Could President Kagame Be Mentally ill? His Actions Suggest Just That

David Himbara, Ph.D.

This picture of the Rwandan ruler at the Nairobi agriculture conference on September 7, 2016, tells the whole story. This man is unwell – even the most devoted supporter can see it. Here is a desperate man who has plunged his iron-fisted regime into the worst self-inflicted crisis.

Kagame’s grip on Rwanda has been tightening by the day, eliminating, exiling, and imprisoning all kinds of people.

Now this madness has reached inside his own house – his wife, Madam Jeannette Nyiramongi has vanished from public view. Prior to that, Nyiramongi has literally become co-ruler of Rwanda. Suddenly she vanishes – and her former confidantes are unceremoniously removed from office and confined into what amounts to house arrest. For the former Rwanda UN Ambassador Eugene Gasana, one of the leading cronies of the Kagames, he vanished into unknown overseas destinations rather than return to Rwanda.

Kagame actions defeat logic – to put it mildly.
Could he be mentally ill? If so he would not be the first ruler in the modern era to suffer this fate.

Elected or dictatorial leaders with mental disorders to some degree, abound. Admittedly, diagnosis of psychological dysfunction or acute mental illness is problematic given that we are not aware of formal clinical evaluation of the Rwandan ruler. Indeed some of the people reading this will claim that I am writing this piece because I am biased due political motivations or personal dislike of the man.

Those who take such a position must confront hard realities. How, for example, would we explain the recent history – 2013-2016 – whereby almost all former close confidants of Kagame are now his victims, including, evidently, his own wife? Some of the actions in this phase should worry even the most diehard Kagame supporter. Perhaps the ugliest and most cruel act was the killing of Kagame’s personal physician – Dr Emmanuel Gasakure – in a police station. Did he die because he knew Kagame’s medical history?

What we are witnessing in Rwanda is the final unveiling of a so-called “new breed of an African leader” for what the Rwandan ruler really is – an isolated and mentally unstable dictator at the head of one of the most hated and feared dictatorial regimes of all times. The name Kagame is now synonymous with fear not only in Rwanda, but in DR Congo, Burundi, and diaspora Rwandan communities around the world.

Rwanda will ultimately pay a heavy price, as do other countries led by mentally unstable dictators. In this case, Kagame is the Rwandan state. He will go down with the state.

David Himbara