EAC should stick to their stance on used clothes

RE: “Rwanda maintains tough stance on used clothes” (The New Times, February 19). Why should Harry Sullivan tell what is best for us? He seems to be saying our decisions will hurt us more than what he stands for. Why then does he even have to waste his time on us? It is time we decide we have had enough of Good Samaritans.
Vendors and prospective buyers sort used clothes in Rubavu’s Mahoko market. File
Vendors and prospective buyers sort used clothes in Rubavu’s Mahoko market. File

Editor,

RE: “Rwanda maintains tough stance on used clothes” (The New Times, February 19). Why should Harry Sullivan tell what is best for us? He seems to be saying our decisions will hurt us more than what he stands for. Why then does he even have to waste his time on us? It is time we decide we have had enough of Good Samaritans.

I will really not have it when any of the EAC member states give in on this unwarranted pressure and abandon a noble cause. It is tantamount to giving up your individual self, your dignity. To allow to be decided for, that is no less bondage. Giving up on our decision means telling eleven budding textile manufacturers in Rwanda that give real jobs to Rwandans — making dignified products for Rwandans — to go to hell. The United States should take its used clothes to goodwill or give them to homeless people—they have a lot of them.

We should be learning: Whenever I see “Rwanda signed bilateral agreement with the U.S.”, I replace bilateral with unilateral. There will never be a truly bilateral agreement between Washington and Kigali or Kampala and Washington. It is always unilateral and I hope everyone knows that. This is the reason why we must trade within ourselves more.

We can at least treat each other as equals. We have the market, we are the market. We must decide. It might be hard at first, but it will exponentially get easier. If we do not trade within ourselves, we will continue to be subject to external forces — whose main objective is to exploit us and at the same time divide us — bigger than us.

Trading within ourselves would strengthen our political ties and the way we view each other. Not doing so will keep us divided like we do not share a border, let alone a continent.

Do you think European countries would be at ease with each other were it not for the EU? Another war would as well have happened. Look at how EU countries view Turkey for the fact that it is a member.

 

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