By David Himbara
Rwanda’s justice ministry does not have a substantive minister. General Paul Kagame unceremoniously dumped former justice minister Johnston Busingye and did not replace him. Kagame exported Busingye to the UK as ambassador. Busingye’s days were numbered since the regime hijacked Paul Rusesabagina from Dubai in 2020. Busingye was not an effective liar – he embarrassed his master terribly over the Rusesabagina case.
Ambassador Johnston Busingye and his boss, General Kagame
Minister and Attorney General Johnston Busingye embarrassed General Paul Kagame over and over again since the regime hijacked Paul Rusesabagina. The worst incident was the leaking to Al Jazeera of the conversation between Busingye and Terence Fane-Saunders, the Executive Chairman of the British PR firm, Chelgate Ltd, on February 26, 2021. Fane-Saunders and his Chelgate are responsible for cleaning up the image of Kagame’s regime. In the leaked conversation, Busingye acknowledged that the Kagame government had read the correspondence between Rusesabagina and his defence attorneys.
In admitting that the government had read Rusesabagina’s defence documents, Busingye conceded that fair trial in Rwanda is not possible. By reading Rusesabagina’s correspondence with his lawyers, Rwanda proved that the attorney-client privilege which is one of the oldest privileges for confidential communication between a lawyer and a client does not exist in Kagame’s Rwanda. In countries governed by laws, confidentiality encourages clients to make full and frank disclosures to their attorneys. Only then can attorneys provide their clients’ candid advice and effective representation in the court of law.
Busingye also admitted that the Kagame government commandeered Rusesabagina to Rwanda. As Busingye put it, “the government of Rwanda facilitated the journey that led to Paul Rusesabagina’s arrest in Kigali in August 2020.” Kagame immediately threw Busigye under the bus. Busingye was forced to issue an embarrassing public statement which said that his conversation with Fane-Saunders was private and did not reflect government policy:
“The Ministry of Justice wishes to clarify some of the issues raised in an interview with the Minister of Justice broadcast by Al Jazeera English on 26 February 2021…which was based in part on a private recording that does not reflect government policy.”
From that point onwards, Busingye was damaged goods – it was a matter of time to be given the marching orders by his boss. Meet the new Kagame envoy to the UK, Ambassador Johnson Busingye.