National Aspirations, Democracy And a Peopleâ€™s Choice
â€œThe first duty of a man is to think for himselfâ€ JosÃ© MartÃ
Rwanda as a country has had inherent and uncompromisable interests to protect, particularly, those which are directly in line with the aspiration of its people. With its unique history dominated by tragedies, informs it to act extraordinarily, if it has to survive and thrive.
Recently, Rwandans in millions, have expressed their wish to amend the constitution for continuity of the achievements of their country after 2107. Despite this being within their constitutional rights and powers as stated in the article 2, we also saw some political actors opposing the will of the people of Rwanda, in the name of â€œDemocracyâ€.
Yes, the current constitution of Rwanda mentions about two terms of office. But as Howard Zinn said â€œProtest beyond the law is not a departure from democracy; it is absolutely essential to it.â€ In this line of thinking, I find it absolutely right, if the people of Rwanda find it as the best way to reach their aspirations and nobody should stand in their way.
In addition, as commonly known, democracy refers to the â€œgovernment of the people, by the people, for the peopleâ€. The subject of the talk here is: the consent, will and aspirations of the people of Rwanda to put in place a Government that will work for them. The subject matters is now, how and in what capacity? On this, it is not debatable neither questionable, it is within the powers and rights of the people of Rwanda to amend the constitution in the pursuit of what they want to be.
So, by amending the constitution, the people of Rwanda are perfectly in conformity with what democracy holds: They intend to propose to themselves a leadership to work for them.Â Again, I hope that anyone who intends to oppose this, still also remembers that the meaning of democracy did not change, if of course, it is not a double standard scheme against Rwanda.
However, as rightly put â€œno country is an Islandâ€, in this world of great uncertainties and growing inequalities. Like other nations, Rwanda has to listen and cooperate with other actors on a number issues pertaining to collective interests and or of mutual benefits.
Nevertheless, why is it that when aspirations of the people of Rwanda have to be achieved, there is almost always an opposite behavior by some political actors? Doesnâ€™t this represent some levels of compulsion, interference and or dissuasive arrogance?
In fact, Rwandans today, stand in front of two important values to consider: First, is to work on their national aspirations as a priority. Second, to cooperate with other nations is as well vital for Rwandaâ€™s integration into the globalization framework. This is why these two values remain important for Rwandaâ€™s political projections. But the choice of priority is retained by the people of Rwanda.
Nevertheless, I did not understand why some actors wish these two values to coexist in a â€œstepmother â€“ childrenâ€ relationship, rather than mingling and interacting as mutual and beneficial undertaking.
As observed in my earlier articles, the people of Rwanda see into President Paul Kagame their future and mind less about office term limits. Naturally minding about oneâ€™s future insinuates sticking on oneâ€™s survival. All this is based on terrific history Rwandans have endured for decades. Their history has taught them.
In other words, amending the constitution, Rwandans are sticking on their own future and more importantly on their own survival. This is inherent and irreversible because the past deplorable experiences taught Rwandans a lesson that nobody has understood better than them.
In those situations, they saw darkness when they were expecting light and nobody came with any help. So, where they are now is through their effort and have shown their determination to shape their future. This is in conformity with what Albert Einstein said â€œLearn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow.”Â But if I was Einstein, I would add on his words â€œwork for tomorrowâ€
When our colonial rulers decided to change the political system in 1959, thousands of hundreds of Rwandans were killed and others were forced into the exile. Subsequently, the installed regimes never ceased to engage into ethnic killings and sectarian practices, which finally led to the horrific genocide that claimed one millions lives, in one hundred days, in the face of international community. The aspirations and expectations of Rwandans were that, through the international cooperation, someone had to stop that. Unfortunately, nobody did.
When the Genocide happened in 1994, Rwanda cried out for help but received none. Rather, at the brink of defeat of the government that committed Genocide, genocidaires organized themselves in ALiR I & II and later in FDLR. These negative forces received extensive backing from some states to pursue the destabilization and their genocidal plan in Rwanda.
Worse, we all know a military operation that was arranged to prop up and evacuate genocidaires to find a haven in the neighboring country in the west in pretext of humanitarian intervention.
While we were still praising our heroes who liberated Rwanda and stopped Genocide; indictments were issued by foreign elements to hunt them down, while Genocidaires were enjoying all sorts of freedom in their countries and continue to enjoy releases by courts as well as soft penalties. This is basically unjust, unfair and embarrassing in the face of a society with a historical grief.
All these disappointments were handled by Rwanda with success, distinction and dignity, with President Paul Kagame at the fore front. Day after day, up to now, President Paul Kagame sacrificed as guarantor of peace, security, stability and growth. When Rwandans make their choice in this line to maintain their hope, no any other party has the right to intervene in a matter that concerns their future.
Yes, International cooperation is important but Rwandans are aware that, at different times in history, it has been silent when their lives and survival were at stake. However much, it is important; it canâ€™t compromise the future of a people. Negligence of peculiar and unique situations in some countries particularly Rwanda, is basically ignoring a reality.
Rwandans intend to amend the constitution to sustain their future and safeguard their own survival. As a wise people, Rwandans share a number of beliefs with other people in the world, at least, with one of Robert T. Kiyosaki, who said â€œthe size of your success is measured by the strength of your desire; the size of your dream; and how you handle disappointment along the wayâ€.
Rwandansâ€™ dreams of success are embodied in amending the constitution and they are ready to handle any disappointment that would interfere with rebuilding their country for new era of prosperity that will be celebrated by generations.
The Rwandans of today and tomorrow should always be in position to amend their legal and regulatory frameworks as long as they feel their future can be served better.
In the end and in the context today in Rwanda â€œDemocracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.â€