RE: “City authorities reassure businesses over road closures” (The New Times, August 2).
The basic ethos of governance in today’s Rwanda is citizen involvement, not unilateral imposition of rules from on-high.
This governance stance is reflected in such practices as Umushyikirano, the President’s regular citizen outreach visits to interact and consult with citizens in the furthest corners of our country, Umuganda (which is not only about collective communal work but also citizen consultations), Imihigo, or the extensive consultations we have engaged in prior to our constitution’s development and revision, just to name a few.
The essence of democracy is dialogue and consultation. Imposing decisions that fundamentally affect the interests of many without even the slightest attempt to consult with them (if it is agreed that the proposed administrative step is necessary, work out ways to minimise the negative impact of such decisions), is contrary to that ethos and harks back to a period we thought—rightly in most cases—we have left behind for good.
I hope the City authorities understand that Kigali residents are their primary constituents, and that they should not be treated like children who can be ignored while adults (the authorities) make whatever decisions they consider to be in the children’s interest without bothering their little minds too much with explanations.