Paul Rusesabagina is a fascinating character with an intriguingly remarkable story.
Let’s skip the Hollywood part. It is not only exaggerated but trumped up. We also avoid the fake accolades and the cosmetic global media PR accorded to him for Western interests. It is all rubbish, we know it.
First, let’s begin with his debut in Kigali, about 26 years after he left Rwanda.
Dressed in a designer suit, well-polished pricy shoes and a glowing skin pigment, he was living lavishly indeed, going by face value.
Rusesabagina was presented to the press in Kigali, on Monday morning, shortly after 10 am.
Rwanda Investigation Bureau (RIB) reached out to journalists earlier in the morning to come to witness a parading exercise of a high profile suspect. The suspense at the venue was intense but held at bay. Mean looking commandos with ripped muscles, well dressed in clean dark-blue outfits were tightly guarding a detainee van at the RIB headquarters.
Their supervisors were seen giving strict instructions near the heavily guarded van. It was such a confusing scenario and no journalist had any idea what was taking place but remained extremely anxious. No word from the officers. Tight-lipped, but suggestive of something extraordinary. The situation was tense. All journalists were guided into a closed hall and asked to wait from there.
Cameras were set. Recorders placed on a table and water served as they waited. Suddenly two tough-looking officers escorted in a short, well-dressed man from the main door. Few journalists recognized the man. He was wearing a surgical face mask. He had no handcuffs but was being manned by the rough commandos. He walked elegantly in front of cameras and stood upright, staring at journalists. One of the officers instructed him to remove his face mask.
He smiled, sarcastically. He turned left and right. He too couldn’t recognise anyone. He looked too exhausted and dehydrated. The scene took about 180 seconds and the man was immediately whisked away. No questions were asked. The RIB spokesman sat at the table and read a press statement in English and Kinyarwanda. All important questions were not answered. He said answers will jeopardize an ongoing investigation.
Since he is charged with terrorism RIB told Taarifa that it has up to 90 days, depending on how fast investigators compile his file, to submit his dossier to the prosecutors. No details will be provided until then. We will wait.
Here is a less known story about Rusesabagina and why he remained free and protected even after declaring war against the state and financing terror attacks by his rebel group.
As early as 2006, even before, Rwandan prosecution had been asking the United States to help investigate Paul Rusesabagina, a man duped to be a hero in the “Hotel Rwanda” film.
Unfortunately, based on the facts on the ground, Rwandan courts had forgotten about full cooperation from the USA.
It was a complicated case because it involved heavyweights with connections in Washington.
Rusesabagina owns a charity foundation (The Hotel Rwanda Rusesabagina Foundation).
The foundation has been raising millions of dollars from innocent Americans, Canadians, Belgians, and others, under deception. I was in Canada in 2008, so I know all this nonsense; first hand.
The foundation claimed the funds were being collected to help poor Rwandans devastated by poverty, illness, conflict, genocide and war.
No single penny has ever been sent to Rwanda, but there is strong evidence that the money was used to finance terrorism activities by FDLR and FLN rebel outfits that have been terrorizing, raping women and plundering DR Congo menials.
Regrettably, looking at the positions and history of people working with Rusesabagina, his case was likely to die a natural death. For example, Sean Tenner, the former Executive Director of Rusesabagina’s foundation was President Baraka Obama’s campaign staff in 2008.
He was an advisor to multiple African Diaspora movements in the United State that are against their governments back home in Africa. Tenner served as Vice-President and Chicago Office Director of M+R Strategic Services, the public policy firm that helped launch the Save Darfur Coalition, an alliance that was for more than 180 faith-based, advocacy and humanitarian organizations.
Tenner was also part of the team that formulated legislation that allowed US involvement in the efforts heavily advertised, “Ending the genocide in Darfur”, a project that the USA had huge interests in. Tenner was also a board member of many other American corporations and charity organizations.
Other heavyweights with connection to the White House and the United Nations that have been fighting efforts to bring Rusesabagina to face justice include Brian Endless and Kitty Kurth. Brian Endless has been Rusesabagina’s “Senior Policy Advisor”. He was a faculty member in the department of political science at Loyola University Chicago.
He also founded and served as the Executive Director of American Model United Nations International in Chicago, one of the largest collegiate Model UN organizations in the world. Brian worked with the United Nations for over 20 years. He has been in close friendship with UN Ambassadors, Secretariat members of the UN and affiliated organizations, and NGO leaders from many organizations, again including those that have been jabbing Kagame’s regime for years.
Intriguingly enough, Brian has acted as a consultant to the United Nations and on UN issues for members of the U.S. House and Senate. Rusesabagina was a mere hotel manager. That’s the fact, but he became global bait for NGOs and turned him into a political activism porn star.
He was never in politics nor has experience in humanitarian work. Rusesabagina became cozy with the White House and the US Senate, attacking the Rwandan government, defending and demanding the release of American lawyer Peter Elinder charged with denying the genocide, and Victoire Ingabire charged with forming a rebel and terrorist group, there is no doubt he was being advised by an experienced and a highly connected person, but also served as a puppet for the hostile western neo-colonial intentions.
So far, a number of terrorist suspects were arrested in Kigali, and sentenced for working with Ingabire, confessed to receiving money from Rusesabagina to buy arms and conduct operations. Obviously, Rusesabagina does not work alone.
He must have used his “Grants Director” Bob Walsh to raise the funds and conduct the alleged monetary transactions; and many others. Bob worked as Rusesabagina’s fundraiser. He was also an attorney who had strong positions in the US government and worked over two decades with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Did Rwanda courts still have hope they would pin him down? Think about this for a moment. His fundraiser was an attorney; he spent five years as a staff person on Capitol Hill in Washington, and in 2008 as Legislative Director for Congressman Bobby Rush. Mind you, Rush was a very influential man in Obama’s Democratic Party.
Rush had the distinction of being the only person to defeat President Barack Obama in an election for public office. He was also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus. Using his skills as a public interest lobbyist, his Legislative Director Bob (Rusesabagina’s fundraiser) used him to derail any efforts by US authorities to help Rwandan prosecution in investigating and arresting Rusesabagina to face trial for his alleged crimes.
We haven’t talked about Kitty Kurth, Rusesabagina’s former publicist. She was the President of Kurth Lampe, international public relations, political consulting, and strategy firm. Not only did Kurth-Lampe have close ties with President Obama, for they wrote his first major speech at the Democratic Convention 2004, but also helped controversial former Vice President Al Gore on media issues. This helps explain why the Rwandan government has had stinging media coverage for the last couple of years, even now after his arrest and attacks by dissidents, subversives, and genocide deniers including Rusesabagina.
This company has helped with strategic communications services including public relations and communications planning for candidates, groups and corporations on a national and international level; campaign and media relations for local, state and federal campaigns; public affairs; and grassroots organizing. The official reaction in the media (CNN, Reuters, BBC, AP, The New York Times, etc) by Rusesabagina has been the vindication of the expertise he is provided with by such influential global corporations.
You do not expect a little known hotelier like Rusesabagina to have such positive coverage by the strongest media corporations in the world. Not even sitting presidents get the kind of publicity.
None of those media corporations has investigated or questioned him about these criminal allegations (funding terrorists, kidnapping, forming a terrorist group, and fraud) instead, they have continued to give him free airtime to declare war against Rwanda and negate the genocide.
For example, in early May 2008, CNN’s Becky Anderson interviewed Rusesabagina. She never asked him about the allegations, but only read what seemed to have been pre-arranged question asking him to explain about his foundation and the accusations against the UK for providing Rwanda with financial aid and funding the rebels in DR Congo.
The same story has been recycled over and over in the media provided by anti-Rwanda movements in the Diaspora. No one has the guts to make such strong allegations against a powerful nation like the UK on a public platform like on CNN and expect to remain untouched or summoned without influential people supporting and advising him.
Besides running financial scams and funding terrorists he has also been a key player in subversive and terror attacks against innocent Rwandans. In the USA, Rusesabagina has largely, perhaps only known for his perceived heroism in the movie, been praised as a political activist, but genocide survivors who were at the hotel he managed do not honour him. Some, including two members of the Rwandan Senate, still have huge bills with them that he charged everyone, even water from a swimming pool.
In Rwanda, he is considered as a mere Hollywood hero and a criminal. As far as the foundation is concerned, no one in Rwanda has benefitted from it. In fact, one time while answering a question about Rusesabgina’s case, President Paul Kagame said, “Ask the Conrad Hilton Foundation what he did with the $100,000 grant he [Rusesabagina] received.” A powerful American charity, Conrad Foundation graced his activities, but his days were numbered. The man was heavily guarded for long, but long arm of the law has a tight grip on him now.
FBI and the Belgian intelligence community had been trailing Rusesabagina for years. Investigations concluded the man was financing terrorists with dollars collected from innocent Americans. It was a matter of time. You can trust Kagame’s word: “We will get you, ” he promised some time back.
If found guilty, “he might be handed a life sentence, ” an official at RIB told Taarifa.