Let the drones fly

Editor, I usually agree with the writer but on these drones, I don’t see why we should have these guys over our heads all the time. What interest do we have as a country? Do you know the danger that comes with them-either on the military or civilian side?
Rwanda is set to host the world's first airport for drones, with plans already underway to construct the 'droneport' in Musanze. (Net photo)
Rwanda is set to host the world's first airport for drones, with plans already underway to construct the 'droneport' in Musanze. (Net photo)

Editor,

RE: “You dare, you win. You think big, you win” (The New Times, October 6).

I usually agree with the writer but on these drones, I don’t see why we should have these guys over our heads all the time. What interest do we have as a country? Do you know the danger that comes with them—either on the military or civilian side?

Mwakenya

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My immediate, kneejerk reaction was to concur with Mwakenya. But on closer reflection I then asked myself, with all the surveillance satellites up there operated by almost all the major military powers what don’t they already know?

Drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles, operated over our territory by or on behalf of a hostile foreign power can provide sensitive intelligence of a security nature that is potentially valuable to adversaries. But in reality we don’t have much we need or want to hide.

The benefits we can derive from the drones far outweigh the potential risks, and this latter can also be minimised by close control and oversight both for national security and population safety.

I say, let them fly.

That said I couldn’t help but smile wryly at a number of points in Mr. Joseph Rwagatare’s interesting article. For most Rwandans of our parents’ generation anywhere beyond Rwanda and the neighbouring countries many got to know as refugees are another planet.

The overwhelming majority would have no idea of the earth’s place as a stellar planet among many, nor that our sun is just a small part of a much large galactic system, itself part of a number of galactic clusters and other material that altogether comprise an integrated universe.

Another point that made me smile was the idea that Hervé Ladsous’ drones in the DR Congo were supposedly intended to prevent “meddlesome Rwandans from causing mischief in eastern DRC”.

The idea that one can cause mischief in a place whose lawlessness is already off the charts is as fanciful as thinking you can increase a bush fire’s intensity by throwing a lighted match on it, or that you can make Nyabarongo overflow its banks by pissing in it.

Mwene Kalinda

 

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