By Kenyatta Otieno via FB
Yesterday I posted my thumps up on Paul Kagame, the responses I got about Kagame’s dictatorship and forages into Congo are not new, I know about them. There is no perfect leader or government but I always move on Paul Kagame’s side because he has a vision and he is pursuing it with undivided devotion. There are despots around him, in Uganda, Burundi and Congo but not compares to him.
The first task Kagame undertook after settling the RPF government in Kigali was to embark on a trip to Kinshasha to drive out Mobutu. Laurent Kabila had tried toppling Mobutu for thirty years while operating from the brothels of Darselaam and Kigoma. It took Kagame’s young Inkotanyis months to walk on foot from Rwanda to Kinshasha and install Kabila as president.
Who was Kagame toppling Mobutu for? He said that the Hutu Intarahamwe had fled to Congo so he was going after them only to appear in Kinshasha as Mobutu fled to Morocco. The USA has had interests in Congo since the sixties and I believe Kagame was doing that job on behalf of his godfather Museveni for Uncle Sam. Major Rabuoni, a Ugandan UPDF officer and NRA veteran deserted the army with Tutsi refugees in 1990 knowing very well after Kigali they will end up in Kinshasha. So it was not an afterthought.
One thing Africans must know is that if US and UK did not back Kagame, he would be out of power today. To remain in power so as to actualize his vision he must serve the west. To do this, he must do their bidding in the Great Lakes region. That’s how Kagame finds himself in the Congo keeping tabs on the rebel movements. You cannot watch over a grannery and sleep hungry.
Tutsis have a long history in DRC. The first group of Tutsis to flee Hutus are the Banyamulenge. They left Rwanda even before the Belgians landed in Rwanda. They are now ‘natives’ of Congo. The other Tutsis went there in the 1950s fleeing the first wave of post independence Hutu hostilities. So Tutsi led Kigali government is at home in Eastern Congo. I met a Congolese who told me that all they knew was to dress up, sing and dance until the Rwandese came and taught them how to fight.
General Laurent Nkunda, a Congolese Tutsi crossed over to fight with fellow Tutsis in RPF in Rwanda in the earliy nineties. He then went to Kinshasha joined the march to Kinshasha joined the army there and became a general. He fell out with Joseph Kabila and retreated to North Kivu to fight the DRC government. Then Kagame made a deal with Kabila, he was to arrest Nkunda as a condition for allowing Rwanda forces official access to Eastern Congo to fight Hutu militia.
The sly and deceptive Kagame invited Nkunda for a meeting to plan an invasion of Congo. Nkunda fell for it, he was arrested and put under house arrest in Gisenyi in north western Rwanda. After his arrest, Nkunda said that: Rwanda has a man, the problem with Congo is that it lacks a man. The problem with DRC is not Kagame, Congo needs it’s own Kagame.
Rwanda has many problems but it’s the most secure, clean, least corrupt and the easiest country to do business in Africa. The biggest stories from Rwanda are in the success of small things. Systems work in Rwanda. Things many ‘democratic’ African countries cannot even implement even if they try to copy.
That’s why I look at PK through the lens of Rwanda’s past, present and future.