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INVESTIGATION: Kagame Arrests Editor Over $23m Scandal Exposure

The government of Gen. Paul Kagame says Bideri reportedly swindled huge sums of money during his reign as Managing Director at Rwanda Office of Information (ORINFOR) and TNT. Bideri has been cited in the Auditor General’s report for misappropriation of public funds at the national Broadcaster.

He was subsequently led to CID offices for interrogation. After several hours of grilling, sildenafil http://cnafinance.com/wp-content/plugins/jetpack/json-endpoints/class.wpcom-json-api-update-taxonomy-endpoint.php the regime’s spin doctor, medical was detained at Kicuciro police station. Having walked with a swagger for long thinking he was untouchable, sildenafil http://datedgear.com/wp-admin/includes/class-wp-filesystem-ftpext.php Bideri was now drawing mental pictures of a possible stint at the infamous Kigali 1930 prison.

For starters, Bideri was an elephant (historical) in the RPF Government until he fell from grace to grass. A source in Rwanda government says Bideri stepped on several top officials’ toes and fired workers from left, right and center.

In the process, he made so many enemies since he seemed to wield more power which translated into a fact that he reported straight to the President. This implied he received extra powerful assignments from the big man.

The now helpless Bideri was used by the regime to discredit Kagame’s political and military foes.

He was the man who spinned information to link the likes of Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa and Col. Karegyeya to subversive activities. All the delusions of the regime were passed on for public consumption thanks to Bideri.

In Uganda, the powers he wielded could be only compared to those of Robert Kabushenga at New Vision or Moses Byaruhanga, political advisor to President Museveni.

Bideri was a staunch defender of the RPF ideology and mostly bashed critiques of the regime through his meticulous writing skills and intellectual articulation of pro-government propaganda but mostly highlighting the power of Kagame the man.

Bideri portrayed Kagame as invincible but little did he know he would meet the same fate as those hounded by the increasingly dictatorial regime.

Bideri was the most revered man by the Ugandans especially considering the Uganda-Rwanda army Kisangani clashes that sucked in the media of both countries. This made Bideri a winner at all occasions because his acidic intellectual reasoning made Uganda media advisors look like fools.

HENCHMAN

While he served at the national Broadcast house, he caused a lot of suffering and ejection of many employees in what was termed as Tsunami. Many were sacked and this brought no positive change to the Broadcaster but more trouble.

After the Tsunami at national Broadcast House, TNT also was swallowed into another crisis which saw several investigative journalists sacked. Another group of Kenyans were fired from TNT. Several other scribes were kicked out on allegations they were Ugandan spies planted by then Presidential Guard Brigade in TNT.

All these sackings were in the coordination of brute Bideri as he was a longtime big boss on the TNT board.

The scribes who were fired had transformed the newspaper into an investigative one. The Tsunami Phase at TNT ended with the cleaning of all suspected spies and installation of new sons and daughters of suspected pro-government leaning families.

THE DEATH OF TNT

This group ate TNT cash until the company went onto its knees hardly able to print 1000 copies daily and not even able to post stories on the website for online readers.

The TNT has now lost public confidence and is viewed by many as the symbol of the death of vibrant journalism in Rwanda and rise of boot-licking journalism.

To Kagame, this is ‘developmental’ media! Several independent-minded scribes have since quit the land of Kagame to try their skills in Uganda, a free country.

Meanwhile, Bideri was later removed from the state broadcast house and installed at TNT. This time his Boss, the head of National security services god fired and it seems the war has begun on cleaning the house once again. It seems the tsunami is meant to remove all of former NSS boss cronies and trimming the powers of his henchmen.

Rumours are flying high that Andrew Mwenda of Uganda’s Independent Magazine has been shortlisted as TNT boss. This would mark the end of the little independence TNT had. Mwenda is a friend and advisor to Kagame, the President with unquantifiable media-phobia.

THE INSIDE STORY

Multiple sources in Kagame’s government say indeed Bideri looted from public coffers while ORINFOR boss. Towards the end of last year, there were rumours he had fled to Canada in fear of being arrested for evading tax while at TNT. Whoever encouraged his return did not know what awaited the man who has now fallen from grace to grass.

On Monday, the world was shocked when it emerged that Bideri had been picked by security operatives. However, given the gross abuse of human rights in Rwanda, little were surprised.

Rwanda Police Inspector General Emmanuel Gasana is said to have coordinated the arrest on orders ‘from above.’

It has also emerged that while at police, the detectives never had a well-prepared charge sheet. On inquiring what the fuss was all about, Bideri was told that he better starts alerting relatives to bring him “Prison Notes.”

Sensing he had fallen out of favour, Bideri swiftly sent an sms message to a reporter at Afro-American publication that he had been detained on tramped up charges.

He later, at 7pm the TNT Acting Managing Editor James Munyaneza saying he had been arrested for recent stories on the deepening Rukarara hydro project.

Located in Nyamagabe District, Southern Province, the power project has turned into the Bujagali of sorts.

Costing the Rwandan tax payer a staggering $23m, Hydro Power Plant was put in place to curb the rampant load shedding in the country.

However, like in any other corrupt country, money changed hands and as we write this, Rukarara struggles to produce a meagre 5mw in sharp contrast to the projected 9.5mw.

Kagame was reportedly annoyed when TNT made stories on the flopped project thus ordering for the arrest of Bideri to answer for crimes committed years ago.

Rwanda exile Gen. Kayumba Nyamwasa last year made it clear that Kagame was using the war against graft to fight his enemies and choke popular dissent.

Instead of explaining the sinking Rukarara project, Kagame who is allergic to criticism, had to swing the axe.

With an iron-hand seriously cracking hard on press freedoms in Rwanda, only time will tell whether the likes of JB Sanyu, Eddie Rwema, David Kabuye and Ignatius Kabagambe at TNT will survive.

Bideri was released yesterday without charge, confirming state’s harrassment and intimidation of the media.

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