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S.Africa based luxury jets owned by RPF- Nshuti May 28, 2010

Posted by Business Daily in Uncategorized.

Luxurious Bombardier jet

By Marcel Museminari

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s political party RPF and not the government of Rwanda owns mystery South Africa based luxury jets reported in the South African newspaper  Sunday Times of  Feb 14, 2010, Business Daily can now reveal.

Rwandan President Paul Kagame’s political party RPF and not the government of Rwanda owns mystery South Africa based luxury jets reported in the South African newspaper  Sunday Times of  Feb 14, 2010, Business Daily can now reveal.

At the time the  South African newspaper had reported that  ‘Nyirubutama ( first secretary Rwandan Embassy South Africa) said he was appointed as one of the directors of Repli Investments to allow the government to have a say in the operations of the aircraft “for security reasons”.

He said his government had decided to base the jets in South Africa because his country did not have the “skills, expertise or knowledge” to maintain them. Both were available for charter when not needed by the Rwandan government.’

One of the directors named in the plane saga, presidential advisor Manasseh Nshuti recently told Business Daily that the planes belonged to RPF’s trading arm Tri-Star recently renamed Crystal Ventures.

Challenged if the money to buy the planes could actually have been pilfered from the Central bank BNR, Manasseh Nshuti replied, “there is no way any money to buy those planes – (price tag USD50million each) – could leave the treasury without the World Bank officials embedded in the Central Bank BNR raising alarm,” he told this reporter.

The money came ‘from clean sources.’ he said, including the sale of shares owned by Tri-Star in MTN Uganda and Rwanda and ‘which were substantial by the way,’ Manasseh Nshuti added.   Tri-Star or Crystal Ventures have since divested in MTN Rwanda and Uganda and the mystery luxury planes explain where the millions of shares from MTN had been re-invested.

Manasseh Nshuti also debunked the idea that the vast wealth of Tri-Star would be the source of conflict among top RPF members including the top army officers who have since fled, such as Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Karegeya.

He said the original RPF fund was a war chest that helped the ‘liberation war’ and was only managed efficiently. Most ventures are strategic ‘to sustain the national rebuilding effort at whatever cost’ implying that ‘some ventures are not profitable.’

But Kayumba Nyamwasa without pointing a finger at who exactly owns the planes, in the May 29, BBC Imvo n’Imvano talk show preferred to say ‘they are owned by the one who rides in them,’  an indirect reference to  President Paul Kagame.  Kayumba Nyamwasa accuses Kagame of lack of accountability to the party member claiming that even the RPF party secretary does not know about much about party finances.

It is unlikely that that Kagame  or any of the  named directors would  have declared to the Ombudsman; that they own the two planes worth USD100 million or more this after  Kayumba Nyamwasa furnishes new information  (believable) that the plane are now fitted with anti-missile technology.

Instead, the luxury planes explain the sophistication of the RPF strategy. President Kagame needs efficient and secure air travel in a country with a history of shooting down a president’s plane with missiles. The national budget and embedded World Bank officials in the Central Bank cannot allow it. So RPF goes to its war chest, buys a world class jet fitted with anti-missile technology as an investment in the security of its leader and efficiency of government operations.  This includes transportation of important friends such as former Premier Tony Blair and the galaxy of stars that usually come to market or buy a piece of Rwanda.

Since the RPF leader is also the President of the Republic of Rwanda, then he can charter the planes, instead of some other foreign company with no such security interests.  The reports appearing in Umuvugizi.com showing invoices, serves to explain this modus operandi and do not justify any assertion that Kagame owns the jets.

This  also explains in part the response by 1st Secretary Nyirubutama in South Africa; thus “Nyirubutama this week confirmed that the jets were bought for the use of the Rwandan president, the vice-president and the country’s prime minister. “We are from a troubled region that has a troubled history of genocide and civil war. We needed safe, secure and cost-effective planes for my country’s VIPs. Security was paramount,” he said.

President Kagame has no problem with such a strategy. He told journalists last year that RPF is not the only party that does business. He also got back at some of the critics including post war leaders, claiming that they wore their first suits from the RPF war chest. This is echoed by Manasseh Nshuti who says that for the first few months of the transitional government, the RPF indeed footed the bills of government after a fleeing defeated government had looted the national treasury.

Despite the declared good intentions, critics still ask just where RPF will draw the line in this conflict of interest situation. Kagame might indeed have to take his declared accountability blitz into his own very camp.



1. Godwin - June 1, 2010

Ma Editor Museminali,How does Nshuti explain this? I dont think he is best person to explain, u mean RPF being without a treasure it doesn’t have a spokes person too.

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