By David Himbara
James Musoni is cooked
When I initially saw the article about James Musoni’s extramarital activities in a Kagame propaganda newspaper, I could not believe my eyes. We do not know what Kagame will do to him. But we do know this – James Musoni is untouchable in Rwanda. After dictator General Kagame himself, James Musoni is the most feared, and rightly so. Musoni is Kagame’s stooge and thieving assistant since 2000. He is the only person to survive and retain high-level and cabinet positions for nearly two decades in the Kagame regime. Musoni is the de facto head of the US$500 million Crystal Ventures – the ruling party’s business empire built on cronyism. And then Igihe newspaper exposes Musoni in a long article. Not only that. Igihe TV also produced a documentary on Musoni extramarital affairs. Remember that Igihe is in effect a Kagame propaganda newspaper. In other words, Kagame has unleashed Igihe on Musoni.
So what have we here?
As the saying goes, there is no honour among thieves – which obviously means that thieves will not be honorable. To expect good traits from thieves is rather foolish. If they steal from others and destroy other people’s lives they will do the same to each other. Kagame’s apparent dumping of James Musoni amounts to the same thing – there is no honor lost. It is use and dump.
Who is James Musoni?
Kagame appointed Musoni to high-level positions and cabinet portfolios for 18 years. This is extraordinary — most Kagame ministers only last 2 years on the average. Here is Musoni path to power:
- 2000-2001, Musoni served as the Deputy Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority.
- 2001–2005, promoted to Commissioner General of Rwanda Revenue Authority.
- 2005–2005 State minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Tourism and Cooperatives.
- 2005–2006, Minister for Commerce, Industry and Investment Promotion, Tourism and Cooperatives.
- 2006–2009, Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
- 2009–2014, Minister of Local Government.
- 2014–2018, Minister of Infrastructure.
From successor to a deadman walking
Directly and indirectly, Musoni controlled everything in Rwanda on Kagame’s behalf. He was one-man appointing committee supporting Kagame to recruit even cabinet ministers. Musoni delivered emotional speeches to motivate and mobilize Rwandans for Kagame – and destroyed careers of people he disliked. He is Kagame’s special assistant in the ruling party, too – he controlled the party. Musoni considered himself as a successor to Kagame. But now he is a dead man walking. We await Musoni’s fate.
The regime is standing on thin ice
Lastly, the Kagame regime rests on thin ice. Kagame has no single individual in his regime he trusts. The last man standing was James Musoni. To say that the Kagame regime is literally a one-man is no exaggeration — it’s what it really is. The strength of the regime is also its weakness. A one-man regime, no matter how powerful that man is, crumbles like a deck of cards with no one left to reshuffle the cards.