When renegade Government Officials turned “Politicians”: Part II

As pointed out in my previous article, actions by the renegade officials Kayumba, Karegeya, Gahima, and his brother Rudasingwa, reveal how hopelessly a human soul can succumb, when it faces extreme uncertainty in the status of a refugee, a state that half of the group sadly grew up in.
Professor Nshuti Manasseh
Professor Nshuti Manasseh

As pointed out in my previous article, actions by the renegade officials Kayumba, Karegeya, Gahima, and his brother Rudasingwa, reveal how hopelessly a human soul can succumb, when it faces extreme uncertainty in the status of a refugee, a state that half of the group sadly grew up in.

Why anyone would wish to return to the same extreme state of inhumanity defies all forms of logic. The bizarre and extremely difficult situation the four drove themselves into has even led them to associate with, and work with genocide perpetrators and masterminds.  

I did point out in the first part of these series that, the four renegades Kayumba, Karegeya, and the two brothers Gahima and Rudasingwa, all fled the country for different reasons; they had committed different crimes that were quite fresh in the minds of Rwandans.

I also did argue that they took Rwandans for granted, a serious abuse, by assuming that, they had a collective short memory, too short to have forgotten the various crimes they committed in just less than four years for most of the above renegades.

I also did argue that their oversized egos had led them to believe that they were indispensable. Although no individual Rwandese (but rather collectively) is indispensable, but rather as a nation brought together for a common cause, unity of purpose and indeed common destiny, the four renegades through their utopian egos had fallen into this fallacy and no wonder that, they highlight issues seemingly problematic to the nation, but which they seriously fell short of when they held responsible positions – and all of them.

That they can now agitate for the cause of genodiare, and openly associate with them, has outraged Rwandans, who now question their character, rather than their cause.

The issue of Karegeya’s relationship with the master mind of genocide Felician Kabuga for material gains, which amounted to a sell out of a nation and a people, to a person on whose hands the blood of millions of Rwanda was shed questions the cause (if any) of the four renegades.

However, these four are now heroes of the likes of Twagiramungu as per his BBC interview last week in which he asserted that, if ‘insiders’ of a system can disown it, who else is there to support it.

But this the same fallacy the same group fell into. They imagined, for reasons known to themselves, and even made foreigners to Rwanda to believe that, they indeed had a constituency to which they were appealing.

They were shocked later to know that, the very constituency they wanted to, appeal to knew them better than most, and that they only drew the wrath of this constituency, rather than a following. Resent overwhelming election of President Kagame, sent a nail in their coffin of their hyped egos. 

Nonetheless, Twagiramungu who shares the same circumstances as the four, at least acknowledges the strides the country has made in recent years, strides these four cannot undo, and one that has driven them to the lowest state of hopelessness any soul can find itself in.

The development the country has registered in their absence speaks volumes about their failures, as opposed to their empty rhetoric.  Walking in the shadow of their past exaggerated egos has hindered them to realize that, they are not as important as they claim to be, and no longer relevant (if they were) to the country whose progress has earned Rwanda, a tiger of Africa.

In this development dispensation, all Rwandans have had a stake, and a share of the cake contrary to what they want outsiders to believe. Would it have been possible under Kayumba-Karegeya-Gahima-Rudasingwa model? The answer is absolutely NO!

These are officials whose personal interests came before national interest. Thus, for instance the abuse of power and un-ethical wealth amassment characteristic of this group, could have distorted fairness in our system as only these and their cronies were entitled as per their philosophy, one that Rwandese do remember pretty well.

This group have really understated Rwandese as a people with a collective short memories! Not so. Have they changed ever since they left the country? On the contrary.  They have only become worse than they were ever known, and they cannot redeem themselves from the den they have thrown themselves into.

As pointed earlier, many theories abound to explain why anybody in his right mind would sell his people and worse still, a country no matter the gains at stake (if any) if this will lead to this person and his offspring’s eternal loss of their mother land, and the rights and privileges that goes with it.

Of theories advanced in the previous article, one that now stands out prominently (as per reactions of readers) is that, Kayumba, and indeed Karegeya, are aliens and their royalty to their ‘mother land’ was in the first case in abstract.

If this theory holds true, one can as well put in context their malicious, and incentives to work with genocide forces. The second theories most readers have supported is that, their flawed up-bring explains in part, their distorted behavior.

The group supporting the latter theory argue that, it is against our culture to insult a person that you have been close to, not matter his mistakes (which is not the case). The other theory that has gained currency is that, Kayumba who commands this group overstated his popularity and that he had a constituency that would listen to his outrageous remarks in his interviews.

Others even allege that, they were promised support from certain circles to promote their ‘cause’. What is emerging however is that, all this has become illusive and they can only count their loses, if they can.   

Only foreigners with little or no knowledge of the group of four, and thus the country, can lend an ear to their outrageous statements. Outrageous because the Rwandans state has had to clean up the messes that, these four left behind, not so long.

The Case of Gahima.

There is perhaps one man, that Rwandans will forever remember for having messed up the justice system to the extent that he had become the Justice system himself.

His track record as assistant Minister of Justice, that of Public Service and Labour and thereafter Attorney General was a disaster to these institutions.

While in Public Service, he employed relatives and cronies, circumventing even the basic tenets of employment.

The Public Service reform later undertaken revealed horrendous abuse of office by a person who was supposed to organize it. While in justice, his abuse of the system was even more horrendous. His desire to accumulate wealth and put in jail those who stood in his path, drew national outrage as to his method of work.

Business people had to buy their way through him in form of material as well as financial favours for them to keep in business. A case in point is the change in ownership of Cogebank whose previous owner was intimidated by Gahima after he refused to repay the loan to the bank that, he had to sell his bank to escape ‘the powerful hand’ of a powerful man.

This very owner had to flee the country, for fear of what Gahima would do to him.
The list of injustices on the very people he was supposed to protect is so long that, after his removal they were celebrations across the country.

The more damaging case however, was the acquisition of loans from a bank he was investigating for questionable deals (former Bacar now Fina bank) in which he took a loan in the name of his mother without any security, thus compromising his investigations into the activities of this very bank.

Also, many genocidal witnesses abound who had to pay heavily to get lenient sentences, and whose properties Gahima rented as a business. These are hard facts, of a man that is now calling for an overhaul of the justice system.

He himself messed it up so much so that his successors had a rough time rectifying it. 

That he was recently cited in the international media as a brief case consultant of AusAid where he drew an annual salary that far exceeded what the former prime Minister of Australia Keven Rudd was earning, corroborates his known financial machinations.

This Australian financial Rip-off that was dubbed ‘The AusAid gravy train’ where a brief case consultant as he was called, earned a hooping $757,960 in tax free for ‘advice’ to the one of the poorest nation East Timor is indicative of his past.

Although this rip-off was investigated, one can only guess the under-hands behind such massive rip-off. But this is brand Gahima. 

Institutional Vacuum of a state in Crisis.
Nonetheless, a number of readers have raised legitimate questions as to why these renegades were left to go this far this long. And although the system in place used the traditional Rwandan way of counseling the culprits, they are other reasons that explain this: 

Liberal western commentators have of late judged Rwanda by standards that are too hypothetic to fit in Rwanda’s situation. They have advanced various prescriptive solutions that only fit in ‘a normal’ country. As Gitau Warigi rightly put in Daily Nation of August 15, 2010, “Rwanda is not ‘a normal country’ tells it all.

And although Gitau agrees that he understands of Rwanda little (a rational admission, by any account, from a journalist of the region). One wonders how much liberal journalists understand of Rwanda, working from the West.
However, the renegade ‘politicians’ mentioned earlier are a product of an ‘abnormal’ country now trying hard to reclaim its normalcy, but chose to continue with their abnormal ways of running government business, even when the country’s consensual leadership were heading to the normalcy route.

Their behavior can be seen in context. These are individuals who assumed the status of institutions due to the vacuum created by genocide and wars consequent.

Immediately after genocide, Rwanda depended on individuals to run government business. The war against interahamwe in the DR Congo made the situation no better, for the country’s priority was first and foremost to repatriate over 3 million refugees in Congo, and to restore security for people, and their properties.

Institution building took a back stage among these extremely conflicting and demanding priorities, so much so that individuals in various positions assumed the status of institutions, and for so long.

By 2000, this situation was at its peak, and these individuals created for themselves spheres of influence so much so that they were seen in the society as ‘invincible’ institutions.

Thereafter, institutional building started in earnest, a situation that all the above renegades fought, frustrated and in most cases outright prohibited, as this institutional process was to see their powers, and by extension their ‘prestige’ as well as pupilages in the society seriously eroded, a situation that although many of their colleagues accepted, and that these renegade four could not stand.

This situation also bred egos among the renegade four that, so much so that, mending their ways to accord to the new institutional dispensation meant loss of their substance.

Thus for instance, Kayumba tried to compromise our defence institution so much so that, when reforms to make it more professional were being designed, he could not stand this, and chose to dessert the very force he commanded for some time, for a degree course in the UK.

Gerald Gahima made the judicial institution so personal that, when it was made to reform, he resisted and frustrated the same, for this only served to expose his serious crimes. He chose to flee. Former Colonel Karegeya did the same to external Intelligence institution corrupting it so much so that, after serving his prison term he flee the country alleging that, “he could not stand being anybody in a country in which he was an institution”.

In his Kinyarwanda interview with BBC he exposed his ego. When asked why he should flee after demotion and more so after serving his prison term. He argued that “ntabwo yab’ imbwa mu gihugu yabereyemo umugabo”. Reasons he now advances for fleeing the country are completely different from those he advanced on fleeing, indicative of a deceptive character. 

However, the good thing with the two pairs is that, their characters before, during the struggle (save for Kayumba and Karegeya who were alien to the struggle) is known by most Rwandans, and memories of their activities are quite fresh.

That Gahima can act as a spokesman for hutus, has been taken by the same as a serious insult to their conscious considering how he traumatized the same people during his reign of terror in the judiciary, in which his extortion from the same people became a way of survival to them, and him too.
To be continued…


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