President Kagame's inauguration: A national and international statement

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President Kagame signs after taking the presidential oath in the company of First Lady Jeannette Kagame (left) at Amahoro National Stadium in the capital Kigali on Friday, August 18.

The wish of vast majority of Rwandans and friends of Rwanda prevailed when President Paul Kagame was last week inaugurated for another seven year term.

It was a long and emotional journey that started with millions of petitions, a referendum, celebration-style campaigns and climaxed with a colourful inauguration.

Unlike the 2010 inauguration, which was by all means ordinary, this was very extra ordinary and emotive and for many good reasons.

First, this was a term requested by Rwandans and for Rwandans for what President Kagame has delivered to them in an unorthodox manner, and in the most difficult environment for any leader and so this was an inauguration of hopes of Rwandans for more delivery of common good, one that has eluded many African economies.

Secondly, it was extra-ordinary because it allayed the fears of most if not all Rwandans who know where they have come from, where they are, but were oblivious and apprehensive of a future without President Paul Kagame who is synonymous with the new Rwanda, which is his handiwork.

It was also extraordinary in that, one-size-fits-all western advocates of imported democracy that ignores country specificities and context was rejected in the face of these very westerners and had literary nothing to say during this very inauguration for they underestimated the resolve, determination, and resilience of Rwandans when it comes to making choices that will shape their destiny.

They are unstoppable …ndandabara yanterubwoba… no war/fight that can scare me (us)…they chanted thought the campaign rallies.

It was even more extra-ordinary in that, the wishes of Rwandans were endorsed and co-integrated with more than a third of African heads of state who were in Kigali to witness the historical ceremony.

Will of the people

If democracy is the expression of the will of the people, it couldn’t have been expressed better by Rwandans during the campaigns, elections and more so during inauguration.

Western media with the neocolonial hangover that defines Africa and Africans as parasitic entities who must conform to western-established thesis of democracy, which is in itself at crossroads for it has only served to entrench the interests of the elite at the expense of majority interest launched a vicious propaganda to shape and inform our election to no avail.

To no avail, these do all they do in their interest and have never, and will never serve African interests except to demonize and dehumanize them. Good news is, they can’t vote.

Secondly there are a few that pretend to speak for many which is not true. Also, they keep recycling words and tired irrational arguments about Rwanda, Rwandans and President Paul Kagame.

To these, Rwanda is another African country that must conform to the predefined and predetermined status quo susceptible to exploitation. We are not!

These neocolonial media outlets have “pre-destination” and dead-end kinds of conclusions and pronounce these as if they are commandments of what African democracy should or should not look like.

Even in the west, they espouse dissimilar democratic structures. So, why not Africa and Rwanda in particular? And we told them loudly during and after campaigns that we are not going to be students of failed and fake lecturers.

What I am pretty sure is that, with better and consistent delivery of results, these doomsayers will shut up for reality is a verdict against which there is no appeal.

And out of ignorance of the person of President Paul Kagame, they have labeled him all sorts of characteristics which he will not be just because they wished him to be. As usual they misunderstand/mistake him for another African leader. He is not.

If he was Rwanda would be another post conflict country out there (let alone post-genocide).We Rwandans know him. Period.

Other constructs are mere distractions to which Rwandans don’t pay attention and are averse to. The exemplary leadership of President Kagame, which turned round Rwanda miraculously, is what Rwandans cling to, and no voice or force can deter this.

It is who President Kagame is to Rwanda and Rwandans that has informed, defined and shaped the unshakeable will of Rwandans in these and other elections yet to come- a will that will move mountains and win wars no matter what comes in the way. This is what doomsayers don’t understand and are not about to.

Rwandan Model, Brand Kagame

Cukierman et al., (1994, 2004) argues that, “for a country’s development to be sustainable, it requires developmental leaders of high caliber who will then maintain such a process for at least three decades, after which it will be self propelling, except for management of cyclic shocks”.

They further point out that, “poor public policy performance of African countries has been blamed on account of their short-termism or ad hoc in nature, which is due to the divergence of interest between African leaders and their populations resulting from chaotic change in leadership of these countries, usually for worse.

These researchers then point out that, “chaotic changes in African leadership cost underlying economies growth rates of up to 3 percentage points and double the rate of project/policy failure relative to homogeneity”.

They also point out that, chaotic change in leadership fail to establish developmental states that respects their budget constraints, allocate resources, pursue policies that develop human capital, and encourage private sector savings and investments to generate productive employment and thus generate growth.

We have been blessed to have a development-oriented leader and an exemplary one which to me, is what mobilized Rwandans, friends of Rwanda, and dozens of heads of state active and retired to witness his inauguration.

These are people who know and support the Rwandan model of democratic dispensation and thus her development model. But this as pointed out earlier is the handiwork of President Paul Kagame which has given rise to brand Kagame that is trusted and held very dear at home and abroad.

That he was requested by the same colleagues that graced his inauguration to reform AU is a trust beyond trust. But trust is earned and is not forced nor coerced, or induced.

President Paul Kagame’s trust was earned at home through his high leadership moral authority that has rebuilt Rwanda from ashes to a model country and a case study in development political economy.

As one diplomat friend of mine who was present at the inauguration was later to comment “I attended a few campaign rallies, and now this inauguration of your President, but the attendance of so many heads of states is a strong statement…”

A strong statement of the exemplary leadership of President Kagame and respect, trust as well as admiration he attracts both at home as well as abroad.

This earned him another term and other terms ahead.

Note: when I aired my views about the exemplary leadership and rare qualities of President Paul Kagame some time back, it was not an assignment or sycophancy for am above that, and it doesn’t work in Rwanda anyway.

As a schooled Professor in my own right, and one who has known President Kagame long enough, work with and for him in government, I was speaking from my heart to my Rwandan compatriots of the person many have not had the same privilege to work with.

But what I write are facts that speak for themselves, and Prof. Nshuti only structures these in his articles as a researcher and a writer. Ready to defend these as a professorial duty and obligation.

Prof. Nshuti Manasseh.
Economist and Financial Expert.

Email: nshutim@gmail.com