Monday, October 13

The case for Kagame

Rwanda's president is much praised and much maligned. Ugandan columnist Andrew Mwenda makes the pro-Kagame case:
As the corruption drive gained momentum, Kagame turned to reducing the cost of patronage on his country. He cut down the number of districts from 103 to 36 and the number of regions from 12 to 5. He trimmed the size of cabinet down to 23. He withdrew official vehicles from government officials and cut down their mobile phone allowances. Kagame then turned to create the most innovative healthcare delivery system in Africa and beyond, and pushed money into mass primary education and scholarships for university education. Then he began a general beautification of the city that now makes Kigali one of the cleanest cities in the world.
And in response to critics of Kagame's authoritarianism...
If we analyse (and not moralise) Rwanda’s situation, we realise that Kagame’s actions are more a product than a cause of Rwanda’s democratic deficit. Rwanda does not have sufficient infrastructure for democratic politics as compared to Uganda and Kenya. Given its social structure (a large peasant population and a small percentage of educated urban middleclass) and its history of genocide (which decimated its already limited intellectual class by death or participation in genocide); Rwanda does not have the intellectual resources to effectively challenge Kagame. To his credit, Kagame has taken effective advantage of this to push through far reaching reforms in Rwanda.


Scarlett Lion said...

While Mwenda makes good points about Kagame, his constant Museveni = bad and Kagame = good equation is completely unfaltering and in my opinion undermines his analysis because blatant bias.

Ingina y'Igihanga said...

While you may be right if he had no facts to back his assertions, my opinion is that as long he states what is verifiable, then he should not be slighted.

And I, observing the Rwandan effort on the ground, can vouch for the commitment of government and its phenomenal success in the fight against corruption.

I wouldn't dare say the same for the Ugandan government.