Rajab Kakyama responds to Andrew Mwenda

European walls to most Africans have eyes, ears and brains too. I am not suggesting that Mwenda was attended to with empty seats but that the atmosphere is quite unique from the usual African setting and one is apt to feel the presence of “sophistication” and “intellectualism.” It’s unfortunate that I am passing judgment on a person I hardly know. But when one listens to Andrew, the first time one is drawn to two aspects, 1) the sharpness and 2) the loudness in his voice. If one tends to easily come up to conclusions, then Andrew passes for a “wit thinker.” However, if you took the time and analyzed his statements, half of the time they fall short of this description.

In other words, Andrew tends to think with his “tongue” rather than the necessary brain muscle.
If religion does not need “preconditions” to germinate, why doesn’t he throw some seeds of Islam into the Vatican? Why doesn’t he throw other seeds of Christianity into Mecca? In the Quran, the Surahs that were revealed in Mecca are different in citation from those that were revealed in Madinah. This was because the people and the life-styles was different. Jesus had to plan for his journey into Jerusalem, why? I think this was a misguided thought that was largely irrelevant to the intended discussion.

Like he so accuses of the BBC’s failure to come up with “something new” in their ‘untold story’, Andrew finds himself in the same predicament when he has to “regurgitate” the RPF/Kagame mantra. Sometimes, he says it from the top, at times from the middle and other times from the bottom. But it remains the same. The only (major) achievement of the RPF/Kagame government is to have silenced the guns. As for peace, why would there be political exiles if dissent was tolerated? There are still political murders inside Rwanda. Those who flee from extrajudicial killings are at times followed.

Among those, is former Army commander. Kayumba, Karegeya (RIP), Rudasigwa and Joel Mutabazi, a former Rwandan army lieutenant who was extradited from Uganda on orders of the Rwandan government. After the murder of Karegeya, Mwenda and President Kagame have since “praised” the act. But no competent court inside and outside Rwanda had passed a sentence of “Death” for Karegeya. Karegeya was not shot in “combat”, he was murdered in a hotel room. So, who gives the right to kill in Rwanda? It is not in doubt that Rwanda has witnessed an impressive economic recovery since the 1994 genocide but only in that regard.

There is nothing magical about Rwanda comparing with the economies of its neighbouring countries. The average GDP of the East African countries is about 6%. With the introduction of UPE (regardless of the quality), the number of primary pupils in Uganda rose from about 500,000 to 7,000,000. The idea of one pupil – one laptop is not only unique to Rwanda- Kinyatta of Kenya has amplied it and on even a larger scale. “Consequently, most Rwandans do not read printed newspapers. Instead, they depend on the Internet for information and debate on public policy.” Another unguided statement from “the old man of the clan.”

What would inform this statement is that in Rwanda there are facilities that simplify/ease the use of the internet. One such factor would be the availability of electricity in almost all parts of Rwanda. Let us examine this fact. 80% of electricity consumption occurs in Kigali, where only 5% of the population live. For the rest of the population residing in the rural areas, wood remains the main source of energy. With the privatisation of Electrogaz and the development of future hydropower projects, Rwanda is looking to ensure an increased energy supply in the near future. However, only about 6% of the population is able to have access to the grid, mostly those living in urban areas.

According to the Rwanda Vision 2020, wood is the source of energy for 99 % of the population, which leads to massive deforestation and soil destruction. Actually, through the Mbarara-Gikondo transmission line, Uganda exports 132 KV of its meagre power to Rwanda. So the laid 4,000km of Fibre Optic Cable is an impressive gesture but to what purpose if the cables are to lay humbly in the ground without power supply. It also tells a lot about the planning of a country, what would have come first, the fibre cables or the power cables? Lastly, Rwanda’s revenues as a share to GDP is only 30%, what forms its 70%?

Source: Comments


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