What betided Rwanda recently shows that Rwandan President Paul Kagame is slowly losing his grip on power and Rwandans. Reports that former chief of staff Lt. Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa fled Rwanda to South Africa will have telling effects and have a lot to do with the weathering of Kagame’s power.

However bad Kagame seems to be before our eyes, he’s the credit of calming Rwanda down and ushering in some notable discipline and development. Moreover, one thing is amiss. Shall Kagame want to be nobly and fondly remembered in Rwanda’s history, he’d embark on true democracy. Failure to this, all decorous things he’s brought will evaporate into thin air. One thing he should also do is avoid overstaying just like his comrade in arm, Yoweri Museveni.

Naturally, arrogance has one cardinal principle when it comes to its demise. It creates the seeds of destruction within itself so as to fell itself. For long, Kagame has been everything in Rwanda. After taking over and appointing a stooge in former president Pasteur Bizimungu, he kept pulling strings behind the curtain till he deposed Bizimungu and came forth. The way he maltreated Bizimungu will haunt him.

Apart from manipulating the constitution to remain in power, Kagame has ruled Rwanda with iron fist, banking on genocide he uses as a pretext to purnish or thwart whoever came with different ideas. This is not my take but of those that fell out with Kagame. Refer to recent attack on oppostion leader aspiring to stand for presidency, the firebrand and trouble sort Victoire Ingabire, whom he accused of touching the scars of the nation simply because she urged why Hutu are sidelined as if they’re not killed.

Another gammon Kagame is accused of oft using is prefering serious crimes against his prey. Many, whom he thought to be a threat, were charged with this vague and far fetched crime. His detractors add that Kagame’s been using genocide to threaten anybody, including the international community whom he blames for not preventing it. This has given him a clout to even present an exparte case with regards to who committed genocide. For a while Kagame’s gimcrack gimmicks worked. But as they time lapses, it seems, his magic bullet is losing credibility thanks to starting taking on the members of his inner sanctum.

Nyamwasa is a recent casualty of Kagame purge on enemies after notable others with who he toppled the government were kicked under the belt. Sadly, what’s going on in Rwanda has no border to the episode of eggs eating hen. After eating all eggs, the hen found itself facing the big question. How will I forge ahead without procreating? Differently from the sage hen, Kagame, like any dictator, does not think about dying or democracy but ruling for life. This is the take of his opponents.

16 years down the line people are starting to question the infallibility of Kagame. They’re tired of boot licking. They want democracy-true democracy. Ingabire who minces no words was recently quoted as saying that Rwandans want modern politics based on true democracy not claptrap, deceit and backstabbing. Hell bent to stage a clean and tough fight, Ingabire has brought a new breath in Rwandan politics. Politics of fear and “kow tow”, soon will be seen as something of the past shall she stay put as Rwandans give her supports.

Kagame regarded by his foes as a self-appointed guardian and custodian of stability in Rwanda, needs to practically and logically reconcile with time and understand that the wellbeing and development of the country depend on the people, especially the citizenry as a whole. Times we live in today do not allow a one man show. What’s more, Kagame’s always maintained he is not a dictator, the words of one of his inner sanctum that recently fell out with him, Nyamwasa, speak volume. He was recently quoted as thus when he was asked about the genesis of his fall out: “I am not the only one. Look at the turnover of all people who have served in that regime. It tells the whole story. Look at all those who have served with President Paul Kagame, ask him who is still serving with him now. If all of us are bad and he is the only good person, then Rwanda has no future.”

One of characteristic of dictators when they are faced with the people they think can snatch their morsel  is to appointing them ambassadors so as to let them being forgotten by the people at home as they pine out there. Taking a leaf from his mentor that cloned him, Museveni, Kagame’s been disposing almost all comrades he regards a threat to his rule. Remember James Kazini, Noble Mayombo and other in Uganda. December 2003, President  Museveni, the Commander in Chief of the UPDF, committed Kazini and a dozen senior officers to the General Court Martial on various charges, especially creation and maintenance of “ghost” soldiers on the army payroll. Others included Brigadier Nakibus Lakara (former Chief of Staff), Brigadier Henry Tumukunde (former director general of the Internal Security Organization)

To unlock the political gridlock in Rwanda we see how Kagame is turnig against his coallegues. Lt. Gen. Nyamwasa, who until he fled was Rwanda’s ambassador to India, joins a growing list of former senior Rwandan army officers who in recent years have fallen out with President Kagame — and ultimately left the left country. In 2007, Col. Karegeya, also fled to Uganda and then to South Africa. Others who fell from grace thanks to Kagame’s machinations are Theoneste Musindashaka (July 27, 2009), Senator Stanley Safari (June 2, 2009), Lt. Col. Sam Baguma (April 2009). Others are Capt. Evaris, Capt. Eliphaz Ndikuyezu, Capt. Claude Bizimungu, Capt. John Uwintari, Capt. John Bosco Muhizi, Capt. Theobal Gakumba, Capt. John Ontabuka, Jean Pierre Kagubare reportedly all left around June 2009 and Maj.Gen. Emmanuel Habyarimana (2004).

Looking at how things happen in Rwanda, one does not see any difference in style with what has been happening in Uganda. Where are comrades like James Kazini, Noble Mayombo and others that were buddies of Museveni? The difference though slight is Kagame does not kill his enemies the way his friend does.

To continuing excelling in development and stability, Kagame must take pains of reconciling with his people by doing things the way they democratically want in lieu of dictating them. It’ll be surreal shall Rwanda lose the gains she achieved under Kagame.

Nkwazi Mhango is a Tanzanian living in Canada. He writes regularly for “The African Executive” and also has a blog entitled “Free Thinking Unabii”. He is a regular contributor to AfroSpear.

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