PART III - General Kayumba: An enigma?

As argued in the last article, Kayumba, in his article and radio interview, wanted Rwandans to see their country in the lenses of his prisma, a prisma that is seriously distorted and loaded with dishonesty a vice that has defined the character of Kayumba, and one that negates the substance of a general.

As argued in the last article, Kayumba, in his article and radio interview, wanted Rwandans to see their country in the lenses of his prisma, a prisma that is seriously distorted and loaded with dishonesty a vice that has defined the character of Kayumba, and one that negates the substance of a general.

Fortunately though, his cross cannot be nationalized. Rwandans, despite various crosses we carry in pursuit of the development of our country, being destructed by anyone, and for whatever reasons, should not be allowed, least by a reneged ‘general’.

At that level, there are values, and virtues someone is supposed to have acquired, below which, his behaviour and by extension his person becomes questionable. Kayumba has found himself in that situation.

A situation of self destruction, and one in which according to psychologists, a person tries to transmit/associate/pass on his failures/blunders/weaknesses to others, as a psychotherapy, but only in the short-run. In the long-run, the consequences of these actions, become a reality, and extremely costly.

His sense of disgruntlement, has even lead him to question President Kagame’s international recognition. But this has only served to question his honesty to the extreme.

Before international institutions of repute recognized the achievements of President Kagame, and his exemplary leadership that has transformed Rwanda from a pariah nation, to a country of reference, Rwandans with a sober memory, and are majority, cherish his achievements.

These cannot be wished away or under-estimated/underrated by people of the likes of Kayumba, or anybody for that matter. They are indelible marks on the conscious of our country. 

Kayumba’s historical memory should have been more reflective. But if he cannot, for reasons that fit in his current personal circumstances and scheme of things, he just cannot rewrite our history.

Thus for instance, in 1990, when RPA, now RDF was overwhelmed by a combined force of Habyarimana’s forces, French military elite, and hostile environment, everybody thought the war to go back home was over.

A home most of us had not seen for more than 30 years, and only President Kagame believed we had just lost a battle, but not the war. His model worked against all odds one could ever imagine, defeating a combined force that was indomitable by every standard.

I don’t know where Kayumba was at that time, but certainly among those who had lost the war. What I do know though, is that, his name never featured among our top military officers that fought the impossible war to regain our home, and a dignity for all Rwandans.

Later on however, when the interehamwe crossed the boarders into DRC, Kagame took the war to them. And when it was declared that the problem was not the interehamwe per se but rather late Mobutu, President Kagame took the decision that many thought he was crazy, to fight through the jungles of Congo, to Kinshasa to solve the root cause of the genocide.

Credible western intelligence reports at the time indicated that, it would take Rwanda 20 years to reach Kinshasa, if they ever did.

They were to do it in six month, presenting a case study even to the best military academies in the world. President Kagame wrote history, by fighting impossible wars and restoring dignity to Rwandans.

They will eternally be grateful to him for ushering peace in their country, peace that is a rare commodity in many African countries. This was heroism on his part, and a turning point for our country.

Critically though, he turned his efforts on the economy (after winning impossible wars) whose growth is unprecedented in our history as a country.

Although this should by no means be construed to be a comparative (for there can never any basis for Kayumba’s role in the war in DRC against a determined enemy (he has of late associated with, and disassociated himself from that war) is said to have been insignificant.

What has came to light though, is that, even as this war was going on, his character of intrigues, patronage and divisionism in the army was at its peak.

Perhaps the recent hospital visit by FDLR to Kayumba in his hospital bed after he was shot in South Africa, may lend credence to his indifference to the war against this very genocidal group.

A group that he recently associated with. Whatever his ambitions, political or otherwise, this route he has taken has shocked Rwandans, not least genocide survivors.

He should expect the wrath of Rwandans, given the price they were made to incur by these very genocidal forces.    
Nonetheless, Kayumba’s contribution to nation building has been questioned by many. Rwanda’s economic transformation and real growth trends started to pick up in 2003, and these trends continued thereafter.

But this is the same period that, Kayumba had just come back from UK after completing his masters. Was it not for the magnanimity of The President, Kayumba would have been put where deserters belong. This notwithstanding, his role in our country’s economic transformation is negative, at the extreme.

However, what is most intriguing is for Kayumba to call President Kagame’s awards for his achievements ‘fictitious’ which is an insult; to not only Rwandans through whose good leadership, these awards have been accorded, but also is tantamount to questioning the integrity of awarding institution, which only serves to throw doubts on Kayumba’s judgment.

President Kagame has received honorary degrees from Universities of Glasgow in 2001, Vellore Institute of Technology, India, in 2002.

Pacific University in 2005, and recently Oklahoma Christian University, in 2006. These PhD honaris degrees are awarded through the senates (or equivalent) of these Universities, who debate the contributions of the recipient in different areas to be awarded and which must by far exceed a mere academic contribution  in doctoral thesis.

In addition to these degrees that recognizes his extradition contribution to the development of our country, President Kagame has received the following international awards, that few if any of his has received:

• Kagame was in March 2003 awarded the 2003 Global Leadership Award by the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO). He received the award in recognition of his “commitment and tireless work to address crises, to foster understanding, unity, and peace to benefit all people.”

YPO regard his role in reconciling the Tutsi and the Hutu differences in Rwanda and in developing a peaceful solution to the conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo as a benchmark of great leadership, uncommon inspiration and remarkable achievement.

• In September 2005, Kagame was awarded the African National Achievement Award by the Africa America Institute in the USA.

• In May 2006, Kagame was given the 2006 ICT Africa Award, an award that is designed to recognize and reward organizations and individuals that have demonstrated excellence in promoting the use of ICTs for the overall development of the African continent.

• In September 2006, Rwanda was listed as a Top-10 reformer on the Ease of doing business index by the World Bank.

• July 2007, Kagame won the Best Head Of State in Africa in Support of ICT Award. Kagame won the same award in May 2006, in an event that took place in Kigali.

• In August 2007, Kagame was given the Hands Off Cain Award for his role in ending the death penalty in his country.

• In December 2007, Kagame was given the African Gender Award in Dakar, Senegal for his role in promoting gender equality in Rwanda.

• March 2009, President Paul Kagame was awarded with “The Distinction of the Grand Cordon in the Most Venerable Order of the Knighthood of Pioneers” by Liberia’s President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. The highest honour in Liberia was given to Kagame in recognition of his exemplary leadership and exceptional contribution to the promotion of women’s rights.

• In June 2009, Kagame was awarded the Children’s Champion Award by the US Fund for UNICEF for Promoting Children’s Rights.
• In September 2009, Kagame was awarded the International Peace Medal from Saddleback Church for his support and role in the P.E.A.C.E. plan.

• In September 2009, Kagame honoured with the Clinton Global Citizen Award in recognition of his leadership in public service that has improved the lives of people of Rwanda.

• November 2009, Kagame was presented with the ‘Most Innovative People Award for Economic Innovation’ at the Lebanon2020 Summit,

• May 2010, Kagame was awarded ‘Lifetime Leadership Award for Development and Equality’ by Rwandan Women in recognition of his efforts in developing the nation and promoting equality amongst Rwandans.

• May 2010,President Paul Kagame has been awarded the 2010 Rwanda Convention Association (RCA) Award of Excellence in recognition of his role in steering Rwanda towards a knowledge-based economy and promotion of the private sector.

• On June 5, 2010, Paul Kagame was awarded the prestigious ‘Energy Globe Award’ on the occasion of World Environment Day celebrated in Kinigi, Rwanda.

For Kayumba to question these awards is either lack of understanding of the process through which they are awarded, or highest level of dishonesty on the part of Kayumba, or both.

Whichever, he only mocked his judgment as the substance against which these awards were accorded speak volumes than the likes of Kayumba cannot afford to negate. 

What comes out of his outburst though, is his hatred, one cannot extrapolate except to associate it with a character that he tried to run away from himself, but could no longer hide.

Demeaning his Colleagues:
Kayumba portrayed the highest level of contempt to our senior government official, an issue he accuses the President of, but he himself was to put on record.

When he was called by a combination senior RPF leaders and RDF officers, to account for the accusation leveled against him, especially his personal conduct, with a view of helping him to reform, he was to label people held in high regard by Rwandans ‘opportunists’ and ‘sycophants’.

He argued that, he held these same senior officials in ‘contempt’ and called the same meeting with them as ‘despicable’.

Among high ranking officials that meet Kayumba just before he fled the country included; Mzee Tito Rutaremara (our Ombudsman, and senior RPF cadre, and a respected elder) Honorable General James Kabarebe (Minister of Defense), Mr. Francois Ngarambe (RPF Secretary General), Major General Frank Mugambage (our High Commission to Uganda), Honorable James Musoni (Minister of Local Government), Emmanuel Gasana (Commissioner General of Police) and Brig. Jack Nziza (Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Defense).

Kayumba could not have had a better team to hear his grievances and counsel him accordingly. That he chose to demean them the way he did, was a shock to Rwandans.

These are some of senior Rwanda officials whose contribution to our struggle and by extension our development is on record, and outweighs by far the claims of contribution Kayumba made to our country.

That he could not listen to their advice and counseling clearly explains the person of Kayumba, and his contempt to our country’s top leadership, which is most unfortunate.

But by demeaning these senior officials, Kayumba told his own story to Rwandans who were also held in contempt by his outrageous utterances.

Kayumba or anyone else for that matter, is not bigger than our country, and the collective efforts of all Rwandans are what has brought us this much, this far.

Kayumba’s abusive language in the Daily Monitor of May, 30th, was an extreme rage of a ‘general’ that defies any logic, no matter the ‘grievances’ he harbours.

His critical vice is that, Kayumba defines the destiny of Rwanda through his personal experience, and wants Rwandans to believe him, when he invokes their name.

But the fundamental question that mocks his judgment is: as a ‘general’ he had no business appealing to Rwandans, for he has not held a political (not elected to speak for them or on their behalf) office as I pointed out in earlier articles.

Secondly, and most serious, his treasonable charges against him are equally personal, and he alone will have to answer them, and not Rwandans.

He certainly carries this cross, and it is very heavy. He was one of many comrades in the struggle to liberate our country, and his compatriots, are, and will continue the process of nation building, for it is a call for duty that he chose to abandon in 2002, and finally when he fled the country. Did he believe in this call anyway?

To be continued…

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