Saturday, March 28, 2009

Rwanda: The Ruling Akazu Subset of the Ruling RPF Allied with the Mafia Are Destroying the Rwandan Society

By Jean-Pierre MUGABE

Rwanda, for all the discussion about a return to democracy and constitutional rule, remains ruled by a single party and an Army which is an integral part of the party, the Rwanda Patriotic Front ( RPF ). In fact, it is a distinct group within the RPF which controls the national administration, backed by its own Army, the RPA ( Rwandese Patriotic Army ).

The RPA remains under the command of Maj.-Gen. Paul Kagame who is also president of RPF and Vice-President of the Republic and the effective or de facto-leader of the Rwandan State. Ten officers of RPA are members of the Political Bureau of RPF, demonstrating how the army is the governance of the State.

Now, part of the RPF is planning to turn Rwanda into a one-party state, consolidating power permanently into the hands of the men who now control it.

The RPF as whole is composed of ethnic Tutsi from Uganda, Burundi, Zaire ( now the Democratic Republic of Congo, or RCD ), Rwanda (" Survivors of Genocide " ), Kenya, Tanzania, Europe and the United States. All those Tutsi contributed to the war against the former President Habyarimana administration, in giving funds to RPF, in organising demonstrations at Rwandan and French embassies, or in sending their sons and daughters to the battle field in the ranks of the RPA. They sensitized other people from Rwanda and foreigners on the RPF guerilla warfare objectives. But those RPF members from Uganda, a distinct political faction, effectively seized the leadership of RPF while operating as a military wing in the bush in the war against Habyalimana. It is this clique which effectively came to form theGovernment.

The other members of RPF from different countries were neglected and mistreated. Today, these non-Ugandan RPF, perceived externally to be part of the ruling structure, are isolated and alienated from the Uganda clique, known as the AKAZU. Those who created AKAZU are from the same refugee camps named Nyakivara and Nshungerezi in Uganda, and originally came from Gahini in Kibungo Prefecture of Rwanda. These leaders, who set up the new informal group known as the AKAZU ( literally meaning a small house or people of the same family ) are: Minister Mazimpaka Patrick; Minister Colonel Karemera Joseph, Minister Inyumba Aloysia; Colonel Mugambage Frank; Ms Umutoni Christine ( former Director of Cabinet ); former Ambassador to the United States Rudasingwa ( former Secretary-General of RPF; he has just been reassigned to a key intelligence post in Rwanda ); Maj. Rose Kabuye ( former prefet of Kigali city ); Musoni Protais ( former prefet of Kibungo ); Maj. Rutayisire Wilson, managing director of the Rwanda`s information office. Most of them are related to each other and are from Uganda.

The main contradictions started in 1991 when the Department of Military Intelligence ( DMI ) of the RPF,led by Brigadier-General Kayumba ( the current Chief of Staff of the Rwandan Army ), Lt.-Col. Rwahama Jacson, and Maj. Steven Balinda, began ordering the killing of Tutsi soldiers from Burundi and Rwanda.Those young men arrived at the RPF military training wings from their original regions. Most of them were college or high-school graduates. After being checked by DMI officers and staff under the command of Maj. Dan Munyuza ( former Director of Counter-Intelligence in National GENDARMERIE and security officer of President Kabila of RDC ); some of them were killed by their military instructors and by DMI special agents. They killed them with small hoes. Others were killed by the special agents in the battlefield.

When their parents were informed about the killing of their children, they called on Maj.-General Paul Kagame to explain the killings. Kagame went to Bujumbura to meet the Rwandan community of Burundi and assured them that he would stop the killings and mistreatments. When he went back, however, he did not make an investigation and nobody was sanctioned for the killings. And they kept on killing Tutsi from Rwanda. Those killings are the real source of the division among RPF members and in the Armed Forces. In addition, Maj. BIRASA, a Rwandan from Burundi, was killed by his fellow RPA members from Uganda. His death raised number of questions when the AKAZU required to keep it a secret.

After the victory of 1994, the RPF was divided into two groups: those from Uganda ( English speakers ); and those from Burundi, Zaire ( now Democratic Republic of Congo: RDC ), and Rwandan Tutsis survivors ( French speaking ). Leaders from Ugandan in power,have given better jobs to all relatives in high spheres of central administration and in military command. That nepotism has also divided RPF members and the Armed Forces.

Here is an example: most RPF ambassadors are from same region of Kibungo prefecture: Ambassador Maj. Rudasingwa ( until recently in Washington DC );Gahima Gerard, brother of Ambassador Rudasingwa, was Secretary-General in Ministry of Justice; their sister, Ms Mukabaranga Beatrice was Secretary-General in Ministry of Education. Minister of Finance Kaberuka Donat is cousin of former Minister Col. Dr Karemera of Education; Minister Mazimpaka Patrick in the President's Office is brother-in-law of Secretary-General Musoni Protais in the Interior Ministry and cousin of the managing director of ORINFOR ( Rwanda`s information office ) Wilson RUTAYISIRE shabani.

We must remember that former Minister of Finance BIRARA ( a well known in the World Bank ) was replaced by Min. Kaberuka because he was not from Uganda, was not in the AKAZU family and was trying to sort out the problem of corruption.

Given the mood in Rwanda today, if the nepotism and the discrimination against individuals because of their origin or language is not stopped, then Rwanda will have an other civil war.

Nepotism and regionalism take place in the military forces, too, because promotion in the Army is based on these practices. This is why the Ministry of Defense has closed the officer`s college, the ESM ( Ecole Superieure Militaire ). It was to prevent general applications for officer candidacy so that officers could be selected solely from AKAZU families and not from other regions. A clear example is for instance when time comes to select people who might go to study overseas. Senior officers at the right hand of Maj.-Gen. Kagame send people believed to be from Uganda. To those who were sent by mistake, once abroad, they resign and ask political asylum.In Rwanda today, most high-ranking officers are uneducated and from Uganda while many of non-commissioned officers are educated high-school and college graduates and from Burundi, Rwanda and the Republic Democratic of Congo.

Those educated, non-Ugandan-origin soldiers are, naturally, neglected by their commanders and chafe against the system of discrimination. Open dissent is rare, however, because of the fear of the Department of Military Intelligence( DMI ), itself, not surprisingly, led by officers from Uganda.

SENIOR OFFICERS AT THE RIGHT HAND OFMAJOR GENERAL PAUL KAGAME

The AKAZU of officers around Rwanda`s strong and Vice-President, Maj.Gen. Paul Kagame, have been chosen for personal loyalty to him and because of their regional background. These leaders most notably include the following:

Brig.-Gen. KAYUMBA Nyamwasa, chief of Staff of the Rwandan military forces, former head of DMI during the RPF`s period of guerilla warfare.

Col. KABAREBE James, the former Commanding Officer of the Republican Guard of Maj.-Gen. Kagame and the former Chief of Staff to President Laurent Kabila after his victory in the neighboring Democratic Republic of Congo ( RDC ).

Lt.-Col. NZIZA Jack, the head of Military Intelligence, former Charge d'affaire of Rwanda in Kenya, Commanding Officer of the Kivu garrison in the RDC ( then Zaire ) during the war of Laurent Kabila against (then) President Mobutu Sese Seko.

Col. KAREMERA Joseph, former Minister of Education. In fact, Rwanda was being run as a corporate enterprise, Col.Karemera was the muscle behind the throne. He reserved foreign scholarships for Rwandan from Uganda, english speaking Rwandan and people related to Akazu. For example, one could see people sent in USA, Canada, Irland, Egypt, South Africa etc. Col. Karemera could discriminate against french-speaking students and no one could change it. That was from 1995 to 1998.

Lt.-Col. KAREGEYA Patrick, head of ESO (the External Service Organisation), Rwanda`s external intelligence body. Just recently, he was sent to Brussels to undertake intelligence work on exiled monarchists preparing a worldwide conference.

Col. MUGAMBAGE Frank, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces and former cabinet-level Director in the President`s Office.

Lt.-Col. RUSAGARA Frank, Secretary-General in the Ministry of Defence. The astonishing thing is that he is a suspect in helicopter deal corruption and yet his boss Maj.Gen.Kagame has done nothing to encourage him to go in court. Much worse they jailed MUGABI, a journalist for having published the news.

Maj.Dr NDAHIRO, Special advisor of Vice-President Kagame.

Maj.MUNYUZA Dan, former security officer of President Kabila in the RDC. Munyuza is well known for his part in mass killing of French-speaking Rwandans from Burundi and Zaire ( now Congo ) in the training camps. The list of those killed includes many of those suspecteD to be monarchists.

All of these officers are from Uganda.

RWANDA`S INTELLIGENCE COMMUNITY

Given the military nature of the present Rwandan Government, the DMI, the Department of Military Intelligence, holds premier place in the intelligence community hierarchy. As well, the DMI was, during the guerilla war and subsequently, the principal and most trusted security tool of the Kagame Administration. It undertakes security work, not just intelligence, on a national level, and is therefore not a normal military intelligence department. There are, however, numerous other branches in the Rwandese Intelligence Community.

-Department of Military IntelligenceDirector: Lt.-Col. Jack Nziza. Deputy: Maj. Ephraim.-ESO: External Service OrganisationDirector: Lt.-Col. Patrick Karegeya. Deputy: Maj. Richard Masozera.-Intelligence (G2) of the National GendarmerieDirector: Maj. Macumu. Deputy: Maj. Mupenzi.-Special IntelligenceDirector: Maj. Gacinya Rubagumya.-CID: Criminal Investigation DepartmentDirector: Maj. Bayingana Emmanuel.-Domestic Security IntelligenceThe Republican Guard unit is in charge of official security and surveillance of Rwandan officials. Commanding Officer: Lt.-Col. Alex Kagame.Most of these officers are from Uganda.-Civil Intelligence ServiceSecretary-General: Ntakiyimana Emmanuel.

CORRUPTION IN RWANDA

Since the RPF seized power in Rwanda, some high-ranking officers, helped by businessmen members of RPF, have looted considerable amounts of money from different places of Rwanda ( banks, supermarkets, houses, etc.). They have stolen trucks and other vehicles belonging to some Hutu in exile, from the Tutsi dead, from the Government, companies, churches, United Nations Organisations like PNUD, UNICEF, from non-governmental organisations and other properties. They have occupied luxury villas belonging to people who are in exile and inside the country.

Indeed, those commanders started doing business with whom they looted the town. Those commanders offered to supply them with military goods and Government equipment. And with the support of well-placed military officers, these businessmen have avoided paying taxes. According to an investigation undertaken by the ministry of Finance, the government took a loss of Rw fr 1.2-billion ( US $ 3,428,571 ) as a result of this tax avoidance. Those businessmen and officers operate hand-in-hand with some politicians in a closed cycle referred to as the " Rwandan Mafia ".

The surest way to know this corruption, is to read Mugabe's MAZIMPAKA Patrick member of AKAZU and UMUTONI Christine former director

CORRUPTION IN GOVERNMENT

Since 1994, the Rwandan Government has officially acknowledged that it has lost Rw Fr-6 billion( US $ 17,647,059 ), some lost in unpaid taxes. This is according to the report of the Ministry of Finance approved by its Minister, Kaberuka Donat another Akazu member. Here are some examples:

Fonds Routier National:stolen funds = Rw Fr 235.671.032 ( US $ 693,150 ).

Public Finances:( in the Butare, Gisenyi, Byumba, and Cyangugu prefectures ) = Rw Fr 131.028.590 ( US $ 385,378 ).

Foreign Ministry: Rw Fr 104.902.738 ( US $ 308,537 ).

Ministry of Health: Rw Fr 21.290737 ( US $ 62,619 ).

Ministry of Justice ( Kigali Prison ): Rw Fr 104.255.205 ( US $ 306,633 ).

IMPRISCO ( School printing house ): Rw Fr 8.993.709 ( US $ 262,922 ).

ONATRACOM: Rw Fr 16.656.782 ( US $ 48,990 ).

INR ( the national printing house ): Rw Fr 55.655.213 ( US $ 16,3691 ).

Ministry of Commerce: Rw Fr 754.629.928 ( US $ 221,950 ).

All across Rwanda, the Vice-President, Maj.-Gen. Kagame, was originally reported as an honest person who fought against corruption, but last year in one instance he misappropriated Rw Fr 500-million( US $ 1,470,588 ) from the Ministry of Works and built his own farm, named NTEBE FARM DAIRY, in Kibungo Prefecture. Much worse is that Maj.-Gen Kagame himself sold land and property situated in Gasyata from DEBOURGRAVE family without autorisation to his business associate GAPOSHO GAHUNDE, the owner of STIPPAG a private company, for Rw Fr 100 million ( US $ 294,117 ).

Maj.Gen. Kagame never paid 6 % taxes due to the government. Nobody can stop corruption while so many officials are involved. If Maj.-Gen Kagame has stolen such amount, then people doubt if they will ever see him preventing the AKAZU members from looting the country`s economy. None of these Akazu members, officers, responsible for corruption were ever prosecuted, they were only shuffled to other positions or other places. The record shows for instance that Col.Dr. KAREMERA who showed an appetite for making money illegally, was never prosecuted, but he was appointed Ambassador in South Africa.

Some businessman who worked with RPF officers were murdered by soldiers related to these MAFIOSI officers. If you were growing rich, you were exposed to mysterious accidents and killings by these MAFIOSI controlled by the ruling clique. These businessmen included: Ndoli J. Damascene, Bayingana Victor, and other businessmen of Kigali. To set the record straight, this is the product of authoritarianism and simply banish free entreprenorship amongst French speaking Rwandans. SEMWAGA and DOROCELLA both former UNDP or PNUD ( UN organisation ) were a shining example. They were murdered because they were against corruption and were former refugees in Burundi.

The Government is training civilians militarily in different prefectures of Rwanda to form a militia known as the Local Defence Force. This force now numbers almost 10,000 men. Everybody knows the dangerous role of INTERAHAMWE militia in the Rwanda genocide; now the Government is training an other militia group. Many civilians are armed by their relatives in the Armed Forces. This situation, which is tolerated by the Government, portends other disasters in the country. People live in permanent fear, some being forced to flee the country. Two ministers were forced to leave the country: the Minister of Justice, Dr Nteziryayo Faustin, now in exile in USA, and the Minister of State in the Interior Ministry, Mrs Beatrice Sebatware Panda, now in exile in Belgium.

As well, two members of Parliament were forced to leave the country: Rugema Donatien, a Tutsi survivor of the 1994 genocide, who fled to Denmark; and Kayiranga Esdras, another Tutsi survivor of 1994 genocide, Of PL party, who fled in early May 1999 to Belgium. Other prominent figures who have had to leave the country in order to avoid imprisonment or assassination have included Judge Iyakaremye J.Bosco, another survivor of 1994 genocide, as well as some soldiers officers of RPF now in USA and Canada; journalists and others.

Two journalists were shot dead and two others are imprisoned. Nine members of Parliament were removed from their seats illegally by the forum of political parties chaired by Muligande Charles, the current Secretary-General of RPF. Above all, this action shows that the notion of " national unity Government " does not exist. Those Members of Parliament are Hon. Mbanda Jean of PSD, Hon.Rugema Donatien of PSD, Hon. Maniraguha Jacques Of MDR, Hon.Nkerinka Eustache of MDR, Hon.Kavutse of MDR, Hon.Bizimana Jean Leonard, Hon.Kayiranga Esdras of PL ( now in Belgium ), Hon. Hitimana of MDR, and Hon.Sebarame of MDR.

Now the RPF is planning to expel the President of Parliament, Hon.Sebarenzi Joseph, who is popular and appreciated by the population, because he opposed RPF decisions. The RPF wants to establish a new system of governance related to Chinese or Uganda systems. That system is called, locally, the " No Party System ", but it is, in reality, the creation of a one-party state under a military rule of RPF, with all other political parties banned in Rwanda.

RECENT RESHUFFLE IN RWANDA GOVERNMENT

The RPF in April instigated a major re-shuffle of its cabinet portfolios and ambassadorial assignment as a prelude to its proposed cleansweep of the political system to eliminate all opposition. The Government`s transition period is due to expire on July 19, 1999, after which it was supposed to call for a national conference to transform the State control from an unelected military government to a civilian, multi-party elected Government.

Any thought of such a transition, however, was destroyed by the municipal election " experiment " conducted by the RPF in April 1999. The grass-roots feeling which emerged was demonstrated in the election of a number of Hutu leaders at the sector and cell levelsThe RPF leadership saw that a broad general election would not be in its favor. What is expected now is that the RPF will attempt to introduce a "new system of governance " which - as noted above - will be literally one-party rule. It was anticipated by mid-May 1999 that the RPF would attempt to introduce at least a five-year mandate for its continued rule. In fact, even the sector and cell level elections were part of the RPF`s experiment with the " new system ": no political parties were allowed to contest the elections, despite the fact that political parties are theoretically free to operate in the country.

Politicians from Kagame`s clique are scared of an open debate on how Rwandans should be ruled. Because the population has savored details confirming corruption and private profiteering that have swirled around Maj.Gen. Kagame, no one is prepared to support or launch a campaign for them as people did during the guerilla warfare time. Today the population`s attention is caught by reports that Maj.Gen. Kagame has established an intricate nationwide system of patronage that he hopes, will keep him in power for ever.

There seems to be no doubt that Maj.Gen. Kagame`s own behind-the-scenes dealings in all AKAZU`s activities earned him the rank of an honest person who fought against corruption, but the myth is breaking down this days.

The effect of the RPF`s move to create a one-party, non-democratic government is likely to include severe international censure, particularly from those countries which had poured aid funds into Rwanda. Domestically, the disenfranchised groups of all ethnic and Communal groups have already begun to coalesce into a unified opposition to the RPF, or at least the Uganda branch of the RPF. Those remaining non-Uganda RPF members are identifying increasingly with the " new opposition ".

Neither Maj.Gen. Kagame nor his government has the moral authority to influence the position of the King. Is that why the question of his return has received threats on his life in the past? Is that also why Kagame hasn’t apologize about what he said in the media? Is that why the government hasn’t changed yet the HABYALIMANA`s Constitution? Much of this, indicates a peaceful solution has to be found before it is too late.

Rwandans clearly deserve to know when this political conflict must end soon. Maj.Gen Kagame is using his political power to stop setting up a legal team to ask Rwandans to decide if they want a Monarchy or not.

Jean-Pierre MUGABE (Signed)
EDITOR of LE TRIBUN DU PEUPLE
(RWANDAN NEWSPAPER).
May 29, 1999

Source:
World News Journal

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