After reading Dr.Susan Thompson’s analysis on what she thinks is good for Rwanda’s future dispensation, one thing struck me. That, there is a sharp difference between what some of these so-called analysts say and the reality on the ground.
One can even conclude that the sharp difference between what such analysts say and the reality obtaining in Rwanda is actually similar to comparing night and day.
One can manage to extract some glaring inaccuracies and gross misrepresentation of facts about Rwanda from Dr.Thompson’s latest analysis. For instance, Dr.Thompson says that, the current policies championed by government could be setting the stage for another round of political violence.
Dr.Thompson needs to look around Rwanda’s neighbours to appreciate how Rwandans have successfully moved away from their dark past. In a region that is yet to register real gains in reconciliation and sustainable peace, Rwanda can now be said to be an island of stability, in stark contrast to a region that is yet to fully confront the dark forces of impunity, accountability and rule of law.
It is equally wrong for Dr.Thompson to say that a vast majority of Rwandans are politically marginalised. Dr.Thompson is clearly lost in the dark as the facts on the ground show.
A look at the country’s turbulent political history brings to the fore the fact that Rwandans are now, more than ever before, able to enjoy the fruits of wide ranging, home grown and unique policies that the current government has instituted to empower the citizenry to make their own decisions.
Dr.Thompson strangely questions the current government’s ability to manage Rwanda and its natural resources now and in the future.
One only needs to closely look at how the government embarked on a well-defined development path after halting the 1994 Genocide against Tutsi, to appreciate its capacity to manage Rwanda’s future dispensation.
As a student of African political history, I am yet to encounter any government in this part of the world that had to overcome the kind of challenges that the current government had to endure for the last 17 years and successfully delivered the kind of gains Rwanda has remarkably registered.
Dr.Thompson argues there is a high possibility, that Rwanda can be allowed to slide back to the brink of the chaos of the past.
As someone who calls herself an academician of African studies, she needs to understand, that far from it, such a thing would never happen, given the present socio-political dynamics.
For instance, the Rwandan people have moved on and institutions and structures have been put in place, in such a manner that a repeat of 1994 would simply never happen.
Indeed the scar among the international community’s psyche is just too much for such to happen. Further still, international investors are taking part in the massive reconstruction efforts costing millions of dollars every year.
That said, I highly doubt that such monies being pumped into the economy could at the same time be allowed to go down the drain.
How about the regional stakes? Rwanda is now firmly regarded as a regional showcase in peace building efforts. Rwanda’s security agencies are at the forefront in championing regional and continental stability while its leadership is outstanding in confronting, head on, various issues bedevilling the continent.
Quite simply, Africa cannot allow Rwanda to fall back into its ugly dark past.
How high are the national stakes? Very high indeed. The pace and effects of transformation has touched on all corners of the country.
Unlike before, when divisionism and other narrow considerations characterised the basis resource allocation, things are totally different now.
The rule of law has been established. Leaders are taken periodically to account. Delivery of basic services to the citizenry is done with aplomb, bearing testimony to the fact that citizens are not likely to buy into the idea of taking part in orgy of blood letting as it happened in 1994.
The author is an editor of The New Times