Reference is made to Louis Gakumba’s article, “Are we there yet?” (The New Times, February 11).
No one can quarrel with the goal of the Rwandan state ensuring equitable access by citizens to public services. But how, in a free market, do you propose prohibiting individuals from using their own means to build flamboyant villas, and even castles, if they wish? Unless you propose penalising success to push for equality of outcomes rather than of access to public services.
That kind of enforced socialist that punishes success hasn’t worked anywhere it has been attempted, as it invariably only pushes everyone to the lowest common denominator: impoverishing the hard workers without lifting up the welfare levels of the less able.
Were such a policy to be tried here, our country’s exemplary economic growth that has pulled over a million people from poverty over a period of about five years would lose steam. Don’t forget that the construction industry, which has been expanding on average at about 18% per year over the last 10 years, is driven mostly by a relentless development in private housing.
This activity is helping to put a lot of francs into lots of unskilled workers’ pockets enabling them to buy goods and services that have continued to buoy our economy. And so, let’s not even think of doing anything that might discourage the continuing compound growth in private housing construction if we are not to kill off the goose that has been laying our golden eggs!
Mwene Kalinda, Rwanda