Kagame’s South African Propagandist, Tito Mboweni, Crashes Out of the Ramaphosa Government

By David Himbara

The term “useful idiot” describes a person perceived as propagandizing for a cause without fully comprehending the cause’s goals, and who is cynically used by the cause’s leader. This is a perfect description of Tito Mboweni who just resigned as South Africa’s finance minister. Mboweni whitewashed Kagame as a model African leader, while the Rwandan strongman regularly sent killers to murder exiled Rwandans on South African soil.

Tito Mboweni at Kagame’s cattle ranch at Lake Muhazi, Rwanda

General Paul Kagame’s South African propagandist, Tito Mboweni, crashed out of the Cyril Ramaphosa’s cabinet on August 5, 2021. Mboweni was replaced by Enoch Godongwana as Finance Minister. Kagame will no doubt miss Tito Mboweni. It is unclear how Kagame and Mboweni first met. We know for certain that Mboweni became a member of Kagame’s advisory team on the African Union reform process.

From 2016 onwards, Mbowani became Kagame’s praise-singer, popularizing Kagame’s narratives of being a transformative African leader, creating wealth, building the cleanest city in Africa, and building the best national airline, RwandAir. Mboweni would not stop propagandizing for Kagame even after becoming South Africa’s finance minister in 2018. Mboweni contrasted Rwanda’s successes under Kagame against South African failures, arguing South Africa to model itself after Kagame’s Rwanda. In June 2019, Finance Minister Mboweni jetted to Kigali, Rwanda where he tweeted that it “feels good to be in the company of a smiling President.”

While Finance Minister Mboweni was praising Kagame in Kigali in June 2019, the news headlines back home in South Africa were dominated by the killing of an exiled Rwandan, Patrick Karegeya, in Johannesburg, by hired killers from Rwanda. Evidence emerged in a South African court that the authorities had failed to prosecute four suspects because they believed the Kagame government was behind Karegeya’s killing and there was, therefore, no chance of Rwanda extraditing them to stand trial in South Africa. Kayumba Nyamwasa, another exiled Rwandan, had survived three attempted assassinations in South Africa. A Rwandan opposition figure exiled in South Africa, Seif Bamporiki, was shot dead in Cape Town in 2021 in what was described as an assassination. Kagame’s useful idiot, Tito Mboweni, saw none of these crimes committed on South African soil by the very man Mboweni presented as a model of African leadership. Stay tuned.