The government has its work neatly cut out for itself these days. Any time government is mentioned, it is no longer as some gigantic and inscrutable monolith without a life of its own.The country of Rwanda is not the administration; it is opinion leaders, church leaders, any single or several leaders of any group of people. It also includes you and me, and there we have a neat basket of people who make up what is called government.
There is a lot of ignorance about many things amongst our population, and sometimes it is hard to hear that in this age of understanding, enlightenment and science—with the keyboards of the internet and the universe at out finger tips—there are still beliefs in our society which are nothing more than tall tales passed down by tongue to ear.
This sad problem some of us have was highlighted recently when peoples belonging to a certain religious affiliation refused anti-malarial spraying in their homes because it went against their religion.
This is a country close to God and tolerant of many ways of life. There cannot be tolerance, though, for illogical claims. No matter which direction you pray towards, daily health and safety must be a top priority.
Yet this is not what we see today. Besides the refusal by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, there is another religious group, commonly called Abadaaki, which does not believe in any type of medication, be it modern or traditional.
There is also another superstitious belief that afflicts mostly rural areas, where residents allege that some evil spirit goes on the rampage demanding goats and money, raping women and spreading general mayhem. Even in schools, especially boarding schools, there are stories told of ghosts moving at night terrorising students by caning them and demanding total silence or else.
Some of these things are downright criminal. The true pity though is the lack of any real thought put into these beliefs. People will trust, without any empirical evidence, that their God will be happier if they reject any measures intended to keep them healthier and lengthen their stay on Earth.
It is incumbent upon everyone who has received the benefit of education to take it upon ourselves to enlighten the rest of the population that has unfortunately not had the benefit.
The alternative is believing in a God that wants you to die early, prematurely and unnecessarily.