By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame is a great goal-scorer. The problem is he keeps shooting into his own net. The most spectacular Kagame’s own goals involved South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Burundi, the United States, and DR Congo.
- Rwanda 0 — South Africa 1 • Kagame expelled six South African diplomats. This Kagame own goal led South Africa to stop issuing visas in Rwanda. Predictably, this became a disaster for hundreds of Rwandan business people, students, and those seeking medical attention in South Africa.
- Rwanda 0 — Tanzania 1 • Kagame promised to hit his Tanzanian counterpart after the later suggested that Kagame negotiates with his many political opponents. Kagame soon had to beg for improved relations as Rwandan imports and exports transit Tanzania.
- Rwanda 0 — Uganda 1 • Kagame corrupted top elements of Ugandan police in order to use security services to terrorize and kidnap Rwandans. Kagame’s counterpart initially ignored this but eventually began to scrutinize and restrict Rwandans seeking work opportunities in Uganda.
- Rwanda 0 — Burundi 1 • Kagame publicly stated that his Burundian counterpart Pierre Nkurunziza was not fit for office and should not seek another term. After the Burundian head of state survived a coup d’etat, he designated Rwanda an enemy state. Rwanda-Burundi conflict is tearing apart the East African Community.
- Rwanda 0 — USA 1 • Kagame blocked American exports of used apparel. The US expelled Rwanda from the African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) which provides for duty-free entry of apparel and textile products into the American market.
- Rwanda 0 — DR Congo 1 • Kagame rejected DR Congo’s presidential election results in which Félix Tshisekedi was declared the winner. Tshisekedi became President.
Watch out for the next own goal from Africa’s greatest goal-scorer.