Judging from the amount of progress in the social and economic development that Rwanda has known in the past few years, and the recent presidential elections, it would not be an exaggeration to assert that President Kagame is making history, and the world is watching.
Rwandans love him for a whole host of reasons, but the principle ones are that he has restored peace and security, that now Rwandans live together again in harmony, and that he has made Rwanda one of the fastest growing economies in Africa.
Some in the Western world are watching with some apprehension and trepidation. His philosophy of self-reliance and the imperative to restore dignity to the Rwandan people, and the African people in general, is anathema to the prophets of doom in the West.
They fear that in the next seven years, Rwanda under President Kagame will become a “bad’ precedent in Africa and a spoiler for those who want to perpetually exploit the resource-rich continent.
How else can you explain the barrage of malicious negative media reports before and after the recent presidential elections that were intended to discredit the President and tarnish the image of the country?
The reporters presented Rwanda as a success story and President Kagame as the architect of that success, but almost without exception, followed that with a caveat that his government had instituted a climate of repression, that human rights of Rwandans had been violated, that opposition leaders had been intimidated or even murdered, and a lot more hullabaloo.
I agree with my friend Mwenda, who aptly pointed out that the dominant section of the Western media do come to report on Africa with a set of assumptions and prejudices, i.e. that nothing good can/should come out of Africa.
We can excuse those reporters who rely on recycling information which turns out to be from dubious sources. But in the case of Rwanda, even those who were present on the ground ignored the reality and the facts and chose instead to hunt for extremist individuals who could confirm their prejudices, only to be referred to subsequently as experts.
You read all these reports and you cannot fail to discern a pattern, which in reality is nothing less than a conspiracy by those who cannot contemplate an African success story that says to the rest of the African people: “Yes, we can; and if we can, we all can”.
The recently leaked draft UN report is another weapon in their arsenal. It beggars belief how people in their right mind can make the most obscene and outrageous allegation that Rwandan troops committed an act of genocide against the Hutu population in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, over fifteen years ago.
Are these people aware that more than three million Hutus were repatriated and have been reintegrated into Rwandan society? If it weren’t for their malicious intent, these so-called investigators, together with the reporters with the same agenda, would be treated with the contempt they deserve.
Why do they not expose the plunder of the DRC by Western countries that has gone on unhindered for decades? What about the NGOs that see (and are sometimes part of) that exploitation and turn a blind eye because if partly constitutes the source of their funding?
As for those advocating for stopping aid to Rwanda, I can only say this: you remember the multitude of NGOs which rushed into Rwanda in the immediate aftermath of the genocide against the Tutsi, ostensibly to help. When they were given marching orders, they went home singing from the hymn book that those reporters are using!
But let me end with two simple messages: firstly, that at the end of the day, when all is said and done, it is the views of the Rwandan people that matter. And they made their position abundantly clear when they overwhelmingly voted for President Kagame. Secondly, President Kagame is unstoppable, and if you needed to know, he has more admirers than detractors.
No amount of mudslinging or outright slander will derail him or remove his untainted stature as liberator, patriot, visionary leader, and renowned international figure.