WHAT RWANDA CAN TEACH THE U.S. : For real

Too often, way much than is called for, the U.S.takes the higher moral ground and preaches to the world about the virtues of democracy and good governance.

Only a few weeks ago when Rwanda held a referendum to determine whether to get rid of term limits, Washington was busy expressing “concern” about what Rwandans were about to do. Like we are not an independent sovereign state.

Again and again, the U.S.castigates African governments over lack of democratic institutions and free press, and for the most part with good reason. But, not so fast. People who live in glass houses should not throw stones.

Rwanda has been waging a war on corruption,and by any standards, it is one of the least corrupt countries in the world — according to UN reports, the World Bank and the IMF.

Our democracy is in its infancy. Much has been done but more needs to be accomplished. In 21 years since the birth of the New Rwanda, the record is clear: Rwanda beats most, if not all African countries on good governance, accountability, delivery of social services and promotion of women. Nay, our record competes with the best governed countries in the world.

Unlike the U.S. Rwanda’s democracy is not fueled by big money and is not run by lobbyists who have made a mockery of democracy and corrupted American politics. You need money, and tons of it, to get elected to Congress, and even bigger money to make it to the White House.

In the last election Barack Obama spent well over $900 million to get re-elected. His rival, Mitt Romney is reported to have spent $52 million of his own money on his campaign. The president’s salary is only $464,000 per year. Go figure.

Check these facts out; There are 535 members of Congress. Out of these, 268 are millionaires. Democracy or capitalism?

Under Obama, 5 legislators have been convicted and sentenced to prison for corruption and mis-use of office. Under George Bush, 8. Under Bill Clinton, 12.

In the state of Illinois, 4 out of the last 7 governors have served prison sentences for corruption and mis-use of office. You would think corruption was invented in Chicago.

Only 20 percent of Senators are women out of 100. It is 15 percent in the House of Reepresentatives.

In Rwanda, 64 percent of parliament are women. Do I make myself clear?

In 2000 when George Bush run against his democratic rival, Al Gore he got 47.9 percent of the vote to Gore’s 48.4 percent, and he was declared the winner by the Supreme Court. And we call ourselves a democracy?

The U.S.can learn a few valuable lessons from tiny little Rwanda. We are a small country, but we are not small minded. That is my opinion, and I stand by it.

About Willis Shalita

I am a writer who is very impassioned about Rwanda and its remarkable journey from the barbaric carnage of Genocide against Tutsi. I am an avid photographer. I believe the African story should be told through African lenses. Our time has come. If not now, when?
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One Response to WHAT RWANDA CAN TEACH THE U.S. : For real

  1. Marie-Grace Umurerwa says:

    I hear you brother.Keep up the spirit of telling the truth.

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