By David Himbara
Mauro De Lorenzo has claimed that the government of his boss, General Paul Kagame, did not stash US$190 million of foreign aid money into offshore banks. Yet, that is precisely the finding of the World Bank research paper Elite Capture of Foreign Aid: Evidence from Offshore Bank Accounts, published on February 18, 2020. The term ”élites” is defined as ruling politicians, bureaucrats and their cronies in the private sector involved in aid-funded projects. The main finding of the research is that aid disbursements to poor countries “coincide with significant increases in deposits held in offshore financial centers.” In the case of Rwanda, the ruling elites deposited US$149 million to secret offshore banks and US$41 million in non-haven accounts — US$190 million in total. De Lorenzo reminds me of a Briton by the name of Bob Astles who became Idi Amin Dada’s chief advisor and excelled at lying for his boss. Neither of the two lived happily ever after.