Part VII: General Kayumba: An enigma?

If outrageously dishonesty, and high level deceit by ‘a general’, were vices that defines the character and the person of Kayumba, one wonders why the hullaballoo, and outright outburst that typified his interviews, for the hard truths vindicates this renegade ‘general’.

If outrageously dishonesty, and high level deceit by ‘a general’, were vices that defines the character and the person of Kayumba, one wonders why the hullaballoo, and outright outburst that typified his interviews, for the hard truths vindicates this renegade ‘general’.

For starters, his allegations of accountability fall on his face, in a farce and flat. This is a man who grabbed a whopping 800 hectares in Nyagatare, for himself and wife’s family, at a time when an average citizen in Rwanda owns no more than two acres of land.

As if this was not enough, he returns after completing his Masters Degree in UK, with properties including motor vehicles, which did not meet the rules of tax exemptions, but for which he tried to enforce using patronage, and abuse of power.

He was not to get the same, but such acts by ostensibly a senior military official in other countries, where accountability is enforced to the letter, would have earned him a demotion and imprisonment.

Besides, he amassed lots of wealth from dubious sources, and through this he was able to put properties including three executive houses in high end Nyarutarama, Kigali, properties that are rented by high paying international organisations and diplomatic missions.

Given the knowledge of his background, and earning power, these assets could only have been acquired through unaccountable sources of incomes, as some have no bank loans that financed the same.

But this character of the person of Kayumba, collaborates information adduced earlier in this paper by a close aide. The fact that, Kayumba did the same while he was in Uganda is not surprising.

That he forcibly evicted a house owner in a posh Kampala suburb, after President Museveni assumed power, just because this owner happened to belong to the defeated tribe, and had to buy his safety by surrendering his property to Kayumba, is revealing.

That he looted maize mills from northern Uganda for sale in Kampala, and shared the loot with other army officers talks volumes of the nature of ‘a general’ who questions accountability of a system that has been certified by international institutions whose accountability assessment methodology, dogs Kayumba’s sentimentalism.

But information available indicates that, even after entering Rwanda, he went on to loot herds of cattle left by the late Habyarimana’s retreating army, only to take them to Uganda. If these are not tricks and traps of a questionable character whose moral authority is but void, one wonders why anybody else on earth would be wood winked by such a person.

In this context he did question the manner in which the modest home of the First Family in Muhazi was acquired. Although anybody with interest in the same can vouch this with Arab contractors, suffice to say that, The First Family paid for their contractor to build their home in 2003, in six installments from funds generated from the sale of their land parcel.

Information on this contract is available from Arab contractors, and is independent and has no connection with Defense Headquarters’ contract. To assert that, the First Family used one contactor for both properties, was but dishonest and manipulative. But this again questions the motive and leverage Kayumba wanted to gain from his malicious and outrageous statements.

Answers to this lie not so much in the substance of interviews, but rather in his person, a person that stooped too low, for what he wanted readers to believe, and in the process distorted even the most verifiable empirical truths, that has only exposed him as a man of questionable integrity and morality.  

The case of Tristar:
Kayumba should have been the last person to question the accountability of Tristar to party members, and the heinous assertions that, its assets are used for, and at the service of The President.

This is even more ridiculous considering that, Kayumba was a member of Tristar’s board from 1994 to 1999. When he left the board, he, and his fellow board members left no trail of their activities, nor did they account to party members, who had given them all the trust in matters of finance which is unusual and imprudent to the extreme.

Although this does not vindicate other board members, it questions Kayumba’s upside down assertions on issues concerning Tristar.

Besides, when RPA/F took power, after ending the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi, our treasury and banks had been emptied by fleeing genocidaires. RPF through Tristar had to foot all government bills to the extent that, government still owes Tristar around US $ 9 million, yet to be refunded.

Kayumba is aware, like most, that RPF members’ contributions allowed Tristar to raise capital to invest in many ventures, where neither local nor foreign investors dared to invest at the time.

After all, which sober investor would have invested his/her capital in a failed state anyway? And which investor would even have dared to invest in a country that was synonymous to genocide until recently.

Tristar’s investment interventions in various areas of our economy gave confidence not only to local investments, but also to foreign investors, that Rwanda was a country worth staking their capital, regardless of its past.

RPF like any other party in the world of politics chose the model of using Tristar as a business vehicle to manage her resources and invest these in our economy. Investments that have made tremendous difference, not only for many Rwandans that derive their livelihood in her activities by way of employment, but more so the economy in general, throughout put generated by such investments.

In other countries, many political parties either use donations from large companies/wealthy individuals (they are very few in Rwanda) to fund their activities, or use government coffers with impunity to finance the same. In the latter case, government and party funds are one and the same.

In the former scenario, companies (wealthy individuals) that contribute to party activities are guaranteed lucrative contractors and other patronage spins offs, that holds the government of the day and her policies hostage to such companies and their owners. In essence, owners of such companies/wealthy individuals partake in the management of the government they have helped to fund, and form.

This approach has been disastrous in Africa, where these companies go under with the removal of the governments they were party to, and part of. This is not the case with RPF which chose a viable and sustainable means to finance her activities. Kayumba knows this very well, and information with regards to activities of Tristar which is available, as the accounts are audited and passed by a Board of Directors who act as trustees for, and on behalf of party members.

Kayumba’s arguments that The President controls and uses the funds of Tristar at will is the highest folly anyone who knows how the President works in matters of finance, in general, and Tristar in particular.

His argument that, the President does not account to RPF members how Tristar funds are used is the height of naivety for a person who was a board member of Tristar for over five years.

RPF has millions of members in our country, and it is inconceivable how each of these members can hold anybody, leave alone party Chairman accountable as how Tristar funds are used.

Audited accounts serve as a measure of accountability of activities and funds of an organization, party members, through RPF party Secretariat can, and should request audited accounts of Tristar, which is available for all to see to ascertain accountability of their funds.

But that, Kayumba chose to twist these hard truths the way he did, only served to earn the rage of not only party members, but also Rwandans in general who are aware of, and see the activities, and conduct of RPF and Tristar with regard to the management of their finances and the level of accountability involved.

His outrageous, and false mis-representation of information with the intention of “attacking” the Party Chairman, and the President only earned him the wrath of party members, who were the target of his “attacks”. But, his only one RPF member, if ever he was.

To be continued…

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