BY Noble Marara and Jennifer Fierberg
President Paul Kagame has launched a process that he believes can finally end the debate on whether or not he will seek a third term. He has tasked three senior members of his Rwandan Patriotic Front (RPF) to come up with a “transition formula.”
President Kagame used the platform of the party’s annual Nnational Executive Committee (NEC) on February 8 to task Tito Rutaremara, Joseph Karemera and Antoine Mugesera to come up with a formula that would deliver “change, continuity and stability” after 2017, when his constitutional term as president expires. Yet, one wonders why he has to channel all the way through his puppets, we Rwandans knows that his Excellency Paul Kagame will never leave power.
In today’s article we outline the reasons why President Paul Kagame will never leave power.
1. In 1999 when President Paul Kagame realized that it was time for him to overthrow President Pasteur Bizimungu. He created a commission of enquiry team to investigate corruption on just one single person, Pasteur Bizimungu; this was to find out if his lorry had entered in the country without paying tax as it had been reported. The commission of enquiry was made up of Major Rose Kabuye, Tito Rutaremara and Joseph Karemera. One may wonder why Kagame always uses people who should be mature and intelligent enough to make sense but follows him when he is actually wrong. One should wonder why he has forgotten to bring Rose Kabuye to the team which should decide whether he continues as a presidential candidate in 2017 when she is the one who helped to oust Ex-President Bizimungu. President Kagame is surrounded by a number of hungry cowards who do not know what is next. His primary concern is to highlight any person who does not agree with any of his ideas and then have them killed or be ousted and that is why we still have refugees after all these decades when we are “liberated.” The RPF tries hard to avoid being victims of the truth; the heart of patriotism was buried by President Kagame just after seeing the lights of Kigali in 1994.
2. In 1995 when most Rwandans who returned home were sleeping in swamps, mountains and other destitute places in the country, some of them even relying on United Nations plastic tents. The first thing Kagame thought of was to use every penny he had received from donors to build his house. This house was built in ex-president Habyarimana’s plot and the plan of the house was acquired from the construction company which built Col Muammar Gadhafi’s armoured house which was a copy to President Kagame’s. Even though the State house was originally supposed to be in Kanombe like his predecessors but Mr Kagame refused to live in the state house because he already had built an armoured house before he even became a president. This house was built from 1996-2002 and Kagame moved in later. This armoured house was built before Kagame was even considered to run for the Presidential seat. So why built a presidential house in a private land when you are vice president and minister of defense?
3. President Kagame eliminated all his senior party members and those whom he believed could be potential candidates when time came for change. These eliminations were done inside the RPF political party as well as opposition parties. Without mentioning all but apart from Ex-President Pasteur Bizimungu, former chairman Col Alex Kanyarengwe, Major Furuma who is among the founders of RPF, the first secretary general of RPF Major Theogene Rudasingwa as well as Seth Sendasonga and others. He even attempted to kill his former army chief Gen Kayumba Nyamwasa. If Kagame was a president who would accept a transition he would not have committed such acts. He has imprisioned a number of opposition leaders and forced others into exile. If Kagame is confident of his record why keep all these innocent people in detention, exile and others in prison?
4. President Kagame is worried about what the international community thinks of his record. This record is extensive and includes crimes committed against humanity during his continued killings inside and outside Rwanda, the killings in the DRC of the refugees as well as the Congolese citizens. We are talking about a president who ordered the killing of his predecessor in an act that took the lives of several French citizens as well as the President of Burundi. In an interview where he was questioned about his role in the downing of President Habyarimana’s plane he explained that he was at war and so anyone could have died and he was saved not to answer the death of a soldier who was against him.
5. During the meeting with National Executive Committee (NEC) for the RPF on the 8th/02/13 President Kagame turned up with two hundred letters of which he claimed were from Rwandese citizens who wrote to him requesting that he should stand for the Presidential elections in 2017. He explained that most of these letters were thanking him and a number of them reported that they may leave the country if he steps down. One wonders why he did not bring the letters which advised him to leave power as I am sure they are some because we all write to him advising that he should leave immediately. He is an embarrassment to our nation and is still desperate to hold power. If President Kagame would accept a transition why bring these envelopes? To me he was sending a message to the RPF members not dare think of another potential candidate.
6. President Kagame talks of RPF and Rwanda in general to have achieved a lot in the last few years, he actually tries to indicate that Rwanda was actually born after his election in 2003. He seems to forget that Rwanda was there before he was born. We have had the foundations of development since our great grandfathers with our beloved strong kingdom which was destroyed by the Belgians. Yes I agree he has done his part but not just himself, because even those he has killed or ousted played a part in developing that nation. It’s not just him, like Tito Rutaremara thinks, that without Kagame Rwanda would not function, Rwanda has many people who may actually drive Rwanda in the right direction without hate, discrimination, divisions or injustice, corruption or revenge. I was not pleased with Tito Rutaremara’s words when he said that, “Those saying Kagame should go just because his term is finished are being lazy. We are responsible people we have to study everything. We must get a formula that shall give us maximum of change, continuity and stability.” There is nothing to study because we know President Paul Kagame is another waste of space that we have to keep up with until he leaves power one way or another. The history of Rwanda is dominated by betraying our leaders when actually they drive their citizens or army to that extent. The history of betraying our leaders starts from Mbonyumutwa who was reburied by Kagame in an unknown place, Gregoire Kayibanda who was killed by Gen Habyarimana, who was killed by Gen Kagame plus former President Pasteur Bizimungu who was kept in prison for many years and now is held in his house not allowed to move. This list also includes the King Ndahindurwa Kigeli V, that we all wish would come back home one day. Kagame trusts his cadette officers who are like robots believes in shooting everybody who dares to question any move for RPF.
7. The RPF died a long time ago when President Paul Kagame took over. He has spoiled every area of the party and RPF followers are all suffering from anxiety with the whole country in general. He planted hate and dishonesty in RPF executive committee and all with the motive to promote his poor ideas because he is genetically backward man who is vulnerable, and has made the whole nation vulnerable and anxious. So this so called appointed group of three commissioned to come up with a formula of whether Kagame should stand or not in 2017 is a procedure but Kagame is not going anywhere because these guys Joseph Karemera, Tito Rutaremara, and Antoine Mugesera are all puppets who will always sing yes to him until the regime collapses.
8. Finally President Kagame invested his money in RPF accounts; he mixed all his income under the names of RPF Companies. In order to divert the attention of the members of RPF who witnessed most of the transactions, he owns companies under the names of Rwandese Patriotic Front such the movement’s investment arm, Crystal Ventures which controls assets worth more than $500m inside the country. The group owns a construction and road-building company, granite and tile factories, a furniture company, a chain of upmarket coffee shops, a real estate development and an agro-processing venture, Inyange. It also retains a stake in MTN, the leading mobile phone operator, Air Rwanda, with a fleet of top range air buses, and many more. Professor Nshuti Manasseh, chairman of the board of Crystal Ventures, says half the RF1.5bn ($2.4m) cost of RPF campaigning in 2010 elections was met by donations from party members, the other half from company coffers. “We came in when contributions fell short,” he says. Nshuti Manasseh is an old boy of President Kagame at Old Kampala Secondary School, where they spent time together studying while still in exile in Uganda. Nshuti Mannaseh continued studying when Kagame dropped out and he still believes in him in terms of Business, he is still someone who Kagame believes can manage his business under the names of RPF. Mannaseh recently gave an interview full of fallacies about the ownership and procedures of Crystal Ventures. General Kayumba Nyamwasa recently stated in reaction to this interview that “It is only a fool who can believe that story. Manaseh talks about money saved from the war!! Where was he at that time and how does he know? He was not even in RPF. He is just ‘parroting’ outdated lies. I was the first board chairman of those companies, not even Kagame can dispute what I said about the formation and funding of those companies. Manaseh should enjoy the loot and keep quite. Both Manasseh and Musoni transferred this money when they were Ministers of finance respectively. Big question, what do Ministers of finance have to do with transfer of RPF (Tristar) money? (Note: Tristar was “baptized” Crystal Venture!!).”
So for those who think that Kagame will leave power peacefully after 2017… shame on you! One only has to look as far as his recent and frequent trips around Rwanda where large numbers of citizens gather waving small flags and cheering for their President. Do these Rwandans walk around with these flags in hand? Do large numbers of people spontaneously gather without prior organization and mandates? No! These “gatherings,” which are very similar to his 2010 campaign stops, are organized and photographed for consumption by the international community in order to continue his façade that his people want him to run for President again when he is the one orchestrating the entire rouse.