Part II. General Kayumba: An enigma?

As argued in the previous article, Kayumba’s person is no longer debatable. For his actions before, and after he flee the country, tells a true story of his character that has baffled many Rwandans, but nonetheless put to rest any doubts that a few had over his person. It may have been surprising for those who knew him otherwise, but his own story has astonished, disheartened, and shocked Rwandans, given the little their knew of the person.

As argued in the previous article, Kayumba’s person is no longer debatable. For his actions before, and after he flee the country, tells a true story of his character that has baffled many Rwandans, but nonetheless put to rest any doubts that a few had over his person.

It may have been surprising for those who knew him otherwise, but his own story has astonished, disheartened, and shocked Rwandans, given the little their knew of the person.

In his article in Daily Monitor, and BBC (Gahuzamiryango) of 30th May, 2010, he portends to put the record ‘straight’. But what he purports to put ‘straight’ became fragrant distortion, malicious propaganda, and high level lies, that negates the person of a General, least any other average citizen who lives in Rwanda, and has a grasp of events that have shaped our country for the last 16 years after genocide. 

He asserts that, he disagreed with President Kagame on matters of “accountability, governance, tolerance, insensitivity, intrigue, and betray of our colleagues”. But as pointed out in the first article, these are the very vices that defines the nature of Kayumba.

How does a general disagree with his Command-in-Chief? Over what, and for what? Military codes are clear, and even if there were issues not clear to Kauymba, there are systems in the military to resolve this.

The issue of disagreeing with The President should not have been hyped as a good reason for him to flee the country. Rather, there are other serious reasons, that boarders to treason (or actual treason –lawyers would know better), subversion, corruption and divisionism, that Kayumba committed and which haunted his conscious leading him to free the country.

Issues he raised above, and which he said he disagreed with The President, are matters of civil management of the country, which falls far beyond the scope of a general. Kayumba was not at any one time a politician, and to assert that, he was taking a break from politics serves to expose the dangers of a general putting on a political hat as well, which was one issue Kayumba was being questioned.

Where on earth has a general been allowed to interfere with the politics of a country? Where on earth has a general been allowed to question and insubordinate his Commander-in-Chief, and get away with it.

There should be no confusion over the person of Kayumba at all, as tabloids wanted Rwandans to believe. He was a general period. Any issues over the actions of Kayumba can only make sense in that context.

Putting it otherwise, is a serious distortion, and tabloid hypocrisy of the highest order. Although there is no close proximate of Kayumba to General Stanley McChrystal (no comparison here), but the decision by President Oboma to sack him yesterday, and in which he stated that “he failed to meet the standards that should be set by a commanding general”, is a precedent.

Kayumba’s sins are more grave, and fell far below the standards of a general. Those who see in him a refugee, need get their facts clear on this.

Allowing a general to cross lines has serious consequences both to the army (security of a country) as well as civic management, for it may bread anarchy and chaos in a country, which is to costly to reverse. That is exactly what Kayumba had planned to do.


As pointed out in the first article, Kayumba failed the most critical test of accountability, by disserting an army at war in 2000. He left to do his masters even without his Commander–In-Chief’s consent, (for he was told by Kayumba at the last minute that, the latter was leaving for his masters in UK). Besides, Kayumba was accountable first and foremost to his boss, The President, but more importantly to the people of Rwanda, whom he left at hour of utmost need.

As Jabiro rightly puts it “this was the time for a general to engage, and not to disengage”. If this was not the highest failure of the test of accountability, on the person of Kayumba to Rwandans, one wonders what it is.

Moreover, accountability on the part of The President is much broader than Kayumba wanted people to believe. It describes the rights and responsibilities outlined in our constitution as to the relationship between leaders, and institutions and how these affect people’s lives.

The President is accountable to Rwandans, to whom Kayumba is just one. His accountability is then effected through various institutions mandated to do so, such as The Parliament, The Senate, Auditor General’s office, Office of Ombudsman, The Police, the judiciary and local government institutions put in place to ensure accountability for all.

It is also effected through many policies and programs aimed at ensuring that, Rwandans live in harmony and by extension enjoy better standards of living.

Thus for instance, public financial management, one of the most important pillars of accountability, is a government top priority which is a case study for other countries in the region. This is also true to public procurement, which has seen many that can not play by the rules, face the long arm of the law, regardless of their position in the government.

But Kayumba, knows all this! What is bizarre is to state the contrary. It is even more bizarre for Kayumba to argue that, we do not have institutions of accountability, and that these are synonymous with The President.

But later, he contradicts himself arguing that office of Ombudsman should investigate issues of accountability. If this office is not effective (according to Kayumba) why should he want it investigate any body?

These institutions are some of the best, if not the best in the region, and have been recognized by international institutions that have better analytical tools of their efficiency than Kayumba pretends to possess.

Transparency International has ranked Rwanda as the least corrupt country in the region and indeed in Africa, and Kayumba’s outburst can not demean this.

Only aliens to Rwanda, or touristic journalists would make statements Kayumba made with regard to our accountability systems. 

Although in latter series issues raised, and which were utter false and malicious allegations will be analysed and evidence contrary to what Kayumba had asserted adduced, suffice to say that, his attack on our accountability systems which are the best in the region, and certainly in the continent serious questions the integrity of a person of Kayumba, for he knows better than most that these institutions discharge their responsibilities at their best, regardless of the fact that, they are young, and have not been historically part of Rwandan governance system, which was previously characterized by impunity of the government and its officials to the lead.

But such questions by Kayumba are a serious insult to Rwandans who have painfully built these institutions to protect their rights, and integrity.

Although Kayumba’s malicious allegations and loaded false hood have been condemned by many, The President’s accountability stature has been hailed by Rwandans to whom he owes a primary responsibility.

His utmost accountability has been evidenced in the prudence with which he has managed an economy that was written off 16 years ago (this is most critical form of accountability-the bottom line).

An economy that has been hailed by most important authorities in the area of development and who have dubbed our success as a miracle, can not be questioned by the likes of Kayumba.

This miracle did not happen by its own volition, but is rather a product of a determined leadership that was, and is focused on delivering the very best to Rwandans in matters of over all development.

This could not have taken place in the absence of strong accountability systems. That it happened against all odds any country could ever face, is a testament to the high moral values among our leadership (including accountability), without which we would be a failed state we were 16 years ago.

Questioning this journey is but, an insult to Rwandans whose hard work and resilience has made it happen. Kayumba should have been the last person to question this, for he simply invoked the wrath of Rwandans, the last thing a person of his ‘calibre’ would wish to do.

Kayumba faced various sessions in which he was supposed to respond to issues of lack of accountability including the last one before he flee the country. That he decided to flee accountability, questions his moral authority to question accountability of others, least that of The President, who is not accountable to Kayumba but to Rwandans.

Issues of Governance, vs purported dictatorship/authoritarian:

Kayumba gave an absolute anti-resume of what Rwandans had known or assumed to have known of him. One wonders why a man of the calibre of ‘a general’ would peddle lies to a person of The President Kagame, and the system he was part of, as an architect in its design.

Did he do this to earn asylum from Republic of South Africa?, was it his person of soliciting attention (and from who?), was it even the ghosts of his misdeeds that made him speak thus? Rwandans who know, admire and are beneficiaries of our system were lost for words.

Kayumba is pretty aware of our governance structures, all of which are decentralized to give Rwandans a voice in the management of their affairs. Dictators do not decentralize, but rather centralize their power as a means of controlling the lead. Our governance structures, young as they are, are some of the best, and are accountable to Rwandans through different fora.

These governance structures has enabled this country to register the fastest growth trends of any post conflict country any where, and is a case study for many. No amount lies, malicious distortions or otherwise can negate this development record. It is not a matter of numbers.

It is a reality that both Rwandans and friends of Rwanda can testify to. Multi-lateral institutions such as The World bank, and IMF have hailed our growth trends, as some of the best on the continent, but these are not accidental, not certainly a product of a dictatorial regime.

History is awash with records of performance of dictators, and academics have done lots of research as to the consequences of a dictator to an economy.

They all agree on one thing: there is an inverse relationship between growth trends of a country and systems managed by dictators. For Kayumba and others to imagine a situation non-existent in Rwanda, is but serious distortion of reality.

But this is mere tabloid politics for reality of the stage of development of our country speaks louder than they can underwrite.

Our country’s leadership systems allows for serious debates of policies and programs of any country any where. Thus, innovative systems such Imihigo (performance contracts) that cut across our entire governance structures, from ministries to provinces, from districts to the cell level, attest to the accountability our leadership has, to the lead, and negates the notions of ‘dictatorship/authoritarian’ Kayumba claims.

Systems such as national dialogue, and parliamentary overseer of executive performance, questions the fallacy of Kayumba’s assertions.

Besides, he has been attending national retreats, (and left the country after attending one), in which national policies and programs are debated thoroughly and agreed upon for implementation.

Are these systems symptomic of dictatorial/authoritarian regimes he imagines? Why would a dictator sit for 15 hrs a day, in a four day retreat listening to views from top leaders? Why wouldn’t he sit in his office and dictate what should and should not be done in the country?

For those who have been in cabinet, had luck to have participated in 10 hrs weekly debates of national policies and issues concerning the efficient management of our country, to the extent that, one felt the consultations/debates chaired by The President were taking too long, and going to far.

If this is the mechanics of a dictator/authoritarian, then I beg to redefine democracy atleast for Kayumba and his lies loaded tabloid propaganda. President Kagame is a democrat who is demanding, and decisive, but these are qualities of a good leader, and should not be construed for dictatorship nor authoritarianism by any standard.

And if these qualities (of decisiveness and very demanding) have given the country results (we all can witness), that have cofounded even our ardent critics, so be it.

They are few leaders who inherited a failed state, amidst genocidal environment, and allied consequences would have achieved as much.

When the entire region, begs to have President Kagame as their leader, Kayumba believes otherwise. Whereas he is entitled to his wild/weird views, these can not be left unchallenged, not necessarily to ‘put record straight’ as he wants readers to believe, but rather to restate what Rwandans already know of their system of  leadership and governance, that has served their interest best.

Kayumba did not attempt to give an alternative system (which people would have listened to) but chose to engage in intrigues, (which he ‘abhors’), name calling, and malicious propaganda, which only served to expose the nature and character of the person of Kayumba, which crossed the line, and was disturbing to some, disappointing to others, and disastrous to many Rwandans given the many high offices Kayumba held in our country.

But perhaps, it suits Kayumba’s person, situation and position he finds himself now, to play outrageous tabloid falsification of reality, a reality that can not be wished away. He (or any other person for that matter) can not re-write our development path though, nor undo miracles that happened in Rwanda for the last 16 years.

To be continued…

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