A president who once assaulted a subordinate’s teenage maid,

I might admit how after a long time I keep recollecting on a few incidents that I witnessed as a young man charged with the security of President Kagame.

It is today that I remembered and realised what a sadist and a bully then boss president Kagame was, throughout all this time it has stuck in my head the surprise action he used to take and lead us to.

I can never forget one afternoon in 1998 when Kagame asked then Lt Willy Rwagasana to dial Maj. Ndushabandi’s telephone who was then the head of Kanombe Military Hospital. When the phone rang, Kagame grabbed it off Lt Rwagasana, to me it looked like he was eager to speak to Dr Ndushabandi.

To his surprise the phone on the other side was answered by a female voice who asked to be told who wanted to speak to Dr. Ndushabandi who was having a siesta.

Kagame said to the girl who we later happened to find out that it was a sixteen year old maid of Dr. Ndushabandi to put Ndushabandi on the phone.

The poor girl did not know that she was speaking to the top man of Central Africa the then Vice-president of Rwanda and Minister of Defence Major General Paul Kagame by informing the person on the phone that she was not going to put her boss Dr. Ndushabandi on the phone before she knew who was on the phone.

At that moment Kagame hung up the phone and started charging at his bodyguards demanding to know who knew where Dr Ndushabandi lived. He looked disturbed, angered, very upset and appeared frustrated. We drove straight to Ndushabandi’s home in Kanombe a distance that is less than eight miles. On our arrival we forced ourselves in, Kagame charging in front of us inside the house while asking who had answered the telephone.

The young maid responded by saying that she was the one. Immediately Kagame jumped and started beating the poor girl up, punching, kicking, pushing and demanding her to wake Ndushabandi up.

When Ndushabandi heard the chaos and woke up Kagame asked him why he employed such an undisciplined girl. At that time Dr. Ndushabandi was explaining himself shaking and anxious, saluting repeatedly and apologetic that he did not know that the girl was indiscipline.

We later found out that this girl was sixteen years old maid from Gitarama, she had come to Kigali looking for a job in order to support herself and her family. Kagame ordered for her immediate dismissal from her job and the poor doctor had to abide by his boss’s crazy orders.

I wonder where this poor girl is at present. And left to wonder why Ndushabandi a doctor and a Major in the armed forces would not take the right decision to save his own employee. I stayed all along wondering what the two men thought of their actions to the poor girl and much more the storming of a senior army officer and commandant of the army hospital by his minister and vice-president of a state.

The poor girl left crying as we were all watching including my colleagues but all of us including Ndushabandi were evidently helpless to her since all were in the hands of the top man Kagame. Before we left Ndushabandi and Kagame had a brief chat in another room for few minutes thus delivering the message he had intended before the girl’s intervention.

It was normal to us to see crazy Gen. Kagame beat up, abuse and assault his soldiers of all ranks including generals, but this time it was disturbing to see him with his age assaulting a teenager while on her duties. I am still sure the teenage girl had been briefed by her boss to humbly ask whoever was on the phone before passing it on to him of which she had obediently done. Kagame is an angry man and due to being a powerful man he has found it difficult to control his anger, research indicates that anger is a strong emotion of displeasure caused by some type of grievance that is either real or perceived to be real by a person. The cognitive behaviour theory attributes anger to several factors such as past experiences, behaviour learned from others, genetic predispositions, and a lack of problem-solving ability. Anger is an internal reaction that is perceived to have a external cause. Angry people almost always blame their reactions on some person or some event, but rarely do they realize that the reason they are angry is because of their irrational perception of the world.

Angry people have a certain perception and expectation of the world that they live in and when that reality does not meet their expectation of it, then they become angry

NM/Edited by Rwema Francis