It’s Friday once again; and, although I missed last week’s instalment by a day (I had it done and dusted by Saturday…so, if you missed it I suggest ‘Google–ing’ it), I’m having a serious problem doing this weeks column.
Usually, I’m a font of complaints, idea’s and argument but, I don’t know whether it’s the weather, I can’t, for the life of me, write a meaningful column this week.
And it’s as if there isn’t a lot to write about, no sir. I’m just suffering from the bane of any writer’s existence, Writers Block.
If you haven’t done any creative writing in your life and, sadly, that’s probably includes almost the entire Rwandan population, you’ll never understand the distress I’m in.
I mean, look at all the things I can easily go on-and-on about. Our troops marching home in triumph for instance. That would be a lovely topic.
I mean, here was a situation where two nations, both with grievances, decided to look at the bigger picture and, instead of strong-arming each other, embraced the idea of effective cooperation.
The FDLR were knocked out of their complacency (I heard how its soldiers had settled down, built homes, gotten wives and started farming), the Nkunda rebellion was brought to an end and regional goodwill was enhanced.
I’m particularly pleased about the last outcome because, as bad blood was generated, the citizens on both sides would have borne the brunt of any conflict.
There were rumours and innuendo generated all over the place in Rwanda, Congo and the rest of the world, particularly in the western media, that the RDF troops were in the Congo for underhanded reasons.
The biggest lie peddled being that Rwandan troops were in the Congo to ‘steal’ Congo’s wealth. While I know that Congo is vastly rich in minerals, I’ve never understood why we end up being accused of stealing Congo’s ‘wealth’.
I mean, if Congo is so wealthy, then why don’t they have roads? It doesn’t seem as if Congo has any ‘wealth’ to steal. But of course, if you’re meaning minerals…then you can say that they have something’s worth stealing.
So, did our troops steal a thing? Did we establish mini-mines?Did we cause a humanitarian catastrophe? Did we annex Nord-Kivu? Nope.
As per the agreement made by both heads of state, our troops were in and out in a couple of weeks. But I doubt whether we’ll see any Great Lakes ‘expert’ eat humble pie and say they were “wrong”.
But the troops return isn’t the only thing I could’ve written about. Like I’d said earlier on, there were a ton of things to write about.
My incredulity was palpable when I read about how the East African Community Secretariat was struggling to pay its dues because member states weren’t contributing the amounts they had agreed to.
I was shocked to find that certain nations couldn’t cough up a measly $4 million dollars. Sure we are poor nations but a paltry $4m shouldn’t be causing heart palpitations in our ministries of finance.
After all, no one forced us to make an East African Community at all. I mean, if you decide to buy a car, would it be of great shock to find that you have to buy fuel as well?
Maybe, and this is my own opinion, Rwanda’s enthusiasm for the EAC, and all it entails (including paying its yearly dues- as Minister of East African Affairs Monique Mukaruliza affirmed, refuting claims that Rwanda has not paid its obligatory annual financial remittances) isn’t felt by the other member states.
Because, and again this is my own basic judgment, if the EAC is such a priority, then the Secretariat shouldn’t be living, hand to mouth, figuratively. I would have written about any of the above but for one reason.
I’ve got a huge obstacle, the size of the City Plaza skyscraper (remember when it was the tallest building in the country), blocking all inspiration but lo, behold. I’ve actually finished this piece. I guess I wasn’t as blocked as I thought. Enjoy your weekend.