By David Himbara
General Paul Kagame and his regime are addicted to exploiting the mineral wealth of the Democratic Republic of Congo and Rwanda’s pension funds. The regime has now promised the International Monetary Fund to end the thieving of the two assets. Making and fulfilling promises are two different things.
The Kagame regime is widely known for two forms of grand thieving. The first grand thieving is the looting and exporting of gold stolen from the Democratic Republic of Congo. The second form of thieving is the capture and use of Rwanda’s pension for building the ruling party businesses. At least three subsidiaries of Crystal Ventures Ltd, the ruling party’s business empire, were built with equity financing from Rwanda Social Board’s pension money – namely, Inyange Industries Ltd, East African Granite Industries Ltd, and Crystal Telecom. Inyange Industries Ltd was established with 40 percent of the pension money; East African Granite Industries Ltd, 50 percent; and Crystal Telecom at 30 percent.
The Kagame regime has now promised the International Monetary Fund to become transparent in reporting gold exports and in managing Rwanda’s pension money. In the case of gold exports, the Kagame regime confirmed to the International Monetary Fund as follows:
“After the statistical revision, (i) gold exports and imports are explicitly covered in the trade statistics, and (ii) non-fuel imports that goes to warehouses and later re-exported without entering the domestic market are added to imports.”
In the case of Rwanda’s pension funds, the regime confirmed to the International Monetary Fund that Rwanda Social Security Board will hire
“a permanent asset manager in charge of advising the company on its asset allocation on a regular basis, instead of externally contracting a one-off study as previously planned…We are committed to keeping Rwanda Social Security Board’s finances transparent and sustainable.”
Will the regime keep these two promises? Stay tuned.