By David Himbara
President Kagame met Chairman Kagame, the leader of the ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF). They reiterated that the government will continue giving RPF’s businesses privileged access to Rwanda’s pension funds. The two leaders announced that what is good for RPF is good for the people of Rwanda.
The two leaders expressed satisfaction over the positive outcomes of working together for over two decades. The two Kagames agreed to continue working together. Their collaboration will ensure that RPF’s US$500 Million business Empire, Crystal Ventures Ltd, continues to enjoy privileged access to Rwanda’s pension funds and contracts. According to the two leaders, this is the best pathway to building a strong and dynamic private sector in Rwanda.
On July 30, 2021, Rwanda’s President Paul Kagame hosted Paul Kagame, the Chairman of the Rwandan Patriotic Front and its US$500 million business empire, Crystal Ventures Ltd. The two gentlemen reflected on 24-year relationship. The transcript of the conversation between the the two Kagames is hereby shared.
President Paul Kagame: I congratulate you RPF cadres for building Crystal Ventures and its great companies, especially Inyange Industries, East African Granite Industries, Crystal Telecom, and Ruliba Clays Ltd. You brilliantly built a business empire worth US$500 million. Bravo, the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
Chairman Paul Kagame: But your Excellency, it is you to thank. Without privileged access to the Rwandan pension funds and government contracts you gave us, we would never have built these great companies. Your extraordinary leadership has built a new Rwanda in which RPF businesses are leaders of the private sector. May God bless you, Your Excellency, the President of the Republic.
President Paul Kagame: Remind me how much money you received from my government and exactly which companies were built through the privilege access to the pension funds.
Chairman Paul Kagame. Your Excellency, 50 percent of the capital that we used to acquire Ruliba Clays Ltd came from the pension fund agency, Rwanda Social Security Board. The same percentage, namely, 50 percent of the capital that we used to establish East African Granite Ltd came from the pension fund. For Inyange Industries Ltd, 40 percent came from the pension fund, versus 30 percent for Crystal Telecom Ltd. Our great companies wouldn’t exist without Rwanda’s pension money. Crystal Ventures Ltd would not have become a US$500 million business without the pension money. Special thanks to you, Excellency, for facilitating these efforts.
President Paul Kagame: Is that all the support my government provided you, my good people? I should think we have done more.
Chairman Paul Kagame: Your Excellency, don’t forget that your government charters our Gulfstream executive jets that transport you in your travels around the world. Each time you travel to different continents, we earn a lot of money. Please keep travelling. It is easy money for Crystal Ventures Ltd.
President Paul Kagame. Tell me, what else can I do to help Crystal Ventures Ltd maintain its position as the largest business group in this beautiful country of ours.
Chairman Paul Kagame: Your Excellency, we need more government contracts for our construction company, NPD Ltd. As you know you were kind enough to award NPD Ltd the contract to build and renovate stadiums across Rwanda, including those in Rubavu, Huye, Nyamirambo, as well as the Kamena and Rubavu training pitches. We need more large-scale contracts to thrive.
President Paul Kagame: Consider that done. Your wish is hereby granted.
Chairman Paul Kagame: Your Excellency, I have one concern though. I was reading yesterday about President Jacob Zuma in South Africa. He was sent to jail because he channelled government money into private businesses, a practice they are calling “state capture.” You must be careful that you are not accused of capturing the Rwandan state and channelling public money into our private interests.
President Paul Kagame: These so-called presidents on our continent are embarrassing. They are so weak. They are not in total control of their government and their countries. Zuma got what he deserved for being weak. Can you imagine a woman chief justice daring to pass judgment on me, or sending me to jail like she did to Zuma? That’s total rubbish. I appoint and dismiss the Chief Justice and the entire judicial establishment. The need me. I don’t need them.
Chairman Kagame: Your Excellency, you are an African lion. You are unequalled on this great continent and beyond. Your visionary leadership makes the world envious of building the Singapore of Africa in a single generation. May God bless your Excellency. Long live Rwanda. Long live the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Bravo, Crystal Ventures Ltd.
President Paul Kagame: Long live the Chairman of the Rwandan Patriotic Front.
End of Transcript