In the previous article, a number of readers questioned why ‘Kayumba fell out-thesis can not be upheld’. The argument against this is premised on a number of facts.
First, you fall out with a friend, and not a subordinate, which Kayumba was. Here those arguing that, he had a special relationship with the President miss the point, especially when they argue that, he visited Kayumba on a number of occasions.
I believe the President has visited a number of Rwandans and none Rwandans alike, but such visits can not be construed to tie the President to all those he visited. Nor can such be taken to be a friendship above the country.
He is President of all Rwandans, and those he has visited does not make them more Rwandans than others, with regard to his obligations.
Secondly, he has made it clear (as it should be and has lived it) that; the country comes first, and those other perceived relationships come last, if they do. Perhaps, we may recall that, many African Presidents have been held hostage by their so-called close friends, and allies to the extent that, these hold the sway over other citizens, and this has only bred the highest level of corruption, nepotism, and patronage that only benefits the “Presidential close circles/cronies) at the expense of masses.
Rwanda is lucky not to have taken this route. This again negates the issue of a fall out.
Thirdly, Kayumba as ‘a general’ had all his rights and obligations limited to, and within the confines of the military structure of governance. Issues he raised in his interviews, and over which he said he ‘disagreed” with the President, are to do with civic management (e.g political governance, economic, reconciliation, tolerance etc) which is the preserve of politicians and elected official and not generals.
This again disqualified Kayumba, the ‘general’ from commenting on these, leave alone ‘disagreeing’ with his Commander-in-Chief over issues that he did not have competence, authority nor responsibility to do so.
Commenting on the recent sacking of General Stanley McChrystal, the US four-star general, the Chairman of The Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen pointed out that, … President Obama was right to sack Gen. McChrystal on grounds of “poor judgment that included bad command climate, that tolerated harsh criticism of the U.S civilian leadership.
Adm. Mullen went on to point out that “military leaders must always be mindful that they serve elected leaders”. “We must ensure that we are adhering to that in every way – publically, privately, formally, informally … to the degree that we tolerate it even in private discussions, it’s corrosive.”
This puts into context the role of military leaders. One wonders why Kayumba and even former Colonel Karegeya, should be judged by other standards. Although there is no parallel as to the two generals in every aspect, Kayumba’s outburst should be put in its own context, and his blunders for which he will render account, can not be a ground for a fall out.
He simply fell below the line, the red line, which has only earned him a treasonable act.
Fourthly, and perhaps very important, is the myth that seems to be alive among our top leadership. A position of responsibility is accorded to a Rwandan to enable him/her to discharge his/her responsibilities to the people.
There seems to be a tendency (typical of monarchical systems) where such positions ‘elevates’ the status and perception of an individual leader among the people to the extent that the dividing line between the position and the person occupying the same becomes synonymous.
This has given rise to a syndrome where the removal of the leader is seen as the ‘end’ of the person, and resorting to fleeing the country (fleeing on one’s own accord) becomes the norm. But as we say (“umuntu ahunga ikimwirukana, ntahunga ikimwirukamo”) literally meaning that, “you can flee from that, that is following you, but you cannot run away from that, that is within you.”
Kayumba and the likes suffer from this syndrome. His close ally Karegeya confirmed during his BCC interview just before he left. He argued that the main reason he left the country was because “he could not afford to live a low status in a country where he had been a senior leader.”
Kinyarwanda translation is even more revealing “ntabwo nba imbwa, mugihigu nabereyemo umugubo.” This deeply reflects on this man’s mismanaged and misguided ego, which as psychologists put it ‘leads the subject to view every thing from his/her personal reference.’
However, one wonders of what importance Kayumba and Karegeya and others like them have after they have left public offices. And most importantly their country, the way they did, save for external parties that either have undefined interest in them, and or have over ‘valued’ these Rwandese for reasons best known to such parties.
Either way, their interest in a Rwandan, who is accountable to Rwandese, and who can only be held accountable by the Government of Rwanda, raises many questions than it answers.
Develop systems that bind the people
Lastly, as we develop as a country, we need to develop institutions as well as systems. Although institutions are taking shape fast, we will have to evolve a culture of systems, which supersede individuals.
These systems should carry mechanisms that allow each Rwandan to look at himself/herself as a part of the system and not as ‘The System’ or better, a super-sub-system in their misconceived ‘right’.
This is pertinent given recent events in which some of these renegade Rwandans assume a status-quo greater or subordinated to the system. This cannot be, and does not happen anywhere in the civilized world.
An individual is part of a bigger system, from which he derives his/her powers, rights and obligations.
Kayumba tried to hoodwink people into believing that, he was engaged in a struggle between his family, the President and First Family, but the reality is; his outbursts were towards a system to which he was part of, but for which he had either no comprehension nor respect for.
The Daily Monitor, also fell into his trap, when they asserted that, the problem here is a matter of differences or a tale of two ‘families’. Rwanda is not aristocratic, so that the feud between two families generates the heat that those especially outside the country seem to be ‘feeling’.
The issue here is: Kayumba has a feud with himself, and this has generated him tremendous heat, he just cannot stand, and Rwandans in the Diaspora can be rest assured that, Kayumba cannot destroy the gains our country has attained.
They are guarded to the last, and will be, for we know best what it means to lose them, save for Kayumba. Kayumba’s attacks were attacks on our system period. And although he tried to personalise it, he ended up falling into his own trap, where our system was seriously under attack by a renegade ‘general’ who has never believed in this system that binds us now and for generations to come.
Even if our systems are yet to develop to handle and manage such attacks by renegade citizens, they will always be there. One thing is certain, Kayumba and his likes cannot shake the foundations of a country, for there are inconsequential to its strength, of which they lost by their actions and omissions.
In other developed systems, there are sub-systems that check such behaviour. More so, these systems are swift when it comes to managing such bizarre behaviour from a renegade ‘general’.
I have in the past articles, highlighted the manner in which the behaviour of the US General Stanley McChrystal was managed by President Obama’s Administration, and lessons we need to learn as a country. Such behaviour has serious consequences and if not managed, the interest of many would be at stake.
What baffles many observes in Kayumba’s case, is how some countries accept and trivialise misbehavior of ‘a general’, and generate political capital out it. Assuming that, reciprocity which is an applicable and acceptable international norm, we would be heading for dangerous models whose cost would be astronomical.
In developing countries especially Africa, there are many Kayumbas. What is important is how these are managed to safeguard the interests of many. Short of this would only bleed regional chaos and anarchy, which would threaten security of these regions and countries.
To be continued…