This is one of the many questions, people ask, reflecting on who the Rwandan president works for particularly looking at the scale of atrocities he is responsible of in the Great Lakes region for so many years.
On January 8th, 2010 Philip Gourevitch wrote in the New York Times that Rwanda had reached a level of sophistification never seen on the African continent.
At the time, the journalist/ writer who in the immediate post-genocide years skillfully crafted and promoted the official narrative of the Rwandan genocide of bad hutu and good tutsi, was referring to the confection of the Mutsinzi report by the Rwandan Patriotic Front’s regime, about the assassination of former Rwandan president Juvenal Habyarimana.
“… the report on Habyarimana’s plane is the latest in a yearlong string of diplomatic and political moves that show the new Rwandan government achieving a level of sophistication, skill, and effectiveness in commanding international respect that has rarely, if ever, been seen before in Africa. “
Such sophistication, or call it deceit, is unfortunately widely applied in all Rwandan policies that govern the country and transpires in its external relations. What those who are familiar with Paul Kagame’s ways of ruling call his style, is a leadership by deception.
As one can note, his fans see it differently, even when the events tell a different story.
Rwanda Inc: shares’ value drastically plummeting
In business when a company finds difficulties holding meetings for its shareholders, this indicates there is a serious issue in its management worth sorting out for its sustainability.
The image of Rwanda as a business is not mine, but it originates from some admirers of the Rwandan president Paul Kagame. They see him running his country as someone operating a private property, making important decisions without much consideration of anybody else except himself or interests of his inner circle, and occasionally his external business partners on whom he count a lot for his PR.
This portrayal would however be incomplete if that said company would not have Rwandan citizens as its normal shareholders. The paradox is that they are far from being owners of Rwanda, let alone having any say in what is happening to their country, no matter how bad the ongoing situation has been affecting them.
On Sunday 22/09/13, the Presidential Advisory Council of Rwanda Inc meets in New York but without one of its main adviser the former British Prime Minister Tony Blair.
One of the topics of that Sunday meeting is the creation in Kigali of a Stock Exchange for Commodities of the region, including minerals.
We know whose minerals they will be and from where they will be extracted. It won’t be Rwandan products but mainly Congolese. On the other hand, it is hard to see such project as a priority for the Rwandan population which cannot feed itself despite the official claim of general development; masses cannot get jobs, education, or healthcare, let alone justice.
What are Jews making of Hitler sitting besides Kagame?
Paul Kagame with the cream of the world Jewish community
Though absent from the said Presidential Advisory Council, there is a strong assumption that former British Prime Minister Tony Blair and even former US president Bill Clinton might have been instrumental in facilitating the participation of the Rwandan president to the New York gathering of renowned Jewish personalities on Sunday 29th 09, 2013.
The event is critically important in re-branding the seriously tarnished image of the Rwandan leader, particularly when even the unconditional US ally is telling Paul Kagame to cut his links with M23, the Congolese rebel group, only created as a façade of Kigali in Eastern Congo for territorial occupation and infiltration of Congolese institutions.
The cream of the world Jewish community was to be there as attested by the poster inviting the public to participate. The paradox is however the fact that the event was focused on genocide. And everyone objective knows well there is an umbilical connection between that human tragic reality and the Rwandan president, either in Rwanda or the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Obviously this is not the first time for the Rwandan President to seem to be honored and sit together with important world personalities and be called upon to contribute to critical issues like genocide.
There is however one necessary clarification. He has been decorated by manyWestern universities, not for what he has in his brain or brought to the rest of humanity, but what he is worth for the West and its corporations and Geo-political strategy in the Great Lakes region and more broadly in international institutions where Rwandan presence serves more imperialist interests than Africans.
Sometimes I wonder why they don’t rise to the next step of hypocrisy and give him a Nobel Prize for his contribution especially in the Rwandan genocide [later on the Congolese one if it gets ever acknowledged] and other issues of their interests.
Kambale Musavuli, Congolese activist, who attended the New York event at the Cooper Union Great Hall, 7 East 7th Street, New York City, had this to say:
“It looks like the almighty Rwandan president is so scared… What are you afraid of Mr. President?
Apparently they were more people inside the room who disrupted the event by calling him out for the killing in the Congo.”
Since July 1994, and even before, President Paul Kagame could be rightly described as a criminal leader; and this does not have much to do with the number of his millions of victims but his consistency in the crime without any hope that this could one day change.
However with time, criminals and their crimes must have an end. This can come from for example President Paul Kagame realizing that he cannot carry on indefinitely or being enlightened, or survivors of his crimes saying that enough is enough. They cannot take it anymore.
What makes the lid blow off?
This picture of these young Canadians appalled by the crimes of Paul Kagame should wakes us all the youth of the Great Lakes region – Congolese, Rwandan, Ugandan and Burundian to stand up against the numerous atrocities the Rwandan president and his allies have been committing for so many years in their respective communities.
Recently I wrote that revolutions happened when their time comes. Nobody can stop them when this is the case. “What makes the lid blow off?” This is a questionFanon asks in The Wretched of the Earth, reflecting on the revolution against French colonialism in Algeria more than 50 years ago and thinking about the future “African revolution”.
A convergence of circumstances and issues, for example the persistent contradictions of Western leaders claiming to promote democracy and human rights while working vigorously with dictators whose credentials are only crimes of millions of people.
Or the manager of Rwanda Inc risking being fired and even brought in front of a court, for he has mismanaged the assets his bosses had entrusted him with.
Additionally, another of his sins could be considered to be having distracted his stakeholders, the ones from whom his future depend on significantly, by covering up the inefficiency of the whole Rwandan enterprise.
Among other things, he has been staging regular elections which in his understanding should show to his detractors and sponsors the barometer of his popularity. He has also resorted to his Rwanda Days which are unfortunately shows of empty rhetoric messages about a trans-formative change happening in the country under his leadership.
As like the previous ones, the Toronto version has this time confirmed a downhill trend for the regime that it will be difficult to reverse once the bottom will be reached.
Some might wonder if his recent days in the United States and Canada will constitute his last big tour outside Rwanda. It might not be I am afraid. The Rwandan President needs to show to his masters that he can handle any situation. Otherwise he could lose his agency role in the Great Lakes region. For him it is a matter of political survival. He has to demonstrate that he is the man they need for their regional interests. This takes me to think about a sinister end for him. His denial of the signs of time might not let him leave office while he could and still in all pieces.
This is the dilemma he faces. Can he continue to be “Our guy” or His Own Man? He is caught in the middle. He has too much invested in either of the options that if he is not finished by one, that will be by the other.