Trapped In The State House – The Case Of President Paul Kagame

If things go his way in 2017, President Paul Kagame who will be 60, will begin his next double term of 14 years that will end in 2031 at the age of 74. In African politics, he will still be a young man ready for another 14 years, ending in 2045 at the age of 88. Well, he could go on because we are told he is the only Rwandan who can govern. The 12 million Rwandans contain zero leaders, according to fantasy story-tellers within government and even elements of the opposition.

The real reason why Kagame wants to retain power is this – he is trapped in the state house by at least five factors.

FACTOR 1 – From The Streets Into Emperor:

The President of the Republic and his wife, the First Lady of Rwanda are of humble origins and hardships earlier in their lives. Both are said to have participated in informal trade of one kind or another in Kampala and Nairobi, respectively, for basic survival in their youth. Fast-forward to 2015. The first couple epitomize Rwanda’s “Nouveau riche” or “new rich.” The American rapper and entrepreneur, 50 Cent, best explains sociologically, the meaning of nouveau riche: “They call me new money, say I have no class, I’m from the bottom, I came up too fast, The hell if I care, I’m just here to get my cash.” Giving up state power by the Kagames would mean losing a lifestyle of luxury aircrafts, $20,000 presidential hotel rooms, and membership of an elite that shines on the global stage at Davos World Economic Forum. Perish the thought.

FACTOR 2: Statistical Disinformation:

President Paul Kagame will shine at the United Nations this year. The year 2015 is when governments around the world will showcase their achievements with regards to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Kagame will say that Rwanda has achieved them all – the only African country to do so. But Kagame’s Rwanda is now widely known for statistical dis-information. Dis-information is defined as “false and misleading information publicly or secretly released by a government.” Every statistic in Rwanda is suspected, beginning with the biggest lie that the employment rate is only 3.7 percent. Achievements in education, health, and ICT are future embarrassment. Once in a while the truth comes out – to laughter at the expense of the regime. Take for example ICT for which Kagame has collected countless medals since he announced, in 2000, his strategy to transform his country into “knowledge economy.” In January 2015, we read the following: “Figures provided by the Rwanda Development Board’s chief operating officer Claire Akamanzi indicate that the ICT services exports have hit [high] mark…boosted by a recent $7 million deal Filmax Web Technologies, a Rwandan based e-governance application maker won to construct an e-governance website for South Sudanese government.” Incredibly, 15 years of building knowledge economy in Rwanda has only led to building a website in South Sudan. Leaving power means these Kagame lies will be exposed including the fibre optic cables that lie dead in various upcountry locations.

FACTOR 3: Crimes Against Humanity

Without presidential power, many will want to hear from Kagame about all kinds of acts he is said to have committed or set in motion, from the shooting down of the former ruler of Rwanda and his Burundian counterpart, the Gersony report of mass killings, the Kibeho Massacre, and the Congo Mapping Report. One part in the Mapping Report says that over a period of seven years and two invasions by Rwanda, amount to “crimes against humanity, war crimes, or even genocide.” Add other mysterious deaths of Rwandans that differed with present regime, you get the picture of what a civilian Kagame will face. All that gives you the picture of why he rather cling on…

FACTOR 4: National Financial Resources And Conflict Of Interest

Under Kagame, a form of “crony capitalism” is flourishing in broad daylight. The term describes an economy in which success in business “depends on close relationships between business people and government officials.” In Rwanda this is exhibited by favoritism in the distribution government contracts to the ruling party’s group of companies operating under Crystal Ventures Ltd (CVL). These companies are involved in road construction, office building and stadium – to name a few. Kagame the President is doing big business with Kagame the Chairman of the ruling party, the Rwandan Patriotic Front. Even the luxury aircrafts that fly Kagame the President are chartered from Kagame the chairman of RPF, the owner of CVL. In the worst case scenario, CVL builds companies with funds from the Rwanda Social Security Fund – people’s pensions. An example is East African Granite Industries, a Crystal Ventures Limited company, financed by money from Rwanda Social Security Board, officially opened by Kagame himself in 2012. Out of power, Kagame will have his day in court to address conflict of interest that has consumed millions of public funds.

FACTOR 5: Families Of Thousands Of Perished Soldiers Since 1990

Kagame has been fighting since the Ugandan bush war in 1980. This extended to Rwanda in 1990. His war efforts continued in Congo War 1 and 2 in 1996-9, and the Rwanda-Uganda war inside Congo in 2000. Hundreds of families lost their sons and daughters whose lives have never been accounted for; they perished in these wars with Kagame as Commander-in-chief. For example, battalions of Rwandan soldiers who participated in Congo War 2 by holding the Inga hydroelectric station and the port of Matadi through which most of Kinshasa’s food pass were wiped out in battle. A civilian Kagame will finally come face-to-face with parents and relatives of recklessly-squandered human beings.

It looks like Rwanda’s post-independence pattern of transition from one ruler to the next will hold. The concept of peaceful handover is alien. President Grégoire Kayibanda was starved to death. President Juvénal Habyarimana was shot down from the skies. President Pasteur Bizimungu languished in prison and remains literally under house arrest, unable to travel overseas for medical attention. President Paul Kagame remains trapped in state power with destination unknown.


Dr David Himbara