5 July 2019

Rwanda: Ode to President Kagame for the Leadership


The Economist, in a 2017 article, rated President Paul Kagame of Rwanda as the world's most successful general saying: "When Paul Kagame was 28, he helped topple the government of Uganda. At 36 he overthrew the government of Rwanda. At 39 he ousted the government of Congo (which was then called Zaire)."

Although the article in question largely sought to demean rather than praise President Kagame, not even The Economist could erase the good that one of Africa's leading visionaries has done.

President Kagame who was adjudged "2018 African of the Year" at the eighth All Africa Business Leaders Awards, yesterday proved why former American president Bill Clinton described him as "one of the greatest leaders of our time" when he denounced Western sanctions against Zimbabwe.

When President Mnangagwa successfully led a new dispensation into power in November 2017, he immediately set out to engage and re-engage with the international community following years of isolation under former president Robert Mugabe. Zimbabwe made her intentions of rejoining the Commonwealth very clear and set out to rebuild bridges razed by the previous administration.

Locally, President Mnangagwa led the process of economic and political reform, alignment of laws to the Constitution and nation-building.

The nation building process has seen the President opening lines of dialogue with fellow political leaders, the church, traditional leaders, civil society, media fraternity and victims of Gukurahundi in the 80s.

The major political or governance action was the holding of not only the most peaceful, but most free and fair elections since the birth of Zimbabwe in 1980.

Reforms and commitments implemented by the President have already received a thumbs up from the United Nations, International Monetary Fund, European Union, African Union and Sadc.

Last month, Zimbabwe and the EU launched a historic formal dialogue which was based on Article 8 of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement which governs relations between member states of the African-Carribean-Pacific regions and the EU.

President Mnangagwa also took his engagement drive to the US-Africa Summit in Mozambique last month, where he held a historic meeting with United States assistant secretary of State for African Affairs Mr Tibor Nagy.

"You can't be the same person who applied the sanctions and demand to see change; it doesn't make sense," President Kagame said in an interview yesterday in Kigali.

This is not the first time President Kagame has fought for the liberation of Zimbabwe from the yoke of distasteful sanctions.

Addressing the United Nations General Assembly in September last year, President Kagame urged the West to give President Mnangagwa "a chance".

"In Zimbabwe as well, the next stage on the country's path of progress warrants steady encouragement from the international community," he said.

Tellingly, this is one war General Kagame is not fighting alone.

In April, experts that met in Washington DC, to discuss the situation in Zimbabwe were unanimous that the ruinous illegal sanctions imposed on the country were hurting innocent people, and must be removed.

Sadc has time and again reiterated its call for economic sanctions against Zimbabwe to be removed as they are inhibiting the nation's economic recovery. The AU has made similar calls.

Sanctions are a tool of Western hegemony and Africans must unite in the fight against neo-colonialism.

There is nothing humanly possible which President Mnangagwa has not done to correct the ills of the past, and if the West were sincere, they would have met him halfway a long time ago by removing sanctions.

Instead, they are playing to the whims of MDC-Alliance which thrives on sectional anger, hunger and poverty. Never mind the carnage, the effects of sanctions on the ordinary man.

We salute General Kagame for being a true brother, statesman and Pan Africanist.

The "world's most successful general" is fighting in President Mnangagwa's corner, Zimbabwe's corner.

This time, General Kagame is not fighting to remove an authoritarian regime, but a totalitarian system in the form of Western hegemony and imperialism. A system that has been allowed to thrive for far too long, a system whose demise is long overdue.

We stand tall on the side of this great leader who will forever be remembered for his dedication in fighting for the freedom of others.


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