Why Rwandans care about dynamics across the region


Rwandans in Uganda turned up in big numbers to cast their vote on Thursday. File


RE: “Rwandans should celebrate their shared aspirations” (The New Times, August 7). Mwene Kalinda, you have put out an outstanding riposte around Rwanda’s indefatigable zeal for self-determination to Western naysayers. From across the border, friends and well-wishers of a reborn Rwanda applaud your country’s shining example to the rest of Africa. Needless to say, I am an avid fan of #TeamPK.

You, our dear brothers and sisters, are none other than a Phoenix — a truly charred one too —fluffing her feathers from a sordid heap of inferno ashes. The apogee awaits Paul Kagame’s spaceship. And something deep inside tells me he will supersede all expectations while scaling even greater heights in the noble company of a very respectable citizenry, very well disciplined and nicely cultured.

We, your neighbours, hope to tag along in your slip stream as you trail blaze a new socio-economic-political path, a path curved out of sheer grit and brawn, a steadfast sense of national pride, and, above all, one great leader at the helm.

Uganda cheers you on. Bravo!

Ggwanga Mujje


Thank you, good friend. Nothing would please the overwhelming majority of my fellow Rwandans than to see a prosperous region in which all of our countries’ people are at peace within their borders and in active engagement with their brethren across the borders.

The majority of today’s Rwandans are returned former exiles, whose flight from our country was in successive waves starting from 1959 to 1994. Many of us saw our formative years in many neighbouring countries that we called home for decades.

The intimate human (including familial) and other attachments we have to our respective countries of former refuge means that we follow very closely developments in each of our neighbouring countries more than people from our neighbouring countries follow developments beyond their own borders.

Which is why to us what happens in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, or Burundi is not something of mere academic interest. It concerns us dearly, and we always hope that the kind of problems Rwanda has experienced never visit our brethren across any of our borders.

Beyond these human considerations, we are also fully conscious of the fact Rwanda is not an island in and of itself, but truly a part of the main. Our security, peace and prosperity require similar conditions within our neighbours. We, therefore, fervently hope and pray that such security, peace and prosperity prevail all across our region.

Mwene Kalinda