Reference is made to the story “Rwanda begins work on EAC railway project”, (The New Times, September 10).
Today’s Rwanda never makes choices driven by emotional considerations. Its decisions and actions are determined by a clear understanding of what is in the best interest of its people and the cost-benefit analysis of the undertaking.
Had emotion been a factor in the decision-making process of the Government of Rwanda, we would now be embroiled in the DRC’s war, given the recent provocative and fatal bombings of Rwandan territory by an otherwise ineffectual DRC military egged on by the presence of Tanzanian and South African forces.
This characteristic Rwandan behaviour should have been driven home to you by now by the cool response of the Rwandan authorities to the inhumane expulsions of Tanzanian Banyarwanda. Kigali has focused primarily on welcoming the evictees, identifying their Rwandan origins (if they have any) and then finding practical ways to help them settle.
The only connection I can surmise the Kenya-Uganda-Rwanda railway project may have to Tanzania is simply the recognition by the three countries that Dar es Salaam is, for the moment, reluctant to accept the stepped up pace for integration the other EAC partners want. That, of course, is its sovereign right, as it is similarly the right of the three countries to move faster ahead and not wait for the stragglers.
When Dar es Salaam eventually feels ready, there is no reason it cannot join the pioneers in other regional projects that are no doubt also in the offing. In any case, in what way does the improvement of the Northern Corridor (an important issue for Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, Eastern DRC and even South Sudan) impinge on prospects for developing and improving comparable infrastructure projects for the Central Corridor?
Only the congenitally paranoid would discern any zero-sum problem in a situation where Rwanda, Uganda, Burundi, Eastern DRC, and even South Sudan gain greatly needed alternative links with the Indian Ocean.
Tanzania itself should, in fact, eventually benefit from this project, as would the rest of the EAC member states from a refurbished Tazara railroad and, therefore, better transport links between EAC and SADC.
Mwene Kalinda, Kigali
That is a fantastic project for Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya. It is a pity that at the time the world is looking ahead to being one village, some leaders still think like Stone Age village leaders who are still thinking in the politics of discriminating citizens based on their stereotypical appearance or background.