A FINANCE BLOG ,YOU CAN TRUST
Rwanda’s economic adversity should worry more than a third term
By Jean paul Ndindamahina, 07th September 2015.
The civil war and genocide came and destroyed everything that Rwanda an her people owned and that include a country’s infrastructure and human capital where Rwandans witnessed everything being destroyed by bombs and in only one hundred days, over one millions Rwandans were hacked to death by Rwanda’s political driven extremists.
Since the end of that war, Rwanda’s old ethnic conflict has been curbed down but still alive and well. Rwanda’s diaspora is still heavily divided on how they country is ruled. Some Hutu believe that there is no balance of power among Rwanda’s two main ethnics Hutus and Tutsis and while Tutsis believe that their long acquired freedom should not be taken lightly and for granted. In the last 20 years, under President Kagame’s leadership they have worked hard to prove to other Rwandans and international community that their human rights are inviolable and they have attempted to create together Rwandans society where both Hutus and Tutsis can come together and fight for a common cause.
Most Rwandans have viewed this idea as the best as it opposes the pre-genocide mentality where Tutsi citizen was degraded and viewed as creature with no value to life and a creature whose life was valued to no more than of life of snake and cockroaches. And as a result, the unite and peace, coexistence between Rwandans and currently being enjoyed by Rwandans, is mainly attributed to the leadership of President Paul Kagame who has brought an end to genocide and his rule has guaranteed social order and has helped the country to move on from civil war and focus on unite and development.
President Kagame’s leadership was a call for him in the difficult moments where dictatorship mentality and ability was a prerequisite for any Rwanda leader to bring together the whole Rwandan society that was very fragmented by civil war and genocide. Kagame’s leadership should not be confused with a democratic one because I believe without his feast rule, people of Rwanda would be still killing each other as it happened during Rwanda’s genocide and current Rwanda’s economic accumulation process is feasible because of that social order guaranteed by Kagame’s leadership.
Some Rwandans believe that his absence will be a disaster and a real threat to Rwanda’s current enjoyed peace and stability hence they want him to carry on with a third term. The only way Rwandans can ensure his leadership come 2017, it is to remove term limits in their country’s constitution and their petitions have already been considered by the Rwanda’s parliament that openly supports President Kagame’s continuing leadership. I have opposed this move because I believe it is undemocratic but at the same times it would be also undemocratic to oppose the will of people. Democracy is about the people and their choices and if Rwandans truly choose not to see President Kagame abandon them, there is a little a man can do thus what should worry us more, it is not Kagame’s third term in office but terrorism and financial adversity that the country may face.
Although President Kagame’s dictatorship has proved to be necessary for Rwanda and her people to be able to move on from civil war to economic development but there are those who view his dictatorship to be subjected to retaliatory action of which I oppose. There are some Rwandans who form political groups and whose aim is to take retaliatory action against Kagame’s government in order to reduce his legitimacy, his power in exchange of democratic alternative. I oppose because I believe that since Rwanda's politics is mainly built on ethnicity, after their action of overthrow Kagme’s dictatorial government, Rwandan and her people will undoubtedly face a new dictatorship and may be even worse than that of President Kagame.
These Rwandans political group aim nothing but political power. After the Kagame’s dictatorial government is overflown, these political groups mostly in exile are likely to form their own government in which absolute power would be concentrated in a dictator and his or her small clique and these group violence actions against President Kagame would only account for the diminishing the current Rwanda’s economic development and we cannot dismiss that a small error in keeping the current Rwanda’s social stability would lead to another ethnic cleansing.
I personally support leadership change but at the same time I support witnessing a poor country like Rwanda develop socially and economically. President Kagame’s leadership would lead Rwanda to be more economically developed in case his leadership purpose coming 2017 is equally shared among Rwandans and other financial institutions that support Rwanda’s economic programs. His leadership in a third term would only fail if its purpose is to solidify his absolute power and political patronage where those who support his third term may be more rewarded rather than widening up political participation while at the same time ensuring social stability and encourage economic progress as good development is that one that ensures certain rights and freedom and Rwanda’s opposition that ensures the progress of Rwanda’s stability and development should not be demonised.
However, Rwanda’s current stability and peace faces an external threat posed by some Rwandan opposition whose aim is to promote ethnic divisions and instability on Rwandan soil. These political affiliate members believe more in political power and thirstier in acquiring political office than seeing Rwanda and her people enjoying economic success and this kind of behaviour affects more Rwandans in diaspora who believe in leadership change and those citizen who live inside Rwanda are also affected by these Rwanda’s exiled political groups’ negative propaganda as most Rwandans struggle to overcome Rwanda’s economic challenges.
These exiled political groups ‘aim is to undermine Rwanda’s financial stability and damage Rwanda’s diplomatic relation with other nations as this would help them to be validated by their sponsors and as Rwanda’s economic stability is worsen, they would have more room to cause more violence and as you know violence would not make Rwanda’s economy grow and it would not prevent Rwanda’s financial nightmare from worsening or spreading hence my now views that Kagame’s third term in office should not matter to those who wish Rwanda well and President Kagame’s third term should come with a fresh thinking such as promoting the long term benefits of justice through the promotion of accountability and give more room to those who want to address their political and non-political grievances and Rwanda Government should use all Rwandan laws to protect rather than harass.
It is obvious clear that either Rwanda’s exiled opposition or the current Rwanda government don’t understand the rule of law hence the international community including UK, USA, France, China, Belgium, Russia you name them …rather than focusing solely on President Kagame’s third term in office, they should be more supportive towards Rwanda in achieving equality before the law and that is what most Rwandans need. All Rwandans would be happier to enjoy equality before the law and that would mean nothing but peace and where there is peace, there is a long term sustainable economic development.
A third term for Kagame would trigger unnecessary financial sanctions and that would punish more Rwandan people than Kagame himself. All Countries that support Rwanda financially should carry on doing so and avoid any temptation to impose any sanction as an automatic default response to Rwanda’s amending its constitution to allow President Kagame a third term. Any economic sanctions on Rwanda ends up affecting the already hangry citizens and sanctions would promote nothing but more radical groups and violence and those sanctions would end up turning Rwanda into a failed state which would make Rwandans lives be more miserable.
Rwandans are more optimists at heart that the continuation of Kagame’s leadership coming 2017 would bring genuine progress, peace and more economic success and not torment. Well, I wish that for all Rwandans and if Kagame’s third term in office is for their benefits and their choice then, the world should respect that choice because Rwandans wellbeing should be more taken into account than Kagame’s third term in office because whatever the decision to amend the constitution or not, the road ahead for Rwanda is not going to be short or smooth hence Rwandans should not be distracted by any short term decisions with short term benefits, they should think about their long term peace, stability and economic development than anyone’s third term in office.