By: Dr David Himbara
Back in October 2016, General Paul Kagame scrapped the Ministry of Internal Security (MININTER). That is also when Kagame dumped minister of the Ministry of Interior, Musa Fazil Harelimana.
The scrapping of MININTER and the dumping of Harelimana was something of a shock. Harelimana was so sycophantic to Kagame to the extent that Harelimana demanded as far back as 2010 that the Rwanda constitution should be changed to allow Kagame to seek a third term.
Kagame nonetheless dumped Harelimana and handed MININTER’s responsibilities to the Ministry of Justice headed by minister Johnston Busingye. Three years later, Kagame changed his mind. In the cabinet reshuffle of November 4, 2019, he revived MININTER. He made his defence chief Patrick Nyamvumba the minister of the resurrected MININTER.
So what has changed? Kagame’s fear of fellow Rwandans is rife.
Kagame’s fear drives him to conclude that the Ministry of Defence is not enough for maximum security around him. He sees enemies everywhere – inside and outside Rwanda. He needs another ministry of security headed by a military general. Kagame’s Ministry of Internal Security is effectively an extension of his Ministry of Defence. Both are to protect state security, create, organise and supervise security forces, including the military and police. And state security in Rwanda is about one man – Kagame.
Welcome to Kagame’s military regime.