For almost two decades President Kagame has dominated Rwanda’s political life, a rebel leader who managed to out maneuver all his bush colleagues and establish himself as an indispensable figure during the 1990-1994 Rwandan Patriotic Army invasion and later in post-genocide Rwanda; a vice-president and defense minister who in reality held executive power behind the back of his predecessor Pasteur Bizimungu; a military strategist who, with foreign backing, launched two invasions in neighboring Democratic Republic of the Congo; a soldier who ruthlessly crushed opposition and dissent to grant himself two electoral victories in 2003 and 2010; a man as much praised for economic recovery and stability as he is accused of authoritarianism, war crimes and the abuse of human rights. The list goes on.
The Guardian News paper on 26th July published the story under the heading Kagame may be charged with aiding and abetting war crimes in DRC, and many other international and national media houses have joined the guardian in this puzzle. Indeed from that day on, all the breaking news in both African and International media apart from Rwanda, Kagame has been appearing on the front page.
In my last two articles entitled the Day of the Jackal and Charles Taylors of Africa respectively I exposed the weakness of the international community under the leadership of the United States of America. President Kagame is well known for his no-nonsense on the political opponents live out the neighbors. He is the most arrogant man Rwanda has ever produced. He has managed to cut the branch on which is sitting but the tree remains standing; he has eaten his cake and claims it at the same time. He has out smarted his friends and allies never the less, he survives the political shocks.
Is the United States changing or just political gimmick?
When the United States announced the military aid cut, President Kagame immediately came on the defensive arguing that the money is not the problem, the problem is the way this Rwanda Congo crisis was handled by the United States basing on the report of what he calls experts without expertise. Interestingly any report made by UN favoring the Kigali regime will definitely be praised and considered legitimate because it is done by the UN Experts.
After the US, other European nations followed, namely UK, Germany, Holland, and those who are still thinking that Kagame is an angel will go on board soon. The report, contested by Rwanda, said the country was supporting armed groups in neighboring eastern Congo, including the M23 group, which has seized parts of North Kivu province in fighting that has displaced more than 270,000 people since April.
The Rwandan Foreign Minister in her usual covering up and defending a regime which she does not actually believe in, she asserted that this kind of Child- Parent relationship between the west and the developing World must stop. “This child-to-parent relationship has to end … there has to be a minimum respect,” Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo said in an address to the Kenyan business club Mindspeak. This is not the first time this lady is defending the indefensible, however with the advanced technology, you can lie once but you cannot keep lying forever, sometimes people just ignore, this is what President Kabila called the secret lie being open in his unusual press conference in Kinshasa.
Is president Kagame going Bingu wa Muthalika way?
President Bingu wa Muthalika was the president of Malawi from 2004 until his death in 2012, he was single handily picked by Baliki Muruzi the former President of Malawi. He was initially praised by the West including the US for his economic policies which elevated one of the poorest countries (Malawi) in Africa in what he commonly termed as the lack of African leaders to develop their respective countries. “Africa is not a poor continent, but the African population are poor” and called for “Africa to develop Africa”. In his tenure as the Chairperson of African Union in 2010 replacing former Libyan Leader Col. Muammer Khadafy, the African Union adopted the African Food Basket Initiative here which was presented to the UN on 29 September and On 6 September, he attended the inauguration of Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
Like President Kagame, Bingu wa Muthalika did not only receive praises and accolades from the West, but also Titles, honours and awards, below are some of the prominent awards;
The United Nations Special Millennium development Goal Award (2010) for success towards eliminating hunger by enhancing food security ahead of the 2015 MDG deadline (Goal 1 – ending poverty and hunger)
COMESA Distinguished Award (2010) for exceptional leadership and distinguished service to COMESA and the integration of Africa as Secretary General of COMESA form 1991 to 1997. The Authority specifically commended Mutharika for his contribution to the realisation of the Abuja Treaty objectives towards African integration.
Southern Africa Trust Drivers of Change Award (2009) for changing Malawi from a country in perpetual food deficit to one that is entirely food-sufficient. “The boom in this sector has had a direct impact on millions of poor people. Under his leadership, poverty has declined from 58 to 42 percent in five years. Through his direct involvement in turning Malawi’s future around, he is building new confidence and hope amongst the citizens of Africa in their governments.
2009 Medal of Glory Awards – “President Mutharika was chosen for the award because of his bold reform s that have resulted in the Malawi green revolution, and Malawi’s increase in its economic growth rate from less that 1 percent in 2003, before he took office to more than 9.7 percent in 2008, at the end of his first term office
The Most Excellent Grand Commander (MEGC) – Top most award of Malawi order of National Achievement conferred by the Malawi Civilian Honours and Decorations, 6 July 2009. Inaugural Food Agriculture and Natural resources Policy Analysis Network (FANRPAN) Food Security Policy Leadership Award (2008), “for his agricultural policy interventions which have transformed Malawi form a food deficit nation to a net maize exporter”
FAO‘s Agricola Medal (2008) in honour of “his substantial contribution towards transforming the country’s economy form a state of food deficit nation to a net exporter of maize
Louise Blouin Foundation Award for Exceptional Creative Achievement (2008) for making a positive impact on a global scale
Danish Government Award of recognition for outstanding performances in promoting gender equality and women empowerment (2008). Mutharika further received several honorary degrees including Professor of Economics by East China Normal University, in April 2010; Doctor of Letters (D.Lilkmktt) Degree Honoris Causa by the University of Delhi in October, 2010; Doctor of Law (PhD Degree (Honoris Causa), Mzuzu University, in 2008 and Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) Degree (Honoris Causa), University of Strathclyde, Scotland in 2005.
For those who don’t know President Kagame he has also received many of those PhDs for what the west call his contribution in ending genocide in Rwanda but the new revelation from his close associates like Dr. Theogene Rudasingwa, Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and his former spy master Col Patrick Karegeya, has instead accused President Kagame of triggering genocide when he ordered the shooting of the former Rwandan President Juvenal Habyarimana’s plane with the whole entourage from the Arusha meeting which was intended to end the war.
At the time of his death Bingu wa Muthalika was not only a dictator in his own way but also a liability for Malawi, all the aid was cut or withdrawn, the economy in his country was put to its knees, people had no salary, no drugs, or fuel, like many dictators he argued that his country could survive without aid from the west, but with increased pressure from inside and outside, the heat was unbearable and he succumbed to opportunistic diseases which may be would have taken another day, (die another day) As many believe in both academic and political dimensions, the West and US, normally don’t have friends, they only have interests, and I think this where President Kagame has failed to master.
Unfortunately his close aides and advisors are very scared of him, they don’t tell him the truth instead they feed him on a heap of lies. This is not only detrimental to Kagame as a person, but Rwanda as a nation, Mr President why cannot you learn from Bingu wa Muthalika, Hosni Mubarak of Egypt, Gen. Emmanuel Noriega of Panama, Charles Taylor of Liberia, Augustine Pinochet of Chile, Mobutu Seseko of former Zaire whom you destroyed and his ghost is haunting you and Rwanda, please call your former comrades and talk to them so that Rwanda does not slip again in chaos, it is never to let to mend.