Rwanda People's Party

INTERVIEW: Rwanda Envoy To Uganda Explains Generals' Arrest

It’s 10:45am. I telephone the Rwandese High Commissioner to Uganda Maj. Gen. Frank Mugambage, informing him of my arrival at his office in Kamwokya, Kampala for the 11:00am interview.

The embassy premises are spotless clean with a carefully mowed compound. The lovely flowers welcome you to the receptionist’s office.

Nigeria to witness Rujugiro’s success story

07/11/2010 - In the face of exit of some foreign manufacturing companies from Nigeria and relocation of businesses to Ghana, LeafTobacco says it is in the country for the long haul, reports EMMANUEL MAYAH

Some of the new machines
• Photo: The Sun Publishing

When he signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Olusegun Obasanjo government in 2004, Rwandan businessman, Tribert Rujugiro, did so with the surefootedness drawn from the success stories he had recorded in such places as South Africa, Europe, Uganda, DR Congo and his home country, Rwanda. It is this same success story, he says, he intends to repeat in Africa’s most populous country, Nigeria. Driven by the vision to provide local content not just in his native Rwanda but in the wider context of Africa, he said political emancipation of Africa, for which millions of men, women and youths died, would remain meaningless unless Africans are primed to take the driver’s seat in the struggle for economic emancipation.

To this end, the industrialist with apparent Pan-African tendency is counted as one of the business leaders providing templates for the younger generations in Africa to rise and break ceilings and indeed, strive to be brand leaders in key economic sectors across the continent. It was not for nothing that Rujugiro was at a time one of the close advisors of President Paul Kegame of Rwanda with the latter leaning on the billionaire businessman to throw in his wealth of experience in building a country styled as the Switzerland of Africa.

Seven years down the road in Nigeria, the philosophy that led Rujugiro to set up such companies as the Rwandan Investment Group (RIG) in Rwanda, Mastermind in South Africa and LeafTobacco and Commodities Nigeria (LTCN) is being put to test by harsh economic realities that have forced not a few manufacturers out of business.

Safe haven
The statistic is scary even for seasoned industrialists familiar with the unpleasant curves any Third World economy can throw up. At the last count in July last year, well over 820 manufacturing companies had shut down their operations in Nigeria, as they buckle at the knees under an economic climate that has particularly left the industrial sector groaning. According to the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), which gave the figure, the over 820 manufacturing companies closed shop between 2000 and 2008, even as uncertainties become the fate of others whose operations are diminishing due to high production costs.

Speaking at its annual general meeting (AGM), with the theme, Sustaining Nigeria’s Manufacturing Sector in the Face of the Current Global Economic Recession, the president of the association, Alhaji Bashir Borodo, had said the closure of production by many industries had become worrisome to manufacturers even as some companies in the country were relocating to Ghana, in the face of unfavourable economic climate.

That many companies have divested in Nigerian economy is no longer news. It was gathered that in 1999, for example, manufacturing sector accounted for nothing less than five per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This, however, shrunk to 4.9 per cent in 2000. As a result of inadequate infrastructure and high cost of production, the manufacturing capacity utilisation has remained on the downward spiral.
About two years ago, Dunlop Nigeria Plc., the only surviving tyre manufacturing company in Nigeria then, shut down its plants, laid off hundreds of its workers and put some on half pay. Dunlop Nigeria Plc and Michelin have since relocated to Ghana. Patterson Zochonis (PZ) is also planning to relocate to Ghana, even as Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Unilever and the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) sacked a sizeable number of their workers over reported high cost of production and decaying infrastructure.

Reports from Ghana have it that major investment drive to lure companies from Nigeria involves a ‘mouth-watering’ package, which company operators have found to be irresistibly attractive. It includes the donation of free piece of land to companies willing to migrate to any part of Ghana, a 15-year tax holiday as well as other policy incentives that are not readily available in Nigeria.

Already, several blue-chip companies are said to be scouting major cities in Ghana, in response to the aggressive onslaught. Dunlop Nigeria Plc and Unilever Nigeria Plc are said to have finished building manufacturing plants in Ghana. Dunlop last year announced the closure of its manufacturing activities in Nigeria, based on the excuse of changing from core tyre manufacturing to pure sales and distribution. Shortly after this announcement, the entire plant and premises of the company located on Oba Akran Avenue, in Ikeja Industrial area of Lagos, were offered for sale through several newspaper advertisements. Its new factory in Ghana is said to be the proposed base of its radial tyre importation activities into Nigeria.

Dunlop is not alone in the relocation sprint. Reports have it that while some leading manufacturers in Nigeria are still on the verge of completing the installation of their plants in Ghana, others have already started operations from there. One of them is OK Foods Group, a leading food and plastic manufacturer. Its former manufacturing plant located along the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, has since been deserted. It is one of the many companies that have quickly relocated to Ghana to take advantage of the liberal investment incentives the Ghanaian authorities are throwing at them.

Inside Rujugiro’s factory
There is hardly any manufacturer in Nigeria that has not had sleepless nights over challenges in the industrial sector. Pointing at the real bane of the manufacturing sector, the Ikeja branch of the MAN said private power generation accounted for 30 per cent of the cost of production and that the inadequacy of supply is mainly responsible for 25. 24 per cent of poor capacity utilisation. If old names, like Dunlop, Michelin and OK Foods are voting with their feet, it is hardly possible for new entrants, like LeafTobacco and Commodities not to feel the pinch.

When Saturday Sun visited the facility of LeafTobacco, in Gbakura, Kaduna State, it was learnt that the company has had to deal with the same problems faced by every manufacturing outfit across the country. However, they have no plans to relocate to Ghana. According to Mr. S. Folarin, head of the company’s Primary Manufacturing Department (PMD), LeafTobacco generates its own power, provides its own water and does everything required to keep its machines running as well as keep its workforce – 90 per cent of them Nigerians – happy.

In the week that this reporter visited, the company had just taken delivery of new sets of machinery with which it plans to further expand its production capacity. Folarin said that while some manufacturers are transplanting their operations, with the idea of producing in Ghana only to thereafter ship their products to Nigeria, the reverse is the case for LeafTobacco. The company is increasing its output in Nigeria, with the aim of exporting to neighbouring African countries.

Having operated in difficult terrains, like Uganda and DR Congo, Folarin said it is a lot easier for the company to surmount all odds in Nigeria. It was gathered, however, that the trickiest challenge LTCN is facing in Nigeria is not so much the difficult production factors, as the supply of false information, allegedly by competitors, “to any authority who could act to ban Rujugiro from the Nigerian markets. LTCN’s management, in Leaf Tobacco & Commodities Nigeria (LTCN) has spent time fighting these malicious indirect attacks originating from false information in the press, such as recent articles vilifying Rujugiro.
In one of them, Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria claimed that YES cigarettes (manufactured in Nigeria by LTCN) did not have the necessary health labels. This is a very false allegation. Another example: when YES brand was launched in Nigeria, some people were sent to destroy the point of sales; they attacked hawkers’ tables.

On the existence of LTCN and regarding the concession given to it by the Federal Government, it was gathered that LeafTobacco signed an MOU with the Nigerian government in 2004 for a three-year duty concession on imported cigarettes while the factory was in construction. Folarin said that contrary to reports, a building of 6700m? was built along the Abuja- Kaduna expressway in the first three years. He said there are more than 70 people employed at the factory; the production lines are in place and a leaf growing project is under study, due to commence soon. In the distribution company, he said there are more than 200 full-time staff.

On the allegation that LTCN is engaged in more importation and less production, the company explained that it was indeed, its sister company that shipped over 55 containers to Lome and Cotonou, among other West African ports, for the mentioned period. However, all were destined to other consumer markets, where the brand, YES, has been distributed for the past decade.

“To further illustrate the misinformation provided; out of the five containers listed from random sampling, three containers we found out are originating from Vietnam, where our group has never had any activity nor production unit. These are, without any doubt, part of the growing illicit and counterfeits trade our group has been actively fighting against in the region for the past few years. Our group has seized and destroyed numerous containers in the region, with the cooperation of regional customs authorities. Our group is fully cooperating with relevant authorities in the West African region and elsewhere to stop this illicit trade of counterfeit products originating from the Middle East and Asia. In addition to trademark infringement, these products are of poor quality and often do not comply with local health regulations. The remaining two containers, we found out, were destined for Niger Republic and not Nigeria.

“All containers destined for Nigeria, have been shipped and delivered to Nigerian ports, namely Apapa. And all the necessary permits and licenses had been delivered by the relevant authorities. With a concession and factory in place, LTCN has always imported all its products legally and contrary to the illegal trade would not derive any benefit in smuggling cigarettes into the country. In addition, smuggling is against the group’s ethics and in breach of its commitments towards the local community.”

Folarin said that if Tribert Rujugiro did not have a track record, he would not have been chosen to be part of the process of rebuilding Rwanda after the war. Rujugiro was the driving force of a new initiative called Rwandan Investment Group (RIG), a private investment company created by some 43 local investors. Created in September 2006 and possibly modelled after Nigeria’s Trans-national Corporation Plc (Transcorp), RIG headed by Rujugiro, was investing in extraction of methane gas in Lake Kivu, in the western part of Rwanda, silk and cement production, maintenance of Kigali industrial park and peat extraction. The concession carried a lower rate of purchase of the supplied electricity, and carries no financial support or facility, apart from a guaranteed purchase and payment of supplied power.

At this very moment, out of the five concessions given by the government, RIG is the only one that has started work, and is already extracting the gas. The Rwandan government will benefit majorly from this concession, as the power will be supplied at almost 60 per cent of the current cost paid by the government.

Rwanda Peoples Party congratulates Vladimir Putin

Vaxjo, Sweden, 05/03/2012

Ref: RPP/CE/VP-01/1743/MCM/RF12/05/JVK-VP03

H.E. President, Vladimir Putin                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 President-Elect of Russia

Dear Your Excellency, Vladimir Putin

Both personally and on behalf of my party, the Rwanda People’s Party, I would like to express my most sincere congratulations upon your re-election for another 6-year terms as President of  Russia.

Col Karegeya's deny UN Securty Council Report on DRC

I write this press release on my own behalf and on behalf of Lt General Kayumba Nyamwasa, In its 6th December 2010 edition, 'The New Times', a Rwanda daily newspaper owned and run by the National Security Service (the intelligence service of the Government of Rwanda) published an article entitled, UN Report Pins Kayumba, Karegeya on FDLR.

The Commemoration of 20th of the 1994 Genocide of Tutsi in Rwanda

Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda,

Today is 7th April. On this day, we join millions of Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda at home and beyond, to commemorate the 20th Anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi, perpetrated by the former genocidal regime of the late Habyarimana, the ex-FAR and its allied Interahamwe militias. We especially salute the survivors of this genocide, accepted as one of the worst atrocities of the 20th century.

Today is not just the start of the Genocide Week; it is also a week to remember and to reflect on the gruesome nature of the crimes committed against totally innocent people. This week also marks two and half months Journey of the Kwibuka (Remembrance) Flame, that has toured over 10,169 square miles across the land of 1000 hills, to symbolise a “Torch” of a Bright Future of Unity and National Reconciliation, that has been ushered throughout Rwanda following many years of some of the most brutal and gruesome atrocities committed by man against fellow man that the world has ever witnessed.  

Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda,  the 7th of April, is the start of an Extraordinary Annual Week during which  we  all   gather  together to commemorate and to give  respect to our dear brethren and kinsmen and women, who perished in episodes of grotesque inhumanity meted out sometimes for no greater a reason than the physical appearance of the victims. We shall always remember and show our respect to the estimated one million innocent Tutsis who were brutally slaughtered en mass in 1994. The numerous Memorial sites that litter the country, like The Kigali Genocide Memorial Centre in Gisozi, where over 250,000 innocent souls were laid to rest, are living and indelible proof and permanent reminders of the extent of inhumanity that man can inflict on fellow man if the ideology and policy of ethnic hatred, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance is allowed to prevail as a means of   attaining political objectives.

Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, it is hard to find any suitable word to describe, the  100-days of death, violence and destruction that descended on our people in 1994. From 7th  April  to 18th July 1994, over 1,000,050 Tutsi were murdered. 700.000 women were raped  or infected with HIV, 500,000  were widowed, as were 300,000 orphans and 45,000 children were fathered as result of rape, while hundreds of thousands of fellow Rwandan were left permanently disabled or traumatised. The genocide (slaughter) lasted 100 days - in homes, villages, inside churches, hospitals, schools and on manned road blocks throughout the country. Using mass media such as radios and news print to propagate their agenda of ethnic hatred, the leaders of the genocide induced large numbers of soldiers, militias and villagers into a feeling of mass hysteria where horrific killings, even of neighbours and friends became possible. This has in turn created its own legacy in implementing the reconciliation and re-integration process because in many cases the victims personally know their attackers.

This is why, in the month of April of each year, all Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, assemble in different genocide memorial sites and in churches to observe the Seven Days of Commemoration of the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi.

It is also a week that is directed to re-dedicate our resolve to stand firm on our feet, and shoulder to shoulder to console and to offer our unwavering solidarity and support to the survivors of the 1994 Genocide.

 Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, although genocide against the Tutsi was eventually stopped, and politics of hate and ethnic ideology dismantled, we are deeply saddened that crimes against humanity and, especially genocide are still being perpetrated in many countries in the world. Events in Africa and elsewhere in the world are just sad reminders of the brutal world we live in.  We therefore take this occasion of the Remembrance of the 1994 Genocide against  the Tutsi to appeal to you, Fellow Rwandan and  Friends of Rwanda, to offer your unreserved prayers to the people of C.A.R, Syria, Libya, Mali and other countries that experiencing the horrifying experiences that we  the people of Rwanda passed through.

We believe that the absence of effective collective response from the international community in relation to the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi and as well as the absence of an effective enforcement machinery to put on trial perpetrators of genocide may have emboldened the perpetrators of these terrible events to think that they too would enjoy immunity and secondly that the international community would just stand aside and watch while thousands of innocent civilians are massacred. That is why we think the international community should learn a lesson from the Rwandan Genocide against the Tutsi by erecting an effective investigatory, prosecutory and enforcement capability and capacity so that perpetrators of genocide are made to understand that they will not enjoy any immunity from punishment for their violent conduct.

To this extent, many foreign countries including France have started to bring to justice those responsible for these crimes. We hope this should serve as clear warning, that no stone will be left unturned until the last genocidaires is brought to justice.  The Nazi Concentration Camp Guard, John Demjanjuk, the man who was nicknamed “Ivan the Terrible”, was one of the Nazi fugitives responsible for the Holocaust against Jews, and was brought to justice in his 90s. There is no doubt  and it is our implacable hope that  those responsible for the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi will have no safe haven or hiding place anywhere in the world and the entire international community will join hands together in renewed efforts to apprehend them and to bring them to justice.

Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, today, my party the Rwanda People's Party / Ishyaka Ry'Abaturage and I personally wish to reiterate this; to the survivors of victims of genocide against the Tutsi, your relatives, friends and neighbours didn’t die in vain. We will always remember and honour their resilience and harrowing experience, for millions of years to come. Although they are gone in flesh, they live with us in spirit, and will do so forever, as their lasting unique and extraordinary legacy will continue to prevail in our minds and deeds for ever and ever. They became our serialised morning and evening prayers, we observe their presence every time we wake up, we feel their touch during our daily activities and we remember their moment of sorrows and tears before we go to bed.


These are our heroes we are celebrating today. It is their blood that has led us this far. Their blood has made us realize the importance of brotherhood; the importance of not allowing a few of us with deviant values to lead us astray. Wherever they are, I want to let them know that though the perpetrators of the genocide thought they win by killing you, they did not. Actually, they lost the war to you, as you showed them that you were not cowards.  May your souls Rest in Peace. 
Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, this is a special massage to those terrified women and children fathered as a result of rape and to millions of Rwandan who were permanently disabled or traumatised as a result of the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi. Let us re-assure you about this that: in our life time, we have never been under more pressure than that we endured 
on our  long, painful journey but were also the most jubilant, joyful and ecstatic when our painful journey led us back to our Promised Land on 1st October 1990. We have never  experienced enormous pressure and frustrations than that we went through, 24/7 working hard days and nights, going through sleepless nights and with harrowing tears and sorrows, without food and water, but vividly well focused, and determined to  end the  suffering of our people.


 Henceforth, Rwandan are the legitimate stake holders of this beautiful country of ours. Therefore history will judge us on wrong side of the road, and as an ultimately failures, if we ever, ever dare to forget the suffering, tears and horrifying experiences that our country and our people have gone  through during Rwanda’s recent  dark history. Rwanda belongs to you, and you belong to Rwanda, there can never be a Rwanda without Rwandan people nor Rwandan people without Rwanda. Thus, we remain committed to protect our land and all of our people, whether living inside or outside Rwanda.

 Those who cowardly predict a new genocide against the people of Rwanda, to you we say you are clearly mistaken and seriously underestimate our resolve never to allow genocide to revisit our country again. Our resolve is “Never, Never Again”. Genocide is now firmly part of our history; it lives with us only so that we can learn lessons from it. It is therefore the duty of any Rwandan to ensure that we steer our country in a direction that will enable us to keep this resolve, for we need no foreigners to preach to us how to manage and govern our country for today and for the indeterminate future.  

Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, on this Extraordinary week to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Genocide  against the Tutsi,  I would like also to take this opportunity to register  our  Special Attribute to the  resilient Rwandan women, those dearest mothers, wives, grandmothers, sisters,  and daughters, many of whom were victims of sexual violence. Many of your bodies were ripped apart as result of gang rape, many of your dreams were shattered; you have borne the additional burden of seeing your husbands, children, family members etc., murdered in front of you and many of you were left to fight with HIV and AIDS and to raise children of rape, without having any ready-made explanations to the community or your own children who their real fathers really are.

Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, there are others amongst us whose brevity was outstanding during the genocide. Though they were hacked with machete, tortured raped, and some mutilated, they have still found a reason to live to witness this day. They have not allowed the circumstances they went through during the genocide define their lives. They have shown that they are worth more than the miseries they go through. Though what you went through is hurting and to some the memories are still fresh, I want to let you know that you are our brave heroes too. I pray that the God who has given you courage, confidence, and a reason to continue living will enable you even more. You will forever remain in our history books as some of the bravest Rwandans who survived the experience.

I have every respect for these heroic women who have been victims of sexual violence but who again are subjected to ostracism, discrimination and prejudice because of their HIV status or AIDS condition. Some of you women have gathered the courage to live openly with the illness, and to challenge those sections of society that discriminate against you. By forgiving and allowing the re-integration of the perpetrators back into the community, sometimes living near them as neighbours, those who have inflicted so much harm and suffering on you in the first instance, you demonstrate indomitable courage in the face of adversity. By conquering fear, prejudice and rejection, you have given a more poignant meaning to the word “HOPE”. In your self-sacrifice, humility and lack of bitterness, you have made Rwanda a proud nation, a towering beacon of hope and aspiration for all those around the world living under the throes of human brutality or are recovering from the spiritual as well as human darkness that was imposed on them by tyrannical regimes or actors.

The most important lesson to draw from your resilience and strength, which the entire world can learn from is this that;

"It doesn't matter how deep you fall, what matters is how high you bounce back." (anon)

Therefore in conclusion, Fellow Rwandan and Friends of Rwanda, the saying above by an unknown preacher applies equally or even more to us as a people and as a nation. It is not the fact that we were brought down to our knees by killers and monsters that is important, the fact that we got up (or should get up) is the most important. Armed with this inspiration, Rwanda surely now has a solid foundation for unity and national reconciliation on which we can build a new Rwanda for all Rwandan.

I am proud to note that Rwanda as a nation and a people have shown positivity in how they rose after the 1994 fall.

Thank you. God bless you all.


John V KARURANGA, President
Rwanda People’s Party / Ishyaka Ry’Abaturage
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