By David Himbara
First, the good news. On February 1, 2019, a Rwandan company by the name of Gasmeth Energy Ltd signed a US$400 million investment contract with the Kagame government to extract methane from Lake Kivu. Now, the bad news. Egide Gatera is a leading investor in Gasmeth Energy Ltd. Egide Gatera is a Kagame front through and through. I invite you to read the details of the essentially corrupt relationship between the two men in my book Kagame’s Economic Mirage. As demonstrated, Gatera has accumulated enormous wealth in three ways. The first path begins with Kagame invoking a license of a foreign business entity. The entity’s Rwandan operations are then grabbed by Gatera. That is how the US multinational corporation Chevron and the Saudi company Bakri International Energy were thrown out, and Egide Gatera became the petroleum king in Kagame’s Rwanda. The second route for wealth accumulation by the Kagame-Gatera dual is the privatization of government properties. That is how Gatera acquired Rwanda Mountain Tea. The third method is more recent — when Kagame destroys a Rwandan business, Gatera moves in and grabs the remains. That is how Gatera acquired Assinapol Rwigara’s tobacco company. With Gatera’s involvement in the US$400 million investment into the extraction of methane gas from Lake Kivu, you bet it is Kagame himself behind the scenes. Interestingly, other analysts have figured out Kagame-Gatera relationship. In its article on the US$400 million investment, Africa Energy Intelligenceasserted that “Businessman Egide Gatera, who is said to be close to President Paul Kagame, holds a 30% stake.” One question looms large in this Gasmeth Ltd saga. Where will these people find US$400 million to plough into this project? That is no small change. That is the same amount as Kagame’s Eurobond that built the Kigali Convention Center.