By David Himbara
On October 5, 2019, General Paul Kagame held his Kagame Day in Bonn, Germany. Kagame has since 2010 held his Kagame Day mostly in the US, Europe, and Canada. I estimate that Kagame squandered at least US$5 million on his Kagame Day in Germany. My estimate is based on the following:
- Kagame has been in the air since September 17, 2019, travelling to Nairobi, Kenya, New York, US, and Seattle, while his wife also visited Southern California, before they travelled to Bonn. Chartering the Gulfstream G650 executive jet, accommodation for the Kagame family, the crew, and his security detail for 20 days from September 17 to October 6, will easily consume US$3 million. Jet charter, fuel, pilot needs, airport and parking fees do not come cheap. Kagame alone is costly — he stays in presidential suites that cost US$20,000 a day.
- Kagame flew his ministers and high-level officials from Rwanda to Germany — of course ahead of him. Travel and accommodation of this crowd did not come cheap.
- Kagame also dispatched business people to Bonn as well as stage performers of all kinds.
- Rwandans living in Europe were bused to Bonn in their hundreds, inclusive of travel and accommodation.
- Kagame Day was held at the World Conference Center Bonn which describes itself as follows: ”The combination of modern architecture and first-class facilities enables events of every sort to be held for up to 7,000 people.” Obviously, this was costly.
- The total cost of all the above is conservatively estimated at US$5 million.
US$5 million spent for what? To give Kagame a platform to lie. The Kagame falsehood on this occasion went as follows:
”We are on our way, moving fast towards our goals, nothing can stop us, we may be delayed a bit but we always overcome and move forward.”
Moving forward to where? Moving forward to repression, imprisonment and poverty in the one-man dictatorship.