Facts about President Kagame that one ought to know

President Paul Kagame. Americans saved him from certain death in Uganda.

OPINION

This week we were to read and hear that there was a possibility that sinister persons described as assassins were within the city of London and that Rene Mugenzi and Jonathan Musonera were the possible targets. Amazingly we were not seeing the names of Libyans, where perhaps one could expect evil manoeuvring, but the two named, and possibility others, are from Rwanda, the Tutsi dominated tribe (mini nation) under the leadership of Paul Kagame. It was shocking news, especially as it had come from a British government source.

However, the Rwanda government, as expected, furiously dismissed the allegations as “unfounded.” Here we have a country that has been supported to the hilt by America’s Bill Clinton, Bill Gates and the present US administration along with the British tax payers, whose government boasts that they are the single largest donor to Kagame giving at least £70 million a year, a sum even larger than normal.

So Paul Kagame and his country, a former Belgium colony but recently made a member of the British Commonwealth, are now having to answer why they are sending assassins to Great Britain especially being a nation fast becoming the safest prosperous country in Africa, with no slums and virtually no begging or street crime. It has one of the highest sustained rates of economic growth on the continent and is said to have the least amount of corruption and red tape and, certainly to Kagame’s credit, has more women in its parliament than elsewhere in the world.

In fact here we have a land-locked nation that shouts: “A new Africa!” So could such a “gem” send out assassins? Sorry to say so but the answer is YES! In the past, Paul Kagame has said: “What we know rather is that threats to our country’s security have been made from genocide-bent and disgruntled dissidents engaged in serious criminal activities, and we have shared this information with the UK.” I admit this was long ago, but the worrying thought and knowledge that lurking in the dark are assassins also bent on overthrowing his government has to be with him.

Long ago I learnt that Paul Kagame places a high premium on loyalty and discipline, likes to operate in secrecy, and is certainly comfortable using violence and threats of violence against his enemies and any criticism is sometimes seen as treason. He is a man’s man and to some extent this is what Africa needs.

Kagame has had very little formal schooling, so his ideas and solutions are formed by his life experiences, which have been harsher than most of us can imagine. He came out of Rwanda with an exiled family, hounded out by the Hutu tribe, to take refuge along with his fellow Tutsi in Uganda’s Orachinga valley far from city life, a whole nation of Tutsi now living in exile and relying on Uganda. They are a Hamitic people said to have origins in Egypt and Ethiopia with an Asiatic Hittites mix, a proud and dignified people as I saw them long ago, with a high quality of leadership. Certainly in Buganda’s history they were favoured for only their king (The Umwami) was permitted to live as guest in the palace of the Kabaka: other great leaders were accommodated in the homes of high ranking Baganda.  Even after the Belgians in 1961 abolished the Watutsi monarchy within Rwanda, the Kabaka of Buganda gave sanctuary to him in the palace.

So the young Paul Kagame lived in exile with the eventual curse of ethnic hatred expressed as ethnic politics being part of his growing life, fuelling ambitions of rebuilding Rwanda even if it meant war. His opportunity came in friendship with a fellow Tutsi, the present President of Uganda, Yoweri Museveni, who made him his chief of intelligence based in Basiima House in old Kampala. We are told it suited his observant, analytical, conspiratorial mind and I was soon to find out from his “customers” who joined me in a political prison that Kagame had no mercy with any he suspected of not backing Museveni.

Certainly the methods used by Kagame got out of hand for the local press were demanding his arrest. He was saved by the American Roger Winter at the time the USAID manager who knew as much about Rwanda and Uganda as any other American activist. The story at the time was that Mr Winter, seeing Kagame’s enormous talent, plucked him out of harm’s way from Uganda opponents for training in the United States at Fort Leavenworth. It is a long story of mischief and betrayal in Uganda with Paul Kagame coming out victorious to lead back the Tutsi to control Rwanda with terrible massacres by both the Hutu and Tutsi although Kagame has said that the massacre of Hutu was unavoidable as it was impossible to restrain his soldiers who had seen their families raped and butchered. Knowing Africa, he is unfortunately right but does this lead to assassins roaming the planet? It does. I have met them. Even the greater powers, notably Israel, are seen to use assassins. So let’s leave the subject to ponder.

BOBO

 

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