Rwanda, Paul Kagame’s economic mirage: an interview with David Himbara

Publié le par veritas

David Himbara, Ph.D.

David Himbara, Ph.D.

The tiny East African nation of Rwanda has played a unique and prominent role in U.S. political ideation since the 1994 massacres known as the Rwanda Genocide. The West’s so-called “failure to intervene in Rwanda” – and the Holocaust – became arguments for violating the national sovereignty of nations in the Global South to protect people from their own governments.
 
The 1994 bloodbath in Rwanda also became an argument for the suppression or even criminalization of speech. No one makes these arguments more fiercely and absolutely than Rwandan President Paul Kagame. Kagame is now campaigning for his third formal term in office, though he has in fact ruled Rwanda since overthrowing its government with the covert assistance of the U.S. and U.K. in 1994, at the end of a four-year war. That four-year war began when Kagame’s army invaded Rwanda from Uganda.
 
Kagame claims to have inspired Rwandans to rise from the ashes to build an economic miracle and example for all Africa, and no one reinforces these claims more than Bill Clinton and Tony Blair. In a new book, however, economist David Himbara says that Kagame’s economic miracle is in fact an economic mirage. I spoke to David Himbara.
 
Ann Garrison: David Himbara, why do you call Kagame’s so-called economic miracle a mirage?
 
David Himbara: Kagame has grossly exaggerated his social and economic accomplishments of the past 23 years. He says he has built an African economic lion – the Singapore of Africa. In reality Rwanda remains the poorest country in East Africa, except for Burundi. Its per capita income stands at $697.3 versus Kenya’s of $1,376.7; Uganda, $705; and Tanzania at $879. Burundi is poorer than Rwanda with per capita of $277. Rwanda receives $1 billion a year in foreign aid, which is half of its annual budget of $2 billion. This is hardly a spectacular success.
 
AG: And you held a unique position in Kagame’s administration that enabled you to observe the so-called economic miracle, no?
 
DH: I was the president’s principal private secretary for two years and head of strategy and policy, Office of the President, for four years. In the latter category, we made some good reforms in the first two years, but the last two years were frustrating. Kagame was more obsessed with the looks of the capital city of Kigali than building national systems to improve lives. He routinely manipulated statistics to exaggerate social and economic performance.
 
AG: Rwanda will be staging another election this year on Aug. 4. Since Kagame has in effect ruled since 1994, this will be his fourth term, though he’s calling it his third, after having the Rwandan Constitution changed to make that acceptable. In 2010, he awarded himself 93 percent of the vote, an improbable number in any real pluralist democracy, but none of the Western donors who provide half of Rwanda’s budget withheld their support, as they have with neighboring Burundi, where President Pierre Nkurunziza won a third term with 64 percent in 2015. Kagame will no doubt claim to win another improbable mandate this year, but do you think there’s any chance that the Western donors providing half of Rwanda’s budget will finally turn away?
 
DH: The U.S. is the largest bilateral aid donor to Rwanda, while Britain is the second largest. American aid supports agriculture and health, while U.K. money goes into education. A smaller portion of U.S. aid supports Rwandan troops who serve as peacekeepers. I doubt either of these two countries would cease supporting Rwanda. They have invested too much into Kagame to abandon him – unless he does something extraordinarily foolish like invading Congo again.
 
AG: In your book, you write that you fled Rwanda after Kagame asked you to misreport economic statistics. Could you give us the specifics of that?
 
DH: A confrontation convinced me to leave Rwanda. I questioned the annual economic growth of 11 percent in 2009 during the global financial crisis. Kagame became aggressive and abusive. I decided to leave Rwanda at the earliest opportunity, which was January 2010. There are many examples of statistical exaggeration in Kagame’s Rwanda. He says for example that Rwanda has achieved universal healthcare coverage, but there are less than 700 doctors in Rwanda and there are 12 million people.
 
In any event, when I moved to South Africa in 2010, it soon became apparent that I was not safe there either. That was the year that Kagame’s former army chief of staff was almost assassinated in South Africa, where he was living in exile. Soon after that, the former intelligence chief – also in exile in South Africa – was assassinated. Kagame had turned South Africa into a hunting ground; that is what convinced me to move to Canada.
 
AG: Why do you think Bill Clinton and Tony Blair seem to be as committed to these misrepresentations as Kagame himself?
 
DH: These two former leaders support Kagame no matter what. The two have foundations in Rwanda. The Americans and British also feel guilty because they stopped the U.N. from organizing an intervention in the Rwandan Genocide. Clinton and Blair seem to have overcompensated by becoming Kagame’s ambassadors even when he does nasty things. When Kagame’s proxy militia overran Goma in DR Congo in 2012, Blair in particular stood by his man.
 
AG: The United States and Britain never seem to acknowledge the human catastrophe caused by Kagame’s repeated invasions and plunder of the Democratic Republic of the Congo despite abundant documentation. Why do you think that is?
 
DH: Kagame has outlived four American presidents – Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. Each American president has his reason of maintaining the status quo. Clinton, under whose terms Kagame invaded Congo, simply looked the other way. Clinton was driven by guilt of having abandoned Rwanda during genocide. Kagame took advantage of this by his adventure and plunder of Congo.
 
George W. Bush presidency supported Kagame for different reasons – peacemaking operations. The American military establishment helped build Rwanda into a peacekeeping force in such places as Darfur, Sudan, South Sudan and Haiti. Meanwhile in Britain, the same pattern held, both under the Labour and Conservative governments. Different from American and British administrations was the Obama presidency.
 
When Kagame’s militia invaded the capital town of eastern DR Congo, Goma, Obama cut military aid to Rwanda – an action that other donors soon followed. Donors either cut or suspended aid to Rwanda. The U.N. sanctioned a robust force comprised of South African and Tanzanian forces that defeated Kagame’s militia. That is how Kagame met his defeat in Congo.
 
AG: Is there anything else you’d like to say?
 
DH: Regarding Kagame’s economic performance, we have to give him his dues. Here is a man who mastered the “big lie” philosophy. As the infamous big lie reasoning goes, if you keep repeating a falsehood over and over again, people will sooner than later believe it. And so Kagame relentlessly went on a global stage and repeatedly lied that he had built an economic powerhouse. He had a motive.
 
He believed that if he convinced his international supporters that he was creating prosperity in Rwanda, they would tolerate his human rights abuses. In other words, Kagame sold them a trade-off; he told them that Rwandan people are more interested in food and jobs than democracy and human rights. There was one problem though – Kagame delivered neither development nor democracy.
 
David Himbara holds a Ph.D. in political economy from Queen’s University in Kingston, Canada. He is the author of “Kenyan Capitalists, the State and Development” and “Kagame’s Economic Mirage.”
 
by Ann Garrison/sfbayview.com

Commenter cet article

Kuri Kilimbogo 12/03/2017 11:35

Wowe Kilimalima cyiyita Kilimambongo abantu ntibakavuge ngo nawe uvuge kuko nta mutwe ufite wo kuvuga ibintu bizima. Jya wivugira ukuntu wishe abanyarwanda muri 1994 ukanywa isupu y'inyama z'inka z'abatutsi n'abahutu batavugaga rumwe na Habyalimana, ni ibyo uzi byonyine naho ku bijyanye n'iterambere ry'u Rwanda byaragusize ntacyo ubiziho kuko abanyarwanda mu gihe bari bahugiye mu guteza imbere u Rwanda wowe wabaga urimo uvuga ibigambo nk'iby'abapfumu b'ifuro niyo mpamvu usazanye amaganya n'agahinda bituma uhora uvuga ibinyoma ku Rwanda. Reba ushaje usaze kubera umuvumo wikururiye ariko ucishije macye ukiyacyira ugasaba imbabazi abanyarwanda bose muri rusange wababarirwa nawe ukagaruka mu muryango nyarwanda n'abandi barababariwe nkanswe wowe. Ariko niba wumva wishakira gukomeza kuba umusaza w'ikirumbo nakubwira iki!!!! Shahuli Yako!!!

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:52

ngayo amajyambere y'inyenzi ! mwabyana by'inyenzi mwe amajyambere sukubaka utuzu dutatu wereka abanyamahanga kumafoto mwangegera mwe !

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:50

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcARZzCqHjs

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:50

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwMvc3oz70A

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:47

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NasBDVfwxmY

Eh baba weee!!! 11/03/2017 20:23

Zino ntozo zirababaje !
Habaye amajyambere aba bategetsi bakwiriwe babungana inzana zabo ku isi yose : Amerika .UK.Bulaya na .....
Abapirate bitwaje bombe za ClinoBulere baje gusahura no kwiba Rwanda na Kongo none byabayobeye ! Ngo agiye guhaha ! Mon oeil !!! Gushaka aho azatururukira ejo bundi bikomeye ! Niyuzuze icyo kibuga cyindege ze mu Bugesera ; ubundi azitunge muri Maroc ? Israheli ? Trump we ntamukeneye !
Akaba pirate kashobotse !

Reka nanjye nsubirize RUKUNDO 11/03/2017 18:28

Ayo majyambere se ugaya hari uruhare nibura wayagizemo? Uretse kwirirwa utogotera iyongiyo uri hari ikindi umariye abanyarwanda? Uwo muriro udahagije uvuga wigeze ugera mu Rwanda ngo usange nta muriro uhari? Ndakumenyesha ko ubu mu Rwanda amashanyarazi yiyongereye no mu cyaro yarahageze kuko na ya Gaz Methane Habyalimana yari yareguriye abafaransa ubu HE Kagame we ayibyazamo amashanyarazi acanira abanyarwanda. U Rwanda si u Burundi bubona umuriro ariko abarundi bavuze amasengesho abanyarwanda si abarundi barara muri nyakatsi zitwa Kiramujyanye. Wowe va mu mazimwe nk'indaya zishaje uze urebe u Rwanda nibiba ngombwa nawe ugire uruhare mu iterambere u Rwanda rurimo rugeraho, naho kuvuga amazimwe hari abakurushije kuyavuga none baracecetse.

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:46

gh aba bantu n'ibicucu ntabwenge bigirira ! bambirire ahubwo bajye kumva ya video aho kagome yivugira contraire y'ibyo ibi byana by'inyenzi biri kurogotwa.
ahahaaa inyenzi muri ibicucu koko ! ruhurura ikigari yirirwa imanukamwo amabyi

gh 11/03/2017 20:07

Intore mwagiye musoma neza ibyanditse.

Yagize ati: "Amajyambere, abaye ariyo mu by’ukuri ntawabura KUYISHIMIRA.
Ariko na none niba ari fake...".

Ibyo n ugusebanya? Franchement.

Nsubize Intore RUKUNDO 11/03/2017 18:08

Amajyambere, abaye ariyo mu by’ukuri ntawabura KUYISHIMIRA.
Ariko na none niba ari fake, ukabona inzu ihagaze itagira amazi, nta muriro uhagije….amajyambere atajyajye (en harmonie ou en phase mu ruzungu) n’iterambere ry’icyaro mu kwihaza mu biribwa (autosuffisance alimentaire), twumva hakiri ibibazo.

Buri munsi tubona amashusho y’abantu amazu yagwiriye, y’abantu batashoboye kubona amafaranga yo kwivuza indwara zikomeye, kandi Leta yakagombye kubarwanaho… (ref : igihe.com)

Ibiciro mu cyaro byiyongeyeho 16%.... (ref : igihe.com)

Sans prendre partie, ce sont des indics qui ne trompent pas.
Sibyo Gikundiro we?

rukundo 11/03/2017 15:14

Ibintu Himbara avuga ababiha agaciro ni abatagera mu Rwanda.
Jye nageze mu Rwanda mu kwa munani 1994 nzuko narusanze.
Ubu ntuye Burayi buri mwaka mpora jya mu Rwanda mubiruhuko .

Buligihe iyo ngiyeyo nsanga harahindutse cyane. Imihanda yarashyizwemo kabulimbo,
Amazu menshi yarubatswe, benshi usanga bahuze. Nubwo nyine nkubusanzwe Afrika ikibazo
Cyubushomeri cyugarije urubyiruko, mu Rwanda naho kirahari cyane mu migi.

Kuva Rusumo uva Tanzania ukagera ku Gisenyi ujya Goma RDC kuhasobanurira mwe
Mwahunze 1994 uko hahindutse mwabyita gukabya. Amakoro yose yuzeye amazu yakataraboneka.
Kuva Gatuna uva Uganda ukagera kukanyaru ujya Burundi hose harahindutse ntimwareba, ibikorwa byamajyambere, amazu ntimwareba.

Akabazo ; Ibi bikorwa byose birimu Rwanda ntibigaragaza ko rugana aheza?
Aba batutsi ba RNC icyo bapfa na Kagame ntautakizi nahubundi urwanda rurajya imbere.
Muhore muryana, jye mpora njya mu Rwanda buri mwaka kandi biranshimisha iyo mbonye haterimbere. Yewe nahano buraya ntuye mpora numva bamwe mubanyarwanda baganya.

rukundo 11/03/2017 15:11

Ibintu Himbara avuga ababiha agaciro ni abatagera mu Rwanda.
Jye nageze mu Rwanda mu kwa munani 1994 nzuko narusanze.
Ubu ntuye Burayi buri mwaka mpora jya mu Rwanda mubiruhuko
Buligihe iyo ngiyeyo nsanga harahindutse cyane. Imihanda yarashyizwemo kabulimbo,
Amazu menshi yarubatswe, benshi usanga bahuze. Nubwo nyine nkubusanzwe Afrika ikibazo
Cyubushomeri cyugarije urubyiruko, mu Rwanda naho kirahari cyane mu migi.
Kuva Rusumo uva Tanzania ukagera ku Gisenyi ujya Goma RDC kuhasobanurira mwe
Mwahunze 1994 uko hahindutse mwabyita gukabya. Amakoro yose yuzeye amazu yakataraboneka.
Kuva Gatuna uva Uganda ukagera kukanyaru ujya Burundi hose harahindutse ntimwareba, ibikorwa byamajyambere, amazu ntimwareba.
Akabazo ; Ibi bikorwa byose birimu Rwanda ntibigaragaza ko rugana aheza?
Aba batutsi ba RNC icyo bapfa na Kagame ntautakizi nahubundi urwanda rurajya imbere.
Muhore muryana, jye mpora njya mu Rwanda buri mwaka kandi biranshimisha iyo mbonye haterimbere. Yewe nahano buraya ntuye mpora numva bamwe mubanyarwanda baganya.
UTAGERIBWAMI ABESHYWA KENSHI, njye aho kubeshywa ndiyemeza nkajya kureba neza.
Akandi gakuru benshi mutazi ino Veritasinfos nizindi mbuga zivuga nabi leta ntanimwe wafungura ugeze mu Rwanda, NTIBIKUNDA… Aba dusoma bavuga bati ‘’ Aha ikigali … blabllabla baba babeshya
……………

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:37

"Akandi gakuru benshi mutazi ino Veritasinfos nizindi mbuga zivuga nabi leta ntanimwe wafungura ugeze mu Rwanda" c'est normal nta internet ...ahahahaaa sha nkubwire ikintu kimwe uri ikigoryi gusa ntakindi !

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:31

ese wowe ntabwo uragera mubindi bihugu bya afrika ngo urebe aho bageze ?! uzajye nairobi, dar es salaam, luanda etc urebe uko hubatse !! niba ugifite n'akenge gato uzahita ufunga uwo mwobo w'umusarani wawe ngo n'umunwa wirirwa uvamo amabyi yagaze ngo yokwamamaza ibibi by'inyenzi zazanye ! abantu birirwa bahunga, abandi bicwa (ubwoko bwose) ariko hari ibigoryi biguma birogotwa ... ese sha wibazako warushaga gasana kurogotwa, warogotwaga kugeza no muri onu kugeza n'igihe abira icyuya mukabuno?! ubu se arihe ? igihe kagome azabahemba igihembo ahemba imisega nkawe niho ubwenge buzagaruka mais ça sera trop tard !!!

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:12

ese ninde wababwiye ngo abari bahari ntabwo barigushobora gukora ibyo urikuvuga ?! usigaje no kuvuga ko ubu murwanda hari iphone 6 (yasohotse 2016) ariko ko ntayahabaga avant 1994, ko ubu hari internet etc (ibintu byavumbuwe nyuma ya 1994). sha inyenzi muri ibigoryi uretse ko ubugoryi bwanyu burengeye ukwemera kuburyo ubu ngiye kujya mbwita ubwenge sinon ...

kilimambogo boys 12/03/2017 00:04

wowe uri ikigoryi kabisa ! kuri umunyarwanda, ukaba uvuga ko mu rwanda hari ubwiza budasanzwe niki ukiri gukora muburayi ashye iwanyu murwanda wangegera we ko nubundi abazungu batabashaka iwabo ?! ngo u rwanda 1994 ... wasanze ahari hamaze gusamburwa n' imisega y'inyenzi yatumwe n'abazungu gusambura iby'abanyafrika no kubica (uzafate aho uba uhasambagure hanyuma ufotore ) puis wongere uhapange neza hanyuma uhafotore puis ugereranye ayo mafoto abiri) hanyuma urebe la différence! ko muvugishwa cyane ariko nkaba mbona n'ubu inyenzi zikigendera kubyo abambere bari barubatse (amashuri, amavuriri, stades, icyibuga cy'indege Grégoire Kayibanda etc.) ugera murwanda wasanze ntamihanda ya kaburimbo ihari, wasanze nta feux rouges zihari ?! aho abirabura batandukaniye n'abazungu, nuko abirabura bafite ubugoryi bwo gushaka kwerekana burigihe ko abababanjirije ntacyo bakoze ! ariko abazungu bo usanga baha valeur ibyo abambere bagezeho ! kandi abazungu bo berekana ko icyo bakoze ari ugukomereza aho abababanjirije bari bagejeje ! noho ubwo bucucu bwawe ko butavuga ko mbere ya 1959 urwanda rwari igihuru, ariko mumyaka 30 abanyarwanda bari bamaze kuhahindura kuburyo buteye ubwoba kandi ntaho bagiye kwiba no kwica nkuko inyenzi zikora kugira ngo zubake utuzu dutatu zirirwa zereka amahanga ngo nirwo rwanda nyamara rubanda rugufi bakiri muri nyakatsi, inzara bwaki, kuburyo narwaruzingo kagome ejo bundi rwabyivugiye ! iyo fanatisme y'ubugoryi bucuramye mujye muyigabanya naho ubundi ntaho muzajyera mwabyondi mwe by'umukara !

MUGABO 11/03/2017 15:06

This fake Doctor David and his corrupt journalist Ann are nothing but two talkative useless creatures. HE Paul Kagame is the best Present Rwanda has ever had in the history. It is the reason why he is still the Rwandan people's choice. This so called Dr Himbara is just an old arrogant who failed to put his contribution in developing Rwanda, he just chose to become not only a thief but also a liar. It is a shame for an old guy like him.

Kamali 11/03/2017 12:11

Himbara ni umuhanga kandi avugisha ukuri, amateka azahora amuzirikana ko yanze guhisha ukuri imbere y'ikinyoma cya Kagame n'ibyitso by'abanyamahanga bimukoresha! Komerezaho Himbara kandi n'abandi bazi ukuri k'u Rwanda ntibakomeze guceceka imbere y'ibinyoma! Ni guteka Kagame yagera muri Amerika akavuga ko u Rwanda yaruteje imbere mu gihe ari imbere y'abanyarwanda avuga ko ntakigenda? Ba Semuhanuka baba benshi!!