At last the wishes of majority Rwandese and as fate would have it, the majority of friends of Rwanda, and men and women of good will (that understand Rwanda in its rare context) had their wishes fulfilled when President Paul Kagame was inaugurated for another seven year term, a term that was emotional before when it was put to referendum, during campaigns and much more during inauguration. Unlike in 2010 inauguration which was ordinary, this was very extra ordinary and emotive and for many good reasons.
First, it was a term requested by Rwandese and for Rwandese for what President Kagame has delivered to them in unorthodox manner, and in the most difficult environment any leader can lead and so this was inauguration of hopes of Rwandese for more delivery of common good, one that has eluded many African economies.
Secondly, it was extra-ordinary because it allayed the fears of most, if not all, Rwandese who know where they have come from, where they are and don’t know where they will head without President Paul Kagame who is synonymous with new Rwanda which is his handiwork.
It was also extraordinary in that, one size fits all western advocates of imported democracy that ignores country specificities and context was rejected in the face of these very westerners and had literary nothing to say during this very inauguration for they underestimated the resolve, determination and resilient of Rwandese when it comes to making choices that will shape their destiny. They are unstoppable …ndandabara yanterubwoba… no war/fight that can scare me (us)…
It was even more extra-ordinary in that, the wishes of Rwandese were endorsed and co integrated with more than a third of African heads of state a kin to AU summit who came to endorse and learn from Rwandan model of democracy and thus development that works and has delivered common good to Rwandans beyond remotest expectations given our abnormal past and context.
The will of the people and not wish of doomsayers
If democracy is the expression of the will of the people, it couldn’t have been expressed better by Rwandese during campaigns, election and more so in inauguration. Western media with the neocolonial hangover that defines Africa and Africans as dependent entities who must conform to western established thesis of democracy which is in itself at crossroads for it has only served to entrench the interests of the elite at the expense of majority interest launched a vicious propaganda to shape and inform our election to no avail. To no avail for these very interests do all they do in their interest and have never, and will never serve African interests except to demonize and dehumanize them.
Good news is, they can’t vote. Secondly there are a few that pretend to speak for many which is not true. Also they keep on recycling words and tired irrational arguments about Rwanda, Rwandese and President Paul Kagame.
To these, Rwanda is another African country that must accord to the defined and predetermined status quo conducive for exploitation. We are not. These neocolonial media outlets have “pre-destination” and dead-end kinds of conclusions and pronounce these as if they are commandments of what African democracy should or should not look like.
Even in the west they espouse dissimilar democratic structures. So why not Africa and Rwanda specifically? And we told them loudly during and after campaign that we are not going to be students of failed and fake lecturers. What I am pretty sure is that, with better and consistent delivery results these doomsayers will shut up for reality is a verdict against which there is no appeal.
And out of ignorance of the person of President Paul Kagame, they have labeled him all sorts of characteristics which he will not be just because they wished him to be. As usual they misunderstand/mistake him for another African leader. He is not. If he was Rwanda would be another post conflict country out there (let alone post-genocide) .We Rwandese know him. Period. Other defines and constructs are mere distractions to which Rwandese don’t pay attention and are averse to. Exemplary leadership of President Kagame which turned round Rwanda miraculously is what Rwandese cling to, and no voice or force can deter this. It is who President Kagame is to Rwanda and Rwandese that has informed, defined and shaped unshakeable will of Rwandese in these and other elections yet to come. A will that will move mountains no matter which, and a will that wil win wars no matter which. This is what doomsayers don’t understand and are not about to.
Rwandan Model and Brand Kagame
Cukierman et al., (1994, 2004) argues that, “for a country’s development to be sustainable, requires developmental leaders of high caliber who will then maintain such a process for at least three decades, after which it will be self propelling, except for management of cyclic shocks”.
They further point out that, “poor public policy performance of African countries has been blamed on account of their short-termism or adhoc in nature, which is due to the divergence of interest between African leaders and their populations resulting from chaotic change in leadership of these countries, usually for worse.
These researchers then point out that, “chaotic changes in African leadership cost underlying economies growth rates of up to 3 percentage points and double the rate of project/policy failure relative to homogeneity”. They also point out that, chaotic Change in leadership fail to establish developmental states that respects their budget constraints, allocate resources, pursue policies that develop human capital, and encourage private sector savings and investments to generate productive employment and thus generate growth. That we have been blessed to have a developmental leader and a exemplary one on it is what has mobilized Rwandans, friends of Rwanda, and indeed over 30 heads of states active and retired to witness and endorse his inaugurations.
These are people who know and support Rwanadan model of democratic dispensation and thus her development model. But this as pointed out earlier is the handiwork of President Paul Kagame which has given rise to brand Kagame that is trusted and held very dear at home and abroad. That he was requested by the same colleagues that graced his inauguration to reform AU is a trust beyond trust. But trust is earned and is not forced nor coerced, or induced. President Paul Kagame’s trust was earned at home through his high leadership moral authority that has rebuilt Rwanda from ashes to a model country and a case study in development political economy.
As one diplomat friend of mine who was present at the inauguration was later to comment “I attended a few campaign rallies, and now this inauguration of your President, but the attendance of so many heads of states is strong statement..” A strong statement of the exemplary leadership of President Kagame and respect, trust as well as admiration he attracts both at home as well as abroad. This earned him another term and other terms ahead.
Note: when aired my views about exemplary leadership and rare qualities of President Paul Kagame some time back, it is not an assignment or sycophancy for am above that, and it doesn’t work in Rwanada anyway. As schooled Professor in my own right, and one who has known President Kagame long enough, work with and for him in government, I was speaking from my heart to my Rwanadan compatriots of the person many have not had a the same privilege to work with. But what I write are facts that speak for themselves, and Prof. Nshuti only structures these in his articles as a researcher and a writer; ready to defend these as a professorial duty and obligation.
By Professor Manasseh