Nyamwasa is not just an ordinary Rwandan official. He once belonged to the inner circle of (President Paul) Kagame’s ruling clan. In fact it is said that the two generals belong to the same baganza clan.
He is a man who executed Kagame’s orders without question and with swiftness. He would never brook any form of dissent or criticism of RPA and its leader Gen. Kagame.
He believed so much in the efficiency of military skills in solving political problems. When there was political dissent and resistance in northern Rwanda by former FAR (Forces Armées Rwandaises) and those conveniently tarred ‘Interahamwe’, he unleashed his military firepower to beat them into submission.
In fact he bragged to BBC: “We have the means. We have the will. We will kill them until they lose appetite for war.”
Nyamwasa says he could not stay in Rwanda because he did not think that he would get justice. He says he and his colleagues, who were also very senior in government and the ruling party, have fled the country because they have no faith in government institutions and the judiciary.
Nyamwasa and others decided to promote the cult of personality other than create institutions. By then the cult of a macho Kagame worked for them, therefore there was more need to promote it than nip it in the bud!
How ironic that now Nyamwasa labels Kagame an absolute dictator who has been corrupted by absolute power! Who helped Kagame become an absolute dictator, if at all he is?
Many people including the former President Pasteur Bizimungu have been tried under this justice system, and the likes of Nyamwasa knew it was a sham but they never complained.
There was no effort to revamp this system. It did not matter then because it never touched them. How selfish! Once out of power, Bizimungu was arrested on politically motivated charges which included embezzling state funds, inciting violence and criminal association.
Later, when he was taken to court, the charges were changed to stirring up divisions between the Tutsis and Hutus. He lost the appeal and he was sentenced to prison for 15 years.
Nyamwasa has watched many of his colleagues who fell out with their ‘superman’ being isolated and some purged. He is one of those who never wanted to identify with those who annoy the big man.
He had never imagined how it feels to be ostracised until he lost his dear mother and then all his former colleagues, including the President he served so well, shunned him.
It’s people like Nyamwasa who have failed efforts to inculcate democracy in Africa. They don’t want to create institutions. And when they are created they only honour them when they appeal to their tastes.
He is even now accusing the Rwandan government of planting bombs in Kigali in order to incriminate him. Having been the head of intelligence services, should we assume, he is speaking from experience?
It is not uncommon for revolutionaries to purge their comrades. Former Soviet Union ‘emperor’ Josef Stalin, did it in the 1930s, when he started killing, imprisoning, and exiling his colleagues in order to consolidate his political power. Nyamwasa seems to be accusing Kagame of following in Stalin’s footsteps.
We need to get rid of African dictators but we cannot succeed when we have the likes of Nyamwasa who only appeal to our sense of justice and democracy only when it touches them. So, Nyamwasa should pack his bags and return to Rwanda to face the kind of justice that he has so often meted out on others before him.
The author is the Business Development Director, The Observer Media.
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