By: Dr David Himbara
What does the term “sycophant” mean? The Kinyarwanda phrase “Mpemucye Ndamucye” is a perfect description of the word “sycophant”. Mpemucye Ndamucye refers to an individual who does not hesitate to do evil for self-preservation. In political jargon, a sycophant serves the powers that be as a “useful idiot” – an individual cynically used by totalitarian rulers to propagandize their devious and ruthless agendas. A useful idiot is not only considered to be useless to society but is also despised by the ruthless powers who deploy him.
General Paul Kagame is a strongman who needs disingenuous and false praises motivated by his addiction to power. To achieve his agenda, he needs excessive and insincere praises. This requires foot soldiers to propagandize and whitewash Kagame’s ego-centric flatteries. Enter Professor Manasseh Nshuti who is kicked around like a football by his master. Nshuti holds the Rwandan record of being appointed, dropped and appointed again to “fix things” for his boss in the past twenty years:
2003: Industry Minister
2005: Finance Minister
2006: Public Service Minister
2008: Presidential Advisor
2008: Chairman of Crystal Ventures
2013: Presidential Propagandist
2020: State Minister, Foreign Affairs
2023: Presidential Advisor
Into which ministry might Kagame dump the good professor next? Stay tuned.