By: Rpf Gakwerere
Earlier today, Meridian Tobacco Company donated Uganda Shillings 250 Millions to words Uganda’s national response funds to help poorest Ugandans. Meridian Tobacco Company is owned by Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa.
Tycoon Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa went in exile in 2008 after personally falling out with criminal Paul Kagame.
During the RPA/F liberation struggle, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa spent a proportion of his wealth financing the RPA/F cause. Two of the cars which used to drive criminal Paul Kagame around Kampala while other people were at the frontline facing Habyarimana’s forces, had been donated to him by Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa and Assinapol Rwigara. As a thank you, Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa was exiled where his being constantly hunted by DMI for elimination, while Assinapol Rwigara was brutally assassinated after hours of being tortured at the hands of criminal Paul Kagame.
After exiling Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa, criminal Paul Kagame went for his wealth; seizing Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa’s shares in Nshili Kivu Tea Factory (NKTF) located in Nyaruguru District, Rwanda.
The ruthless criminal ruler went for Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa’s personal residence in Gikondo, Kigali. He seized the property and converted the property into a bar and lodge.
The greedy dictator didn’t stop there, he went for Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa’s shopping mall. The 57Kg skinny dictator illegally seized the Union Trade Centre (UTC), Ayabatwa’s US$20 million shopping mall.
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa is the founder and controlling shareholder of Pan African Tobacco Group, Africa’s largest indigenous manufacturer of tobacco products. The company manufactures cigarettes in nine African countries including Nigeria, Angola, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Tanzania and the United Arab Emirates.
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa is also one of Africa’s leading philanthropists. He has helped communities to uplift themselves in fields such as education and water-access. Through his non-profit foundation, Tribert also strives to help young people to gain the practical experience required to enter the job market in Africa.
In 2018, in an interview with Aljazeera Africa, he noted of having business interests in 24 different countries.
Tribert Rujugiro Ayabatwa founded the company in 1978 when he began manufacturing cigarettes in Burundi in 1978, after a successful stint as a commodity trader across Africa.
Ayabatwa subsequently established a manufacturing plant in Zaire, now the Democratic Republic of Congo(DRC) in 1984, and later expanded into the South African market in 1991. Between 1996 and 2013, PTG commenced manufacturing in Angola, Uganda, Tanzania, the United Arab Emirates, Nigeria and South Sudan. The processing plant in Arua, Northern Uganda was established in 2013.