“What am I to do?” Girente?

By David Himbara

Rwanda’s prime minister Ngirente whose name means in English “what am I to do” is asking exactly that same question with the transfer of Mpambara to his office – what is he to do?

Ines Mpambara, minister of cabinet affairs in prime minister Édouard Ngirente’s office

General Paul Kagame’s prime minister Édouard Ngirente is a highly accomplished and decent person. A PhD-holder in Economics, Ngirente was senior advisor to the World Bank’s executive director from 2011 until 2017. That is when Kagame appointed Ngirente prime minister. Under Kagame’s dictatorial leadership style, however, we cannot assess Ngirente’s abilities as prime minister. In Kagame’s dictatorship, he controls the entire national and local government decision-making process. Now, Ngirente has an additional nightmare. Kagame just appointed Ines Mpambara the minister of cabinet affairs in prime minister’s office. Mpambara who was the director of cabinet in the president’s office for the past 11 years was Kagame’s brutal enforcer. Mpambara will spy and report every little detail to Kagame, including cooked up stories to please the boss. Prime minister Ngirente whose name means in English “what am I to do” is asking exactly that same question with the transfer of Mpambara to his office – what is he to do? Meanwhile we must ask a question: why has Kagame dumped Mpambara from his office? In Kizito Mihigo’s prison tapes, Mihigo said that Mpambara was the brutal enforcer who ordered him to apologize for his reconciliation song or die. Is Kagame beginning to distance himself from Mpambara? Stay tuned.

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