Observer missions: Stick to the election agenda

Right now the country is teeming with electoral observer missions: there is the European Union’s Electoral Observer Mission (EU EOM), the East African Legislative Assembly, the East African Community – separate from the EALA, Comesa, the African Union; and from the home base, a civil society observer group, and most naturally, the Rwanda National Electoral Commission.

Right now the country is teeming with electoral observer missions: there is the European Union’s Electoral Observer Mission (EU EOM), the East African Legislative Assembly, the East African Community – separate from the EALA, Comesa, the African Union; and from the home base, a civil society observer group, and most naturally, the Rwanda National Electoral Commission.

These are groups, mostly from outside as can be seen, that have come into the country to carry out the great noble job of observing the parliamentary elections.

It is apparent, however, that for some missions, they came not to be content with being passive observers, but to stir up things a bit so that there can be some controversy to chortle over and write home about.

Else what can one say about the controversy surrounding cabals within the European Union’s Electoral Observer Mission, seeking other things other than observation?

Rwanda is a free country; you want to find out whether people are intimidated or unhappy, you don’t hide under “observer missions”.

‘Core Team’, ‘Long Term Observers’, and other teams and terms within the main observer missions should observe the rules of the game.

One just wonders whether there is something else they are looking for, these people who have come in such big droves to witness an election that has never excited even the least alarm that there are gross malpractices feared.

It is the credibility of these observer missions that suffer, and the office of the Chief Observer should act firmly against anything that might eventually put their team’s input under question as to the moral authority the team derives to give an untinted election account when everyone knows they were squabbling over other non-election matters.

It is an ironic twist of fate that Rwanda is turned upside down by people looking for something to fault it with; whether it is security or governance issues; and since there is basically nothing to accuse it of, then some would be so bold as to accuse it of being too peaceful or organised for their liking.

So, they will go to great lengths to prove something. We do recognise and welcome the contributions from all stakeholders assisting Rwanda in its endeavours to cut a comfortable path for all its citizens; but knowing that there are also many detractors who wish ill for Rwanda, every care must be taken to minimize their chances of harming our people.

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