Leaders are elected so they can make tough decisions

I would not want to be the devil’s advocate, but if we ever resort to seek Rwandan population’s opinion on whether to maintain temporarily or ban cagua, an overwhelming majority of the population would opt for maintaining it until our local industries are able to produce and market cheap textile products.
A second-hand clothes vendor at his stall. The ban of used clothes in the East African Community is aimed at promoting the region's textile and leather industries. / File
A second-hand clothes vendor at his stall. The ban of used clothes in the East African Community is aimed at promoting the region's textile and leather industries. / File

Editor,

RE: “EAC’s stand on secondhand clothes has nothing to do with inferiority complex” (The New Times, July 27).

I would not want to be the devil’s advocate, but if we ever resort to seek Rwandan population’s opinion on whether to maintain temporarily or ban cagua, an overwhelming majority of the population would opt for maintaining it until our local industries are able to produce and market cheap textile products.

I think we have to try to be realistic and keep our feet on the ground in everything we plan to do.

Enoch

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Except perhaps in Switzerland where referendums are organised on all kinds of policy choices and where such referendums can also be triggered by citizen signature drives that are able to attain certain minimum thresholds, in most countries it is the exclusive responsibility of government to choose the policy options they think are best for the country based on what they see as the greater good for the country after taking account of the pros and cons of each policy option.

Popularity of a policy set against its alternative does not signify it is better. If that was the case, demagogues would make the best governments. In reality, they rarely are.

You don’t govern by popularity polls, you get elected to make the necessary tough decisions that you believe to be in the best interests of your country.

You may then explain the basis of your decision to carry the people with you, but waiting to know where the wind is blowing before you make your own stand known is not leadership, it is nothing more than pandering to the opinion of the moment.

And lack of leadership never builds or advances a society. I am glad Rwanda’s leadership is made of sterner stuff and is never tempted to take what might seem to be popular in the short term at the expense of our country’s longer-term welfare.

Mwene Kalinda

 

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