When renegade Government Officials turned “Politicians” - Part I

I have argued in this column the case of a renegade ‘General Kayumba’, a general-turned-politician; an occupational transformation that has not happened elsewhere - neither is it in keeping with the expected behaviour of a senior military officer, not least a General, before, during or even after active service, save for exceptional cases. Yet this seems to be acceptable to some parties for reasons that defeat the logic;

I have argued in this column the case of a renegade ‘General Kayumba’, a general-turned-politician; an occupational transformation that has not happened elsewhere - neither is it in keeping with the expected behaviour of a senior military officer, not least a General, before, during or even after active service, save for exceptional cases. Yet this seems to be acceptable to some parties for reasons that defeat the logic;

I did also highlight the fact that Kayumba as a ‘general’ had all his rights and obligations limited to the confines of military structure of governance. The Issues he raised during his interviews and over which he said he ‘disagreed” were to do with civic management which is the preserve of politicians and elected officials.

This again disqualified Kayumba, as a ‘general’ from commenting on these, leave alone ‘disagreeing’ with His Commander-in-chief over issues on which he did not have competence, and authority or responsibility to do so.

Commenting on the sacking of  General Stanley McChrystal, the US four star general recently, 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 (read politicians).

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 point whereby we should not tolerate it even in private discussions; it’s corrosive.”

After he was sacked General McChrystal accepted his fate, and now wants to enter the  academia to put to work his talents. This puts into context the role of military leaders, and one wonders why Kayumba should be judged by any other standards, by anybody, least of all sovereign countries.

Although there is no parallel as to the two generals in every aspect, Kayumba’s outburst should be put within its own context. Treating it as an exception is but double standards

However, the emergence of other renegade Rwandan officials, who after fleeing the country as a result of serious failures on many governance/accountability issues dear to our system, seem to have been activated by Kayumba as their outbursts followed closely on the heels of his own.

The other renegades namely Karegeya, Rudasingwa Theogene, and of late Gerald Gahima, had been dormant ever since they had left the country, with no known agenda or cause.

Some had left the country five years ago and had no known agenda until Kayumba’s treacherous and highly distorted interviews were aired by the media.

Many Rwandans now wonder whether Kayumba, by assuming the command of this disgruntled group (rather of the two brothers Gahima and Rudasingwa and a demoted colonel) added any ‘value’ to a group that, Rwandans see as total liabilities to the country, and now to themselves.

Does it also show that they had shared the same agenda and modus operandi as Kayumba did (before they fled) for them to find ‘a common cause’ once away in exile? One can only guess. What is true though is that, they all committed different crimes hence there was no approximate as will be explained later.

Nonetheless  they all share one thing in common; they all failed to live up to the expectations of the system they were part of, and failed to reform after being advised of their failures.

Their distorted egos had led them to believe that they personified the ‘system’ or ‘subsystem’. Their arrogance towards the people of Rwanda is manifested through their utterances while in office as well as actions and omissions that clearly identified them as outsiders.

None of them packed their bags while in office. Regardless of the reasons they now advance as those that led them to flee the country, they apparently fled after committing the crimes they were accused of. 

They felt they could no longer command public moral authority, respect, or at the very least civic moral authority expected of every ordinary Rwandan over his or her compatriots.

However, what has baffled many Rwandans is the fact that their behaviour knows no parallels. For instance, whereas in our region they are many senior government officials who left governments in even worse situations than these renegades purport to claim, none of their counterparts within the region has stooped so low as to malign the establishment under which they served; nor the senior leaders they had served, or served with.

It would for instance be insane, for senior military officials such as the former head of Uganda’s DMI and later Command-in-Chief of UPDF, General Mugisha Muntu to associate himself with the likes of Kony.

Retired Col. Dr Besigye who was once a personal Doctor of President Museveni left the political establishment to form an opposition party so as to compete on certain issues. General Muhwezi and the late General Kazini (RIP) fell out, but they did not cross the line. 

There are other cases in the region and one I do remember vividly was that of Joseph Kamotho, a man who had risen to become Minister of Education in Moi’s government, and a Secretary General of the then ruling party, KANU.

This man was demoted for reasons that were, at the time, quite serious. He did not flee his country, nor did he insult the party or President Moi, but rather adjusted his life accordingly.

General Tonga, and General Kibwana both from Kenya left the system and adjusted in their new lives as ordinary citizens. General Mboma of Tanzania adjusted to lead an ordinary life.

They have steered clear of mudslinging, and distortions of what they were doing for their systems and countries.

There are, indeed, many other examples one can point out, of senior officials who left government and adjusted to lead ordinary lives. We have many more among our own in Rwanda who have held senior positions and have left them, and now lead ordinary life like other citizens.

Why would anyone in possession of his senses want to take the route the four renegades have taken? This is why Rwandans have not come to terms with such treacherous characters.

Many theories have been advanced to try to explain their behaviour, ranging from outright craziness; flawed upbringing, aliens, self-seekers, the list is endless.

Even their arguments are self-contradictory since some of them were part of the very system they now accuse, three months or three years ago.

When crimes of lack of accountability and serious abuse of power caught up with them, they had the guts to verify the system ‘central’ in building. They hold themselves revolutionaries and liberators of their people, the people they left ‘when they needed them the most’.

Liberators die heroes and not refugees.
This brings to mind the intentions of this group of four who are not ‘politicians’ for they have not formed a party to agitate their views.

Rather, they are on a mission to incite a population that knows these renegades better than most, as their actions, omissions, and treacherous activities are fresh in everyone’s minds.

Among Rwandans, the key word is… who does not know Kayumba? … Who does not know Karegeya? Who does not know Gahima? …who does not Rudasinga?

The group has shameless associated with genocidaires including the FDRL, to which they are now sympathetic and are agitating for their cause. This is a cause to exterminate their own people, to be more specific.

This has only earned these renegades the wrath of Rwandans, not only towards themselves but towards their generations to come. But this association is not surprising as it is not recent.

The Cause of the Genocidaires

These same renegade officials ostensibly fought the genocidaires. Yet they are now bedfellows with the very group that they had fought against. Whether this is indicative of a lack of ideology on their part, or opportunism, one thing has come out clear to Rwandans, this is not politics; and this automatically eliminates this group from politicians; for our country will forever fight any individual, or group of individuals that would want to take us back or even remind us of the horrors of genocide and its perpetrators, whoever they may be, wherever they are, and whatever it costs. 

As a country, we paid too high a price; anything else can only be less.
What they have demystified, though, is the fact that they were not part and parcel of the cause to liberate Rwanda.

They put their personal interests before national interests; they even used genocidaires to accumulate material riches, of which they were not ashamed.

This was particularly true for Gerald Gahima whose extortion methods are well known among Rwandans.

I shall discuss the details of such dubious characters in later series. Suffice to say here that, the demoted Colonel Karegeya stooped much lower than most of the genocidaires he had associated with;  a move that has perplexed many, and left others wondering whether these actions do denote politics; or whether it is betrayal of the highest order; or a character with a highly distorted conscience (if he has any) -  that he could dare work with the same people at whose hands Rwanda lost over a million  innocent lives; people who died for who they were, rather than what they did to the system.

He has actually associated with those who oversaw these systematic killings that have no parallel in all documented genocides that took place in the history of mankind.

The case of Karegeya.

Available hard evidence, showing Karegeya’s dealings with the most wanted man for genocide in Rwanda, Mr Felician Kabuga, a man who through his massive wealth bankrolled the genocide.

Karegeya indeed happened to have worked with Kabuga through his daughter who worked in his office when he was still heading the external wing of Rwandan intelligence.

Evidence points to the fact that he extorted Kabuga’s family for material wealth in return for protection of properties they left in Rwanda. He went on record agitating for the return of Mr. Kabuga’s property to his family, actions that enraged the leadership at the time.

He thus was handsomely rewarded for doing the unimaginable – covering a hard core genocidaire ,whom, by virtue of his office, he had had the mandate to arrest.

Perhaps the most incriminating evidence (that has left most Rwandans perplexed) is the fact that when Mr Kabuga was being hunted down in Kenya by regional forces, it is the same Karegeya who tipped him of his impending arrest.

This enabled Mr. Kabuga to escape the net, with consequence of loss of lives for those who had closed in on him, at the hands of Mr. Kabuga’s private security.

This hard evidence, which questions the intentions and actions of ‘a spy chief’ whose duty frustrated the most critical operation in tracking down of the top most wanted genocidaires has stunned most Rwandans.

If this is not betrayal, then one would wonder what it was, even in its craziest form.  His actions did not end there; he rather continued his relationship with the same most wanted genocidiare, Kabuga’s son-law Mr Antoine Libanje in London whom he tasked to mobilize Hutus in Belgium and France against the government, and more so, to testify to the flawed UN report accusing Rwanda of crimes that could have been hardly committed by the same force that stopped genocide, he never minded the flawed methodology used to write this same report.

This hard evidence fundamentally questions these renegades’ demonic intentions towards their country, and more so to Rwandans whose memories of genocide are still very fresh, and the wounds too tender to touch.

Yet again, this is a story of renegades who wish to claim legitimacy and morality from a liberal western media, and one that little understands the mechanics of these very people and their demonic intentions to the very people they now claim to want to ‘liberate’.

If they had had a different ideology from that of the Rwandan Government, this may have qualified them to the rank of opposition.

Yet  advancing, supporting and promoting a genocide ideology, working with the most notorious executors of this very ideology defies any element of logic, however fundamentally this may be distorted.

To be continued…

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