Tighten road safety measures

LIKE ELSEWHERE around the world, carnage on the Rwandan roads has cut so many people’s lives so short and caused pain and anguish to family and friends. 

LIKE ELSEWHERE around the world, carnage on the Rwandan roads has cut so many people’s lives so short and caused pain and anguish to family and friends. 

Last week, at least 15 people died on the spot when a bus driver tragically swerved into the lane of an oncoming taxi in Gatsibo District, a crash that reminded the nation of the dire consequences that we suffer when we disregard traffic rules.

Speeding, drink driving, unauthorised driving, unroadworthy vehicles, speaking on phone or texting while behind the wheel are among the major causes of road accidents. Indeed if we cared to respect traffic rules we could avoid the majority of the accidents.

It is, therefore, commendable that police has stepped up its presence on major highways with view to enforcing traffic rules. But even more significant is the decision by a high-level meeting last week to devise new ministerial instructions that would help curb road accidents. These efforts must be fast-tracked; every effort must be made to enforce traffic discipline because we cannot afford recklessness on our roads.

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Eid Mubarak

TODAY, MUSLIMS around the world mark Eid El Fitri, the day on which they conclude the holy month of dawn-sunset fasting and praying. Eid is about celebration, it’s about sharing joy and a meal, it’s a day for family reunions and giving to the vulnerable. It’s also a time for Muslims to reflect and recommit to their faith and unity but also to seek to live in harmony with the rest of the community and help make the world a better place. 

In Rwanda, Muslims, like the other citizens, have a lot to celebrate and to look forward to. Never have the Rwandan Islamic community played a more meaningful role in the affairs of their country.

The past regimes had practically institutionalised discriminatory tendencies against Muslims, but the country’s liberation twenty years ago did not only eliminate this form of segregation but also gave Rwandan Muslims equal rights as the other citizens. 

Eid El Fitr should be an opportunity for Muslims in Rwanda and indeed anywhere in the world, and their neighbours from other faiths, to recommit to peace and unity and work towards leaving the world a better place. In particular, it should be an opportunity for those caught up in deadly conflicts such as the ongoing crises in Central African Republic and Gaza to abandon violent means and seek peaceful settlement of existing grievances.

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