Recent attempt on the life of diplomat-turned former Rwandan Chief of Staff, Lt-Gen. Faustin Kayumba Nyamwasa, in Johannesburg, dented Rwandan reputation a great deal more. When did it all began? Fall-out and now attempt on lives of compatriots! When cronyism and nepotism ceased to pay back. The rosy bed became thorny and ridiculously messy.
Kigali regime distanced itself from the killings despite the allegations by Nyamwasa that they were behind it. But again, many are still asking, what did words by Kagame that he shall crush all flies (Nyamwasa and the likes) meant in the first place? On this Nyamwasa said: “In parliament he called us ‘flies’ whom he will crush with a hammer; with [the magazine] Jeune Afrique he called me a ‘traitor’.” These allegations were repeated by Nyamwasa’s wife on the wake of shooting. Stalking, silencing and killing dissidents is a cowardly-perfected weapon that used to be used by chicken-hearted stinking dictators but not reformers.
This, apart from denting Kagame’s reputation, makes it difficult for him to recapture his mojo. To do it, he needs miracles thanks to the fact that the victims who accuse him of all bad things used to be a ton of his closest allies. The only way out of this is true reconciliation and introduction of true democracy based on the will and choice of the people, not rulers.
Caught between the devil and the deep blue sea, many are commiserating with the general whilst detractors are openly saying he’s fallen on his own sword thanks to being a powerful player behind the making of the current regime.
Remember Nyamwasa is among indicted top RPF officials in Spain and France for the role he played prior and during the genocide, not to mention robbery in DRC. Before the fall-out he was a highly regarded as a hero by the Kigali he helped to make. Sadly though, now it has turned against him.
His corruption allegations against his former arch-foe-turned-buddy and compatriot to whom he was a consigliore, Paul Kagame, are also damning. Unfortunately when Nyamwasa alleged that Kagame is corrupt through and through, Kagame did not deny it. Instead, the regime in Kigali offered light answers just the same way it did after being alleged it were behind the attempt on Nyamwasa. And this is not the first time for such allegations on Kagame’s hard-nosiness to surface from his inner sanctum. Apart from this making allegations likely credible, it is seen as friendship gone sour thanks to Kagame‘s desire to lead other by the nose.
What’s more, in May, Nyamwasa was quoted as thus: “I would wish to illustrate my point as follows, Firstly since President Kagame likes to talk about accountability to institutions, I would expect him to have appeared before Parliament to account for owning two XR Executive Jets which he hires to himself and makes at least two trips to America a month to receive fictitious honours, doctorates for himself and his wife or visiting his children.”
The minimum cost for each trip is close to $1 million. The two aircraft were bought by government money and registered in the names of a pseudo company. He should appear before the Ombudsman together with his adviser and an embassy official to explain where they got $100 million to buy the two executive aircrafts. The minister of finance should tell Parliament why the government should service privately-owned aircraft. Does this reflect zero tolerance of corruption which the President constantly enforces? [The Rwandan government says it leases the jets from a private company.
Ironically, apart from fighting alongside Kagame as they tried to topple the former regime, he thus has Kagame’s secrets right under his nose. And this is likely to go wide inside Kagame’s unknown. Mark my words, history is likely to make such allegations more credible than anything else. If you want to know who Nelson Mandela truly is, ask Winnie his ex-wife.
Surprisingly, when I wrote that Rwanda needs true and real reconciliation, I was branded a genocide denier. But looking at this fissure in the fall-out among Kagame and his inner sanctum, one will concur with me that what we’re told is reconciliation in Rwanda is but a hoax. How can Kagame be able to reconcile with his arch enemies (Hutus he has branded killers) and fail to do the same with his inner circle? Many are arguing this: shall it not be arrested and addressed is likely to rock the boat altogether.
This can be evidenced upon examining what the opposition sees as a cooked case the Hutu opposition leader, Victoire Ingabire, is facing. If this is not sorted out nicely, chances are some chauvinistic politicians are likely to capitalize on it and say Ingabire is harassed for the fear that majority Hutus are likely to vote for her and pull down Kagame, just like the blacks did in South African in post-apartheid elections by voting Mandela. If there would have been true reconciliation such views would not add up. This means tribalism and tribal hatred are still rampant in the core of Rwandan society.
Many political scientists believe that the majority Hutus that are unfairly, purposely and collectively referred to as genocidiares, cannot forgive this sin. What complicates things some analysts argue, is the fact that whatever the current regime says is taken wholesomely, even where it is not supposed to. Those trying to put sense into it are referred to as genocide deniers. Who is right? It is for history to tell just soon and what is going on in Rwanda is but the beginning. For nothing is forever except God.
When Ingabire and others asked the regime and those that sympathize with it to rethink about the status of genocide, she was referred to as a genocide denier and advocate of genocide ideology. There is no genocide ideology but misunderstanding of others’ feelings and views of what transpired in Rwanda in 1994. No sane mind can deny the occurrence of genocide.
After all what was categorized by international community as genocide is genocide against Tutsis and moderate Hutus, but not the current so-called genocide against Tutsi. Why are they ignoring the Hutus who were killed simply because they did not support the extermination of others? Is this fair for those that lost their lives for the love of others?
Though this might be seen as a bitter pill to swallow, it’d make more sense for Kagame to take Mandela’s path, retiring before being immersed into dirt as it’s has started to seem. This is the only safe, mature and heroic take that can put Rwanda’s genocide ghost to rest. It sounds nice for Kagame to retire after 16 years he’s been in power. Those wrongly or otherwise thinking he’s afraid, thanks to the mess he’s sitting on, will be put to shame by this move shall Kagame give it a nod, even a try. Comparably, Kagame’s stay in power has already exceeded any two term allowed in many constitutions in the world. If he were the president of US, he’d have already served four-four-year terms, whilst three-five-year terms and a year if in neighbouring Tanzania, or two-seven-year terms plus two years if it were France.
Zimbabwean strong man Robert Mugabe, even the Ugandan one, are in a cul-de-sac for not reading the signs of time. When a people you rule say they’re tired of you, the best thing to do is retire forthwith. And verily, there won’t be any winner in this abracadabra of attack, counter attack and denials, not to mention attempted murders by Kagame and his inner sanctum. Instead, many dirtiest linens will be put in the agora. This will surely open a Pandora’s box for the country whose stability is delicate.
Verily, Nyamwasa fell on his own sword. This reminds me of Olivia Isil’s words that when a loose cannon flogs a dead horse, there’s the devil to pay. And shall this standoff live on, chances are many secrets will be unearthed for the detriment of protagonists and their cabal.
Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.