paul Kagame convenes what is known as National Leadership Retreat — Umwiherero in the Kinyarwanda language. The purpose of the retreat is to reflect on issues affecting the country, identify solutions, and map the way forward. All Rwandan leaders are obligated to attend these national leadership retreats, including the three arms of government, namely, the executive, judiciary, and the legislative branch. In other words, the head of state, chief justice, president of the senate, speaker of parliament, cabinet ministers, and mayors all attend.
The 2018 Retreat held from February 26 to March 1, 2018, was attended by 300 senior leaders from central, local government, parastatals and the private sector.
Watch video of Kagame in action at the 2018 National Leadership Retreat — we see here leadership by terror.
As is evident in this video of the 2018 National Leadership Retreat, the original purpose of reflection on challenges and solutions is thrown out of the window. The real Kagame comes out with guns blazing. His true self of a horribly oppressive and destructive leader who runs Rwanda by terror comes out.
What is the future here?
Kagame has run Rwanda in various guises since 1994. He rules by an iron fist. And he changed the constitution so that he can cling to power until 2034. Assuming he makes it to 2034, there is no reason why he would leave power even then. Kagame has firmly placed Rwanda on its well-known historical trajectory. There is hardly any Rwandan ruler who left power peacefully through the ballot box. They were violently removed. Kagame threw his immediate figurehead predecessor into prison. The prior two rulers suffered even worse fate. One was shot from the skies. The other was starved to death after being overthrown.