By David Himbara
In June 2020, General Paul Kagame paraded officials he termed corrupt, including infrastructure minister, Clever Gatete, and provincial governors Jean Marrie Vianney Gatabazi and Emmanuel Gasana. Fast forward to March 2021 – Gatabazi is now a minister; Gasana is governor; Gatete remains a minister. In Kagame’s Rwanda, no explanation for such reversal is given.
General Paul Kagame famously paraded senior government officials at the ruling party executive committee meeting of June 26, 2020. The paraded officials included infrastructure minister, Clever Gatete, and two provincial governors, Jean Marrie Vianney Gatabazi and Emmanuel Gasana (former inspector of police). Kagame even threatened to put half the ruling party members into prison for corruption:
“When you are a thief, it doesn’t matter where you come from, but I know where you belong – prison…I don’t have a problem having half of the people here in prison.”
Fast forward to March 16, 2021. Jean Marrie Vianney Gatabazi was promoted to the position of minister for local government. Emmanuel Gasana is the governor of the Eastern Province. Claver Gatete was never touched – he remained infrastructure minister. At the display here is a totalitarian ruler with total power, making all the decisions at freewill. If he so chooses to declare a set of officials corrupt today, and reverses himself later, that is the end of it. No explanation required. The people of Rwanda are mere silent observers.