Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch

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Africa Great Lakes Democracy Watch Blog. Our objective is to promote the institutions of democracy,social justice,Human Rights,Peace, Freedom of Expression, and Respect to humanity in Rwanda,Uganda,DR Congo, Burundi,Sudan, Tanzania, Kenya,Ethiopia, and Somalia. We strongly believe that Africa will develop if only our presidents stop being rulers of men and become leaders of citizens. We support Breaking the Silence Campaign for DR Congo since we believe the democracy in Rwanda means peace in DRC. Follow this link to learn more about the origin of the war in both Rwanda and DR Congo:

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

RWANDA:The Intrinsically Defective ‘Rwandan Despot Leader-Brand’ The Uganda Journalist, Mwenda is Struggling to Market

The ‘Rwandan Despot Leader Brand’

(NEW YORK ) – The Rwandan tyrannical ruler, General Paul Kagame, is known for his excessive and brutal control of the media for his warfare.
The former rebel leader will stop at nothing to grab ‘international recognition’ thanks to his complex and exorbitant public-relations and lobbyists network. General Kagame considers it a favor to Rwandans for his government to perform the basic functions of government.
The General’s public-relations team and lobbyists must find a Western university to decorate their principal with an honorary doctorate, for as minor a government function as repairing a 25km road. One of General Kagame’s public-relations agents is Andrew Mwenda, a prominent and respected Ugandan journalist.
It is well-documented that General Kagame cuts Mwenda’s pay-checks from Rwandan government “classified” expenditures. There are various disturbing phenomena in the Kagame-Mwenda illegal and unethical transaction.
First, it defeats all principles of public finance management for an individual journalist like Mr. Mwenda to receive from public coffers huge amount of money under the guise of a ‘classified’ expenditure. Second, it borders insanity for a journalist of Mr.Mwenda’s caliber to justify even the most obvious corrupt, immoral and unethical conduct of General Kagame, including the alleged Hollywood-like decapitating of the General’s critics in Kigali, other parts of the country and some neighboring countries. Mr. Mwenda forgets that General Kagame has often made adoptive admission to these wicked assassinations.

Unsubstantiated attack on international human rights organizations

In his most recent piece entitled “Rwanda’s Brand Problem”, Mwenda argues that international human rights organizations, some media house and some foreign academics exploits what he calls “Rwanda’s positive brand to build their own.” Mwenda does not address his mind to the international human rights organizations’ concerns over Kagame’s style of government.
Most international human rights organizations’ issues with Kagame’s regime include: violation human rights and freedoms, militarizing and personalizing public institutions, suppressing the media, personalizing public finance and other resources. General Kagame is accused of destabilizing society, killing people and stealing the Congo’s natural resources through his proxy warlords.
Kagame’s critics accuse him of maintaining a Tutsi minority dominated army, national police, security organs and government. The United Nations Mapping Report accuses General Kagame of war crimes, crimes against humanity and possibly genocide. A French Court has General Kagame’s arrest warrants sealed for war crimes, mass murder, crimes against humanity and terrorism. A Spanish Court issued international arrest warrants for similar crimes committed by the General’s top aides. General Kagame’s Spanish international arrest warrant is pending his exist from presidency. General Kagame’s court case in the US is pending for the same reason.
Andrew Mwenda argues that international human rights organizations, some media houses and some foreign academics exploits what he calls Rwanda’s positive brand to build their own because “… many visitors to Rwanda are impressed by what they see. Physical observations – clean and well paved streets, manicured flowers, working street lights, mowed lawns, functional hospitals and schools and well-constructed pedestrian sidewalks strike a visitor’s eye. However, these visual observations tell of something profound about post genocide Rwanda – the construction of a functional state and one which has a strong commitment to serving the public good”.
First, the Ugandan journalist appears to have a very limited view of “functions of a State”. The entire litany of what the Ugandan journalist equates with ‘functions of the State’ is actually proper functions of private persons in a nation-state.
Second, it is evident that Mwenda’s response to the human rights organizations’ concerns is fallacious. It is not logical to liken physical infrastructure with respect for human rights.
Third, Mr. Mwenda does not inform his audience that most of the new Plazas in Kigali city belong to General Kagame and his personal business empire. Mwenda does not tell his readers that most of the “new” buildings are in the sea of dreadfully poverty stricken Kigali town neighborhoods. For well known reasons, Mwenda does not inform his readers that some of the General’s “excellent” buildings in Kigali city stand on grabbed land.
Fourth, Mwenda does not inform the public that in the suburbs of Kigali city, Kagame’s security organs engage in a systematic selection of who should be allowed to set-foot in the “clean city”. Whenever a poor, untidy-looking Rwandan attempts to set-foot into Kagame’s ‘clean city’, jail is inevitable. It is public knowledge that over 40% of Rwanda’s children suffer malnutrition related diseases yet Mr. Mwenda shows no concern for their plight.
Further, close to 65% of Rwandans are said to leave under abject poverty living on less than one USD per day. Mwenda must have forgotten that Libya and Egypt had better cities and, certainly, more physical infrastructure under their respective previous dictators.

Mwenda’s fallacious argument

Mwenda argues that the international human rights organizations, journalist-defense associations (Reporters without Borders) and sections of the regional and international press are ignorant of what happens in Rwanda because “many of these people have never visited Rwanda or have done so only occasionally”.
This argument is invalid. First, Mwenda seeks to limit knowledge to physical space. In this century of advanced information technology, space is no limit to what people can know about places. Secondly, Mwenda appears to think that participant observation is the only data collection method. Third, Mwenda’s argument is faulty because he gives an impression that knowledge about what happens in Rwanda is limited to inhabitants of, or people who live in, Rwanda. Mwenda’s argument, at this level, fails on the basic principles of epistemology, logic, common sense and decency.

Andrew Mwenda seeks solace into frantic sophism.

As if it would save his flawed arguments, Mwenda argues that “democracy and human rights are abstract issues where conjecture, prejudice and bias tend to work better. Thus, rumors, hearsay, idle gossip or out-of-context accusations can easily mislead an observer”.
This argument is disturbing in a number of aspects. First, even the least scientific relativist ought to be aware of the universal human rights and democratic principles. Human rights and democratic principles have gained universal acceptability and application. It appears Mwenda’s confusion strategy to go sophist on this. Second, Mwenda is on record for attacking President Museveni of Uganda for human rights violation, corruption and nepotism among other serious breaches of democratic values. If Mwenda is convinced that human rights and democracy are abstract concepts, why does he accuse Museveni of violating human rights? Are human rights and democracy abstract only when it involves General Kagame?

Mwenda on the alleged General Kalama sponsored assassination plots

Mr. Mwenda argues that Gen. Kagame is wrongly accused of assassinating his critics and real or perceived political opponents. Mr. Mwenda opinioned that: “for example, the death of a journalist or an alleged threat to assassinate an opposition politician in exile immediately prompts human rights groups to take on the issue and even without a whit of evidence accuse the Rwanda government of being the perpetrator”. First, Mwenda is probably not aware that a Criminal Court in South African is yet to rule on an attempted murder of General Kayumba Nyamwasa, General Kagame’s former Military Chief. In this case, all evidence point to General Kagame. In any case, prosecution educed a prima facie case against General Kagame’s suicidal security agents.
Mr. Mwenda does not seem to know that the United Kingdom Police revealed a secret plan in which Kagame’s suicidal security agents wanted to assassinate some critics of Kagame regime living in UK. The Swedish government recently expelled a Rwandan diplomat for what the Swedish government termed ‘getting involved in spying and harassing some Rwandan refugees in Sweden’. The Green Party Vice President was butchered in a Hollywood-like incident.
When the Green party and the family of the deceased mobilized resources to have the beheaded Green Party Vice President’s body flown to a neutral country for postmortem, General Kagame’s government said that would violate the country’s Sovereignty! The list of broad-day assassination of Kagame’s critics in Rwanda, Congo (DRC) and other countries is inexhaustible. The US envoy to the United Nations, while on official visit in Kagali, told General Kagame that the General’s obstinate violation of human rights and freedoms were making Kagame a liability for all friends of Rwanda.
On some occasions, General Kagame is confronted by foreign journalist to explain the suspected insane assassinations of the General’s critics and journalists. General Kagame’s demeanor and the comic responses to inquiries about his critics assassination is, by all standards, adoptive admission. While responding to the concern that he had been behind the attempted murder of his former right hand military boss in South Africa, General Kagame said, “My security or military agents never miss their victims when they shoot.” Isn’t this adoptive admission and admissible evidence by and sober court of law?

Mwenda’s mission impossible

The Bill Clinton and Tony Blair mixIt is well documented that Mr Mwenda is on Kagame’s payroll for marketing the General’s intrinsically defective ‘brand’. However, Mr. Mwenda folds his circus tent saying that “The Rwandan Government is good in many things. But it is shambolic in public relations. In almost all cases, human rights groups out-punch it, outmaneuver it and out-talk it leaving it bruised”.
Mr. Mwenda forgets that lobbyists and public-relations agents do not make miracles. The “brand” they are marketing must be reasonably good. General Kagame’s domestic and international criminal record is beyond repair. It is only natural and prudent that Mr. Mwenda feels frustrated about marketing the ‘Kagame defective brand’, not-withstanding the pay-check this Ugandan journalist receives from the atrocious Rwandan tyrannical ruler. What is disturbing is that Mr. Mwenda does not resign his public-relations job for Kagame even when he knows his job adds no value to Rwanda people’s welfare.
Mr. Mwenda like many of Rwanda’s despot lobbyists constantly argue that the General is a great leader because he is advised by former US President (Bill Clinton) and the British ex-Prime Minister (Tony Blair). The fallacious nature of this argument is disquieting. Whether or not former President Bill Clinton and the British ex-Prime Minister Tony Blair are clean is not the primary concern. However, Mr. Mwenda like other exorbitant public relations agents and lobbyists for General Kagame never bother reminding their audience that the British ex-Prime Minister was also a close friend to former Libyan despot ruler.
Is it a coincident that Former US President (Bill Clinton) and the British ex-Prime Minister (Tony Blair) sit on the advisory board of Teneo Holdings which was paid at least $625,000 to do public-relations and financial consulting work for Jon Corzine brokerage that went down the cliff amidst horrible scandals? Is being advised by the former US President and British ex-Prime Minister a guarantee that General Kagame is doing well? No matter how Mr. Mwenda paints the ‘Rwanda Brand” no amount of coverage can erase the legacy of death that President Kagame will leave to the world.
By: Charles KM KAMBANDA, Dip.Phil., BA., LLB., MA.ETPM., MBA., MA.HRTs., LLM., PhD
Edited by: Jennifer Fierberg, MSW


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