By David Himbara
When Patrick Kayumbu Mazimhaka Died, RPF Said Nothing – In Kagame’s Rwanda, People Cannot Even Mourn The Dead. Farewell Patrick, A Gentleman, Scholar, And First Rate Political Leader.
Dear Patrick, farewell son of Kayumbu, and a great Rwandan patriot. Patrick, you led a distinguished life on planet earth – for much of your life from 26 April 1948 to 25 January 2018. Here are the highlights of your accomplishments, dear brother:
You pursued your undergraduate studies at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda. You obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology – you also received a Master of Science degree in the same field. Soon you were appointed the Head of Department of Geology in the same University. Later, you moved to Kenya and subsequently relocated to Canada.
You were one of the RPF founders and became its first Commissioner for External Relations. In 1993, you were elected the vice-chairman of RPF, a position you held until 1998. You headed various ministries, including the minister in the presidency under President Bizimungu. In July 2003, you became the deputy chairperson of the African Union Commission until February 2008.
Thrown away by Kagame
From there, dear Patrick, Kagame trashed and dumped you onto the sidelines. There was no space for you in Kagame’s Rwanda. You were forced to withdraw from public life. But you retained your dignity. You read and wrote – hopefully we shall read your memoir on the eventful life you led.
Respect outside Rwanda
You were much respected outside Rwanda, Patrick. You became an independent consultant in security studies, with a particular interest in Africa. You became Chairman of the Board of Advisors of The Brenthurst Foundation based in South Africa.
We will always remember you brother
Patrick, you will never be forgotten. You were such a wonderful role model as far back as our refugee camps of Nshungerezi and Nakivale. You inspired us as an elder brother when you joined high school and later on, university. Still you persisted, becoming an exemplary leader. Hateful Kagame will never take away your legacy brother. May you rest in eternal peace.