And Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.’ Luke 23:28
The European Union has announced that it won’t be observing Presidential Elections in Rwanda. I am happy to note that our elections pose no concern to the international community.
I longed for the day that Rwanda would enter a post-political era; The day when people of the world will think of Rwanda and think of business, tourism, culture and African Renaissance, The day when people like me; political analysts and human rights defenders will go out of business. Is that day here?
Say what you will, no African country ever sends observers to European or American electoral processes. The assumption here is that the country being observed is not trusted to autonomously conduct its democratic business in an effective and peaceful manner; that its politicians may call for violence, that the people aren’t politically mature, that the process may trigger public unrest. The presence of observers, therefore, is to warn competing factions that the world is watching; that any of their irresponsible actions will not go unchecked.
Except, at the moment, it is in all likelihood, the observers that need observing, it is their candidates and incumbents that are using hate speech, it is, in their elections that claims of undue influence are emerging, it is in their results that populists are carrying the day; it is in their countries that fascism seems on the rise. So the question as posed by Roman Poet Juvenal in his famous satire VI: ‘Who shall guard the guardians’? Or in this case who shall observe the observers?
Today, it is Africa and no one else, who should have every reason to worry. It is presumably Americans and Europeans that are making decisions that would seem irresponsible from our standpoint. Now, historically when Africans make irresponsible decisions, devastating civil wars occur; sometimes even regional wars; when Europeans and Americans make irresponsible decisions; World Wars occur and push our planet at the brink of destruction…
Explaining why they aren’t sending observers to Rwandan elections, the EU representative remarked: ‘Our thoughts are that there will be no surprises in Rwanda...’ Well Mr. Ryan, we are deeply devastated that this is boring for you, but you see, suspense is good in a fiction thriller; suspense isn’t good in a race, when your money is on one particular racer - usually Lewis Hamilton.
That’s right; there is no suspense in Rwandan elections, because when it comes to our livelihood, we do not leave our odds to chance; I wish I could say the same about Brexit, French elections or Trump’s next move…
But all is not lost, by the Rwandan God sleeping it Ibirunga Mountains, I shall make it up to you! There is a Rayon Sport - APR match coming up! Come with me, I’ll get the tickets so we can ‘Observe’ that together. I swear, I can’t tell who’ll win…
‘This is the end beautiful friend, this is the end my only friend, the end ♩ ♪ ♫’ - The Doors.