Kayumba Nyamwasa an archetype of what a general should never be

A statement written by Kayumba that was published in the Sunday Monitor on May 30, 2010,titled “Gen Kayumba responds to Kagame”, clearly shows Kayumba as one of those people who participate in liberation wars with the aim of achieving their personal interests. It portrays a victim of grandiose delusions and retrograde amnesia, exposes him as having deficiency in military and operational aspects and puts an indictment on his generalship.

A statement written by Kayumba that was published in the Sunday Monitor on May 30, 2010,titled “Gen Kayumba responds to Kagame”, clearly shows Kayumba as one of those people who participate in liberation wars with the aim of achieving their personal interests.

It portrays a victim of grandiose delusions and retrograde amnesia, exposes him as having deficiency in military and operational aspects and puts an indictment on his generalship. The whole letter is full of lies; it is factually wrong and it lacks coherence.

Kayumba opens his statement saying, “When I left Rwanda, my intention was to re-unite with my family and start a new life, forget politics,the military and diplomacy areas where I had previously served”. Let’sfirst critically analyze this argument.

Why did Kayumba decide to leave Rwanda, and where was he going to start a new life? Kayumba was still a serving RDF officer; he had never been retired. So, how does he simply walk out of the country and forget the military to start a new life? Kayumba is simply telling us he deserted the army. How does a whole general desert an army he says he has ever led? This puts an indictment on his generalship and is a prosecutable crime in any army.

Kayumba adds that he wanted to reunite with his family. He then later on tells us that his family was incarcerated in Delhi, India after he had left the country. He never went to reunite his family in India, but he went through Uganda to South Africa. What an acute amnesia and incoherency.

Kayumba goes on to say that; “I thought I would go into academia, consultancy or something different and actually take a lasting holiday from President Kagame with whom I had served for the last 16 years”. Ifthese are the reasons that made Kayumba leave the country, why then is he seeking asylum in South Africa and Denmark?

In his interview with the BBC Gahuzamiryango, he said he had been summoned to the RPF Secretariat and his life was threatened. So what is the exact reason that made Kayumba desert the army and the country? Kayumba left his home in Kigali at night and swam across Muvumba River dodging the established crossing border points.

Is that how people taking holidays, and those going for academia go? Kayumba never served with President Kagame for 16 years but served under him for actually 20 years (he was even serving under him during the 4 years of liberation war), because all the appointments and ranks held by Kayumba were conferred on him by President Kagame.

Here Kayumba presents with grandiose delusions by equating himself to the Chairman of High Command and the elected President of the republic.

Putting the record straight

On what Kayumba calls putting the record straight, he says; “our disagreement are centered on governance, tolerance, insensitivity, intrigue and betrayal of our colleagues” First of all, how does a general in active service disagree with his President and Commander-In- Chief? I wish they had disagreed on military strategy.

Even then he should have simply resigned from the army rather than deserting it. This casts yet another shadow and an indictment on Kayumba’s generalship. He is a general who does not have the slightest understanding of civil-military relations. The military is subordinated to civil authority and take orders from the Commander-in-Chief.

That’s how the army works and that’s what makes it a unique institution, a basic principle that Kayumba has failed to grasp. Kayumba has only succeeded in putting on record his gross deficiency in military issues.

On what he presents as issues of disagreement

Governance: The role of a general is to plan and direct wars and other missions entrusted to him by the Commander-In-Chief or Constitution. It is not about political governance.

Therefore, there is no where a general disagrees with the President on governance. Even then looking at governance in Rwanda under President Kagame, it is clear that Kayumba displays an unfortunate total retrograde amnesia and a pathological hatred for President Kagame, which is a hatred for Rwandans who elected him.

President Kagame’s exemplary leadership has been recognized by reputable international institutions and personalities. In March 2003, he was the first African President to be awarded the “Global Leadership Award” by the Young Presidents Organization (YPO); in
September 2005, he received “Andrew Young Medal for Capitalism and Social Progress” by Georgian State University in USA; in September 2005, he was awarded the “African National Achievement Award” from American-African Institute in USA; in May 2006, he received the “2006 ICT African Award”; in July 2007, he received the “Best Head of State in Africa in support of ICT Award”; in December 2007, he was awarded the “African Gender Award” and in June 2009, he received the “Children’s Champions Award” by US Fund to UNICEF; in September 2009, he received the “International Peace Medal” from Saddleback church.

However, above all, as President Kagame has stated on several occasions, that the opinion that matters most is that of Rwandans who are now happy with their ever improving standards of living. President Kagame has attributed all the awards he receives to Rwandans and always presents them to Rwandans in public.

These are the awards Kayumba calls fictitious. It’s a terrible insult to all Rwandans who have achieved the awards on merit.

President Kagame has been awarded Honourary Doctorate from the University of Pacific, USA in 2005; Oklahoma Christian University, USA in 2006; University of Glasgow, UK in 2001 to mention but a few. Kayumba wants to convince us that all these awards and honours were accorded to President Kagame by the opportunists and sycophants and are fictitious.

What a general? A renowned author and foreign affairs analyst, Fareed Zakaria, in his interview with CNN in July 2009 described Rwanda as “Africa’s biggest success story” and attributes the success against all odds to President Kagame. He goes further to say that “the government (Rwanda) is widely seen as one of the more efficient and honest one in Africa”.

Is Kayumba aware of all these when he talks of disagreement on governance?

Tolerance: Kayumba should not have been the one talking of tolerance by President Kagame. Kayumba was suspected of what he has proved to be as far back as 2002 when he was the Army Chief of Staff. Despite this,
President Kagame tolerated him and appointed him to various positions, including the Head of National Security Service and later on that of an Ambassador. The many accolades and honours that President Kagame has amassed on good leadership are all recognition of his post genocide management of the situation.

The YPO for example cites “his role in reconciling the Tutsi and Hutu differences in Rwanda and in developing a peaceful solution to the conflict in the DRC as a benchmark of great leadership uncommon inspiration and remarkable achievement”.

Here is what another author on Rwandan genocide Philip Gourevitch says in comparing Rwandan genocide with others; “In Rwanda the killers and victims live side-by-side in every village and community. Can you imagine Nazis and Jews living next door to one another”?

Is Kayumba aware of the one who made it possible? I will remind him that it was made possible by President Kagame through tolerance and accommodation with the aim of building the nation. That is why Rwanda is where it is today.

Betrayal of the colleagues:  Which colleagues is Kayumba talking about? Are Kayumba’s colleagues those who deserted the army and the country like he did? His colleagues are the likes of Emmanuel
Habyalimana, Karegeya, Furuma, Ndengeyinka, Ruzibiza and many other deserters. These are Kayumba’s colleagues and not President Kagame’s colleagues. And if these are the ones that have been betrayed, then President Kagame owes them no apologies.

The RDF officers and men who came fully aware of what they were fighting for are still committed to serve their country, and will never be diverted by anyone who joined the army to serve his own interests like Kayumba and his colleagues.

Kayumba says he and his colleague whom he does not mention “asked President Kagame to leave the army and government because we did not fit in the scheme of things” to which the President “objected and expressed fear that if we left- we could cause trouble outside”.

As a general, did he want to resign on disagreement surrounding military strategic differences with the Commander-in-Chief or over governance and other issues elaborated earlier?

The only thing I agree with him is that basing on his utterances and writings, he does not fit in the scheme of the vision of contemporary Rwanda. As for causing trouble from outside which he thinks he has embarked on, he would rather forget.

In his recent talk with BBC Gahuzamiryango together with Karegeya, they left no doubt to anyone that they are in alliance with Ingabire and FDLR and other genocidal forces.

They only managed to strip themselves bare and all Rwandans and non Rwandans have known their true colours. Rwanda is too far ahead of them and their allied genocidal forces to cause any trouble.

Accountability for all

Kayumba says “accountability is being used as a political weapon to frame perceived opponents”. This is exactly the language of genocidaires and genocide deniers (with whom Kayumba is allied) that genocide and genocide ideology are weapons used by the government to frame the opponents.

Accountability is one of the parameters of good governance; and President Kagame has been credited for enforcing it. Kayumba is telling us that accountability should never be mentioned in Rwanda because people like him will accuse the government of using it as a weapon.
On the two XR Executive jets which Kayumba alleges that they are owned and hired by President Kagame, again Kayumba is behaving like a corporal not a general.

The story he wants to make sensational appeared in some media outlets. The Johannesburg Sunday Times of February 14, 2010, alleged that the jets are owned by Repli Investments 29 (PTY) Ltd, with three directors- Nshuti, Hatari and Nyirubutama.

In the rebuttal letter, Nyirubutama stated that the jets belong to a Rwandan Private Company, and the three are only directors, Nyirubutama is representing government interests because they are used by the government VIPs including the President of Rwanda.

The jets, therefore, are owned by a Rwandan private company. It is chartered by the Rwandan government and various other VIPs, celebrities and business executives. At the time the articles were published, the jets were under charter in South America.

Kayumba or anybody else interested can check the ownership of these jets rather than deliberately misleading the public. This will never stop the President from demanding for accountability from anyone serving in his government.

On the claim of having been commended as an exemplary officer by President Kagame, this continues to show Kayumba as suffering from grandiose delusions. President Kagame believes in team work and has always been opposed to any RDF officer who tries to attribute any achievement or success to himself as an individual like Kayumba is trying to do.

Secondly, Kayumba has never been an exemplary officer, but part of the team of RDF that is an exemplary army as a whole. Thirdly, Kayumba should know that serving five, ten or twenty uninterrupted years does not make anyone exemplary. Other RDF officers have served for even more uninterrupted years than him, both in the army and security organs and nobody has come to claim he is exemplary. What Rwandans know and is well recognized internationally is the exemplary leadership of President Kagame.

In an attempt to mobilize other generals to his side, Kayumba has appointed himself an advocate of Generals Muhire and Karenzi. President Kagame has put it on record that he can appoint anyone today and if the same night he gets information on his/her conduct contrary to the appointment he will remove him/her immediately.

This was the case of General Muhire. The complainant in General Karenzi’s case is the RDF as an institution with its code of conduct that proscribes immorality and indiscipline. Kayumba would equally question why habitual drunkards should be arrested since there is no complainant, or if two officers fought in a bar, they shouldn’t be arrested because no one has complained. If this is Kayumba’s line of thinking, then he was right to say that he did not fit “in the scheme of things”.

In Kayumba’s glance at history, he compares Presidents Kayibanda and Habyalimana to President Kagame. According to kayumba,; “Rwanda has not changed a bit in terms of leadership”.

Rwanda’s bad leadership which RPF/A set out to fight was climaxed by the 1994 genocide in which over one million Rwandans were killed. Rwanda has since been developing at unprecedented speed in all aspects- economy, health, education, democracy, business and agriculture among others.

The Awards and Honours that President Kagame has amassed are a fitting recognition of these achievements in such a short time. It is simply beyond comprehension that Kayumba has never seen anything good achieved by this government, including peace and stability; unprecedented economic growth; the number of universities compared to only one we found in the country; food security compared starvation-to- death in Bugesera and Gikongoro that occurred every year; the number of hospitals and health centers; the international standing of Rwanda at the global scene and many other tangible achievements.

Even Twagiramungu, the extremist opposition Presidential candidate recognized that the government had achieved a lot in socio-economic redevelopment which Kayumba has failed to see.

What prism is Kayumba using to see Rwanda? If Kayumba still sees Rwanda as being the same as that of Kayibanda and Habyarimana, then it clearly shows that what Rwandans set out to fight for is completelydifferent from what Kayumba set out to fight for.

Kayumba again succeeds in exposing himself to the Rwandans and non Rwandans. He leaves no doubt to any one as to why he has declared alliance with the genocidal forces.

Kayumba further states that Rwandans cannot develop without consciousness; it’s only him who does not have consciousness otherwise all the Rwandans are conscious of where they have come from, where they have reached and where they are going.

If Kayumba did not have retrograde amnesia, which I am afraid he has, he would recall where President Kagame found the RPF/A struggle in 1990 and how he led it against all odds to liberate the country in 1994.

Kayumba should be remembering where we found this country which was a totally failed state in ashes and be able to see where the country is now. If Kayumba can defend his generalship, he should be aware that for
any successful guerrilla warfare and for any successful nation building, there has to be a visionary and strong leader. This is the rule of the thumb. I would like to know which leader Kayumba thinks led our iberation war to success?. Who does Kayumba think led the Rwandans from ashes and the status of a failed state to where we are now? These questions can be answered by any Rwandan kid in a nursery school. Please Kayumba come back to your senses.

Kayumba claims to have saved President Kagame twice at Nkana and Kanyantanga when everyone else had abandoned him. Kayumba displays total deficiency in generalship and war fighting acumen.

He is an embarrassment not only to Rwandan generals, but all generals in the soldiering profession. Kayumba was the head of intelligence during the liberation war.

Firstly, if the enemy can go to the extent of threatening the position of High Command, it means a total failure in intelligence. Secondly, it means the whole army has been killed.

Thirdly, can Kayumba tell us which unit or force he commanded to save the Chairman of the High Command or he fought the enemy alone? One cardinal value of any army officer is honesty. If a general tells lies then it casts shadow on his generalship.

In conclusion, Kayumba’s utterances over the radio waves and newspapers have helped greatly in exposing him to the Rwandans and non Rwandans, on who he exactly he is and has always been. He has shown us that what he set out to fight for is completely different from what Rwandans set out to fight for - completely different motivation and objectives.

His attempt to argue issues exposes deficiency in military issues, retrograde amnesia, grandiose delusions, incoherency and casts shadow and puts indictment on his generalship. He is an archetype of what a general should never be.

The Author is the Defence and Security Advisor to H.E. The President of The Republic of Rwanda

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