By: NATHAN MUGUME, 27 June 2015, THE NEW TIMES (RWANDA)
Recently, there were a couple of news items on Rwanda that featured in both local and international media. We had the bad and the good. One particular story caught my attention-the resignation of outspoken former lawmaker Connie Bwiza.
Like many other cases, her resignation carried the famous tag ‘personal reasons.’ Days following her resignation, we received the truth and reasons behind her resignation. Initially, I thought that the legislator had decided to throw in the towel due to personal reasons, after all, over fifteen years in parliament who wouldn’t think that she needed a break.
As usual the media had started setting the agenda, but the puzzle was incomplete. We remained in a state of uncertainty. We were still yearning for more answers when the leadership of the RPF-Inkotanyi, on whose ticket she was in parliament, revealed the actual reasons behind the resignation of the fallen lawmaker.
She had joined the bandwagon of individuals selling the ‘bad story’ to gratify personal interests. Selling the bad story has become the in-thing to attain personal interests and is a good example of how as individuals we try so hard to portray ourselves more than what we are. In countries like Rwanda where the leadership values collective gains, and works hard to serve fairly the interests of all the population, some individuals whose sole duty is to satisfy personal needs find it had to survive and operate under such a system.
It was good the party provided facts. In the absence of such facts, her case had started selling like any another ugly story about Rwanda. The myopic analysts parading as human rights crusaders had started scavenging on media reports that her resignation was linked to her views on the presidential term limits debate. They had started to glorify her as a victim of her opinions and views on presidential term limits within the ruling party- RPF.
Why should one stoop so low to sacrifice their moral character and core values? The answer is simple; this is what happens when people put personal interest first, then collective gain that benefits every Rwandan comes second or non-existent. Today, the RPF is credited for putting in place strong governance systems that ensure accountability.
Such systems have been pivotal in sieving Rwandans that were trusted with the responsibility to serve and rebuild Rwanda but instead created a mess. They are struggling to portray themselves as saints. They translate and equate accountability and transparency to harassment.
Selling the bad story is a suitable approach for them since they do not have any other justification for failing to settle in a politically stable and economically progressing country like Rwanda. Rwanda’s GDP has steadily grown at an annual rate of 7 percent.
Under the leadership of President Kagame, Rwanda has good governance systems making it a model for the continent in terms of good governance, transparency and accountability. This has also attracted foreign investors. Rwanda has invested heavily in protecting and guaranteeing the fundamental freedoms and universal human rights, laws have been revised to ensure there is flourishing press freedom.
I have not heard nor seen any one being harassed for speaking out their mind or sharing their ideas on issues of governance, economy and social welfare of Rwandans. Political space does not mean allowing and giving a platform to politics that promote divisionism. This type of politics has no space in Rwanda.
Rwanda’s leadership is open to constructive debates ranging from politics to economic and social issues. Keeping the current trend will enable Rwanda to continue experiencing development and economic growth thus paving its way into becoming a middle-income country.
The bad story is sustained and irrigated by a group of people in the west that continue to feign ignorance motivated by the failure to making a deep analysis that includes a larger context beyond what is being whispered in their ears by a few disgruntled individuals trying hard to save their boat from sinking. They are facing a desperate situation willing to grasp any opportunity irrespective of its worth.
How else would you describe their unholy alliance with Genocide fugitives and FDLR a terrorist group that is a sanctuary to a militia who committed atrocities during the genocide against the Tutsi?