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The Wise Advisor – “Dancing in the Glory of Monsters”, Jason Stearns

August 20th, 2011 · No Comments · Africa, Congo, Politics, Power, Rwanda

The cacophony became so bad that Vice President Kagame had to intervene on several occasions. Once he convened the leadership in Kigali and told them an anecdote about a king. “The monarch had a wonderful advisor who saved him many times,” he told his audience. “As a reward, one day he told his advisor that he could make one wish that he would grant him without condition. The advisor told him:‘I have but one simple request. When I want to tell you something, can I whisper it in your ear?’ The king, baffled by the request, granted it immediately. From then on, whenever there was an important decision to take, the advisor would go up to the king and whisper banalities in his ear—he talked about the weather or what the cook would make for dinner—and the king would nod. The advisor would then go and tell the court that the king had agreed with his recommendations regarding national policy.”

Kagame then thundered, wagging his finger. “Some of you fools come and see me here in Kigali, just to say hello and ask about my family! Then you go and tell the rest that Kagame agrees with your decision on this or that matter.” He banged his fist on the table. “ I will have none of this!”

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