In Love with Dictatorship: The Ali / Kagame Affair

Upon his return from the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in Kigali, Rwanda, Irfaan Ali cannot stop talking about Paul Kagame. It appears the relatively young installed president is at complete awe with the leadership style of President Paul Kagame.

Ali continues to wax lyrical about the great Rwanda example with emphasis on personal admiration for this East African president who has serious human rights violations hanging over his head. Those familiar with the unvarnished story of Rwanda would hope that the head of state is not in love with the leadership style of the leader of this East African country.

Even though Rwanda represents a development success story, the underbelly of Kagame’s leadership is not to be admired and embraced by anyone with democratic inclinations. The friends and family of Patrick Kare-geya would be the first to back up this caution.

In January 2014, the former head of Rwanda eternal security was found slaughtered on a bed in room 905 of Johannesburg’s Michelangelo Towers Hotel. The hit squad got him. He dared to challenge Kagame. Ali would be well advised to have a discussion with Michela Wrong, the acclaimed writer who doesn’t buy this Rwanda feel-good story.

Due to her work, she takes all precautions in her London apartment. Even though she is miles away from Kagame, she lives in fear after her apartment was breached several times and documents stolen.

Politico magazine described the Rwandan leader as the ‘Darling Tyrant’. He once claimed that he won 97% of the votes in a general election. He jails his opponents, and the media is under heavy control. Is this what Ali wants in Guyana? Could it be that the Guyanese head of state identifies with the ways of Kagame and this has resulted in this admiration?

Coincidently, the Rwandan state is well versed in targeting citizens in the diaspora who voice their opinions against the government. Recently, the Jagdeo/Ali regime appears to be obsessed with the power of social media and the impact of social media commentators in the diaspora, in typical Kagame style. Is this what Ali admires so much?

Whatever the answer to the above question, Ali must be carefully watched in this newfound love affair with dictatorship.

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