FRIENDS?: President Kikwete in a rare public display of friendship with opposition MP Zitto Kabwe, one of the architects of FDLR sympathy
On May 26, news emerged that Tanzania’s President Jakaya Kikwete had raised the unthinkable; in a closed door African Union meeting, President Kikwete said Government of Rwanda should negotiate with Rwandan FDLR rebels. The news spread like wild fire and many have jumped into the genocidal band wagon unaware of why President Kikwete came out.
President Kikwete was the first global leader to speak in support of the FDLR rebels, who left a trail of human suffering in Rwanda, and a country completely razed to the ground. According to classified US State Department cables, President Kikwete has been “virulently pro-Hutu” right from 1995 when he was named foreign affairs minister.
It is under the leadership of President Kikwete that war has raged in Burundi for years, as Tanzania pushed for ‘ethnic majority’ rule. Under Burundi’s “peace deals” forced onto politicians, ethnic quotas were enshrined into the country’s laws. As a result, the country remains in constant paralysis as each side fights back.
ETHNIC QUOTAS IN BURUNDI
President Kikwete and with help from a well-coordinated inner circle are not done yet; they want the exact system replicated in Rwanda. But why is President Kikwete keen on “bringing peace to the great lakes region”, as he has made many to believe?
So far, it has already been established that Tanzania’s commander-in-chief is from Gitega region in central Burundi. During Burundi’s civil conflict, this particular region and others bordering Tanzania, were center of the insurgency against President Pierre Buyoya. It was not until he was out of power that relative peace returned in those areas.
Previously unknown data also surfaced from US State Department secret cables; Tanzania’s First Lady Salma Kikwete is a cousin of Rwanda’s former president Juvenal Habyarimana. The late Rwandan leader had established a virulent anti-Tutsi system that he himself had to be killed when international and inside pressure forced him to accept talks.
To understand why President Kikwete has been “virulently pro-Hutu”, as the US State Department puts it, we are detailing the people around him with whom that policy is being framed and implemented. Make no mistake; some of the names we are going to detail here are not in cabinet and not known to the news media.
Member of Parliament Zitto Kabwe is deputy general secretary of main opposition party CHADEMA, but he has been one of the most vocal supporters of President Kikwete on FDLR. It is not by accident, patriotic sentiment or nationalism, that Mr Kabwe is President Kikwete’s friend on FDLR.
Zitto Kabwe is CHADEMA MP representing Northern Kigoma constituency, which borders Burundi and DRC. He is also CHADEMA deputy general secretary and holds various positions in Parliament. Zitto Kabwe has also led various commissions on the mining sector and investment.
Zitto Kabwe’s origin is DR Congo border area with Burundi, just like a large number of people who live in Kigoma. Majority of people in Kigoma have blood lines from DRC and Burundi. They left to escape years of poverty, ethnic strife and settled in Tanzania, but maintain strong links back home. In Tanzania, word on the street is that Zitto Kabwe is more in CCM than CHADEMA.
Joseph Rugumyamheto is former Permanent Secretary, President’s Office during the President Mkapa government. Rugumyamheto also comes from Kigoma.
Apart from PS in Presidents Office, he was also close friend to former President Mkapa and was the main influence behind Burundi-Tanzania friction during government of former president Pierre Buyoya in Burundi. Rugumyamheto was also very close to the then Minister for foreign Affairs Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete. That friendship has continued unabated.
Even if Rugumyamheto is not in government, he forms part of President Kikwete’s inner circle that has been pulling the strings as regards to Tanzania-Burundi, Tanzania-Rwanda policy.
PETER SERUKAMBA is a Member of Parliament for Kigoma Urban and also Chair of Parliamentary Committee on Infrastructure. He is also member of CCM National Electoral Council (NEC) Ujiji, Kigoma.
ENGINEER CHRISTOPHER KAJAIRO CHIZA
He is a CCM MP for Buyungu-Kakonko Constituency of Kigoma region and minister for agriculture, food security and cooperatives. This is another individual holding massive political influence on President Kikwete.
The names of heavyweights around President Kikwete are many, but the above are names that ring hard when you speak to people who understand the workings inside the policy on Rwanda. It is this same circle that pushed Tanzania to take active role in the conflict in DR Congo, with the deployment of peacekeepers, and most recently, the intervention brigade.
CHADEMA ATTACKS KIKWETE
CHADEMA, the biggest opposition party in Tanzania, did come out against President Kikwete’s controversial FDLR statement. On August 3rd, 2013, the General Secretary for Chama cha Demokrasia na Maendeleo (Chadema) Dr. Wilbroad Slaa, also put his weight behind Rwanda’s anger. This was a day after President Kikwete had made a national speech on Tanzania-Rwanda relations.
“How come President Kikwete cannot negotiate with opposition here at home,” Dr Slaa reportedly said at a CHADEMA Youth conference for economic and employment (BAVICHA) in Dar es Salaam.
He added: “… [President Kikwete] has not taken any measure against the murderers of journalist Daudi Mwangosi…He (Kikwete) was advised to take measures against police commander in Iringa Region (Province) Michal Kamuhanda but instead he has promoted him.”
It remains to be seen how CHADEMA plans to deal with ZITTO KABWE, one of their own, who despite being in the opposition, he is a godson of the Kikwete establishment.
In the next series, we will show you how a decision to expel “Rwandans” from Kagera region was hatched. To the ordinary Tanzanian and foreign reading about the expulsions, it sounds like normal government policy, but the hidden agenda is meant to cause civil war in Rwanda.
We will give insider information as to why thousands of Tanzania army troops have been deployed around the border regions with Rwanda, and what they are meant for. Make no mistake; they are not there to keep peace, as the politicians have claimed.