Home NewsNational How Kagame’s 3-Year Old Son Spent A Week At Mulindi, April 1994

How Kagame’s 3-Year Old Son Spent A Week At Mulindi, April 1994

by Jean de la Croix Tabaro
1:19 pm

President Paul Kagame

President Paul Kagame has shared rare story of Rwanda’s Liberation struggle, and how he tried to strike a balance between the responsibilities of a father, and the duty of a commander in Rwanda Patriotic Army(RPA) Inkotanyi.

Speaking to content creators at the Mulindi  in Gicumbi district, which was the headquarter of RPA since 1992, Kagame shared a rare story from his training in America, to the time of joining the liberation struggle.

In the first place, Kagame clarified that during the planning of liberation struggle back in Uganda, the people that were involved were careful because they feared that if it leaked, the host country would not allow them to proceed.

To some extent, Uganda was suspicious and they tried to send to school four Rwandan senior officers who were in the Ugandan army, to make sure that they do not achieve anything.

“Fred Rwigema was supposed to go to the USA, I was supposed to go for a training in Nigeria, Chris Bunyenyezi was supposed to go to another place, while Bayingana was supposed to go to Russia,” Kagame recalls.

However, Kagame said, when I learnt about the plan, I advised Rwigema not to go because he was the leader, and asking him to go, would mean that our plan would take another five years without maturing.

At this level, Rwigema resolved to stay, but Ugandan commanders said that Kagame had to go at any cost, if Rwigema refused.

Therefore, it was agreed that Kagame will have no excuse but to go, to avoid any more suspicions.

“I was obliged to go to America at the College of Command and Staff College. I went under the documents of Rwigema, to the extent that we put them under my names when I reached there,” Kagame said.

The president recalls that he was just married, and his wife (the First Lady of Rwanda) visited him when she was pregnant.

“You can understand I left Uganda in my honeymoon period,” Kagame recalls.

Ivan Kagame, 3 Year old then, was at Mulindi April 1994 

President Kagame shared a long story in the liberation and how  he joined RPA after the death of Rwigema, how they took Mulindi and made it a strategic headquarter which enabled them to get supplies, to connect to the world, and how they were able to take other parts of the country from the North to the East before expanding to the whole country.

Kagame recalls that in 1994, his son joined him at Mulindi.

“He was three years old and when the plane of President Habyarimana crashed, we were together watching an African Cup of Nations when Senegal was playing Cameroon. We were watching from the house up there(Kagame show the small house)”

“My son was here, not as a soldier, not as anything, but I had brought him to try and reduce the stress that I had,” Kagame said.

Concurrently with this announcement, the struggle was tough and Kagame had to join a battlefield in Miyove. He left the young Ivan at Mulindi, but asked some soldiers at the headquarters to take him back to Uganda.

“When they asked him to go, he cried and refused. He said he wouldn’t go if he did not see me,” Kagame recalls.

The first day elapsed and on the second day, Kagame asked other commanders at the battlefield to bare with him because he wanted to solve a personal problem.

First Lady Jeannette Kagame is also at Mulindi for the presidential campaign. The meet the president with content creators was in the sideline of the campaign

“I drove a Rand Rover that I had. Those days, it was not possible to switch on lights, it was risky. I reached at 4.30 in the morning, but he was still sleeping. I waited until he woke up and convinced him that the mother wanted to see him and he accepted,” Kagame recalls.

After having someone take Ivan back to Uganda, Kagame returned to the battlefield.

“I did not have a few minutes to rest. I just wanted to give you an idea of official me and private me,” he told a young content creator who asked the question on how he takes care of himself outside office duties.

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