RWANDA 2016: We fared well, but …

True, 2016 saw many achievements in Rwanda, if you will, more than our detractors could have thought possible. But we waste much precious time engaging our worthless detractors and outright genocide deniers who do not believe anything good can come out of Rwanda, and in so doing give them credence they do not deserve.

No matter the evidence on the ground, Rwanda haters, RNC and a whole group of alleged opposition parties,  their accomplices, the so-called “Rwanda/African specialists and experts” are bent on demonizing and denying Rwanda’s progress and amazing transformation.

Let them suck egg.

We can list all our achievements till cows come home, but it falls on deaf ears, never mind that we are not the authors of the facts that are compiled by the World Bank, EU or the IMF.

The other day, in his column in THE NEW TIMES, my colleague and good friend Joseph Rwagatare penned that “2016 has been (a) good year for Rwanda.” You can say that again, brother.

Joseph is a good and deep intellectual, a damn good writer, but his words are (too) measured and carefully chosen. But here he is overly humble. Rwanda has done damn well, even a blind man can see our achievements.  In light of the negative press, (which he claims was not so bad in 2016 — unless we read different media)  we ought not be humble. From the ashes of our abyss we have built a nation that has become the envy of the continent. From the blood of our innocents springs of hope have sprouted all over Rwanda.

The list of our achievements in 2016 has been recited, ad nauseum. I won’t go there. Except for these. President Kagame was given an assignment by his peers in the AU to come up with proposals for reforming this ailing, almost irrelevant body. Just watch the man in action.

The just concluded AU Summit in Kigali was one of the best organized and most successful in the history of AU. Good crops cannot grow on arid land.

And yes, 2016 saw 9 genocide suspects extradited to Rwanda from Canada, the U.S. and Europe. If this is not an acknowledgement of how good and unbiased Rwanda’s judicial system is I don’t know what is.

France and the U.K. ought to pay attention and do the right thing: send genocidaires living in their midst to face justice where they committed their heinous crimes.

I am thinking: as they all landed at Kigali International to face justice that they have eluded all these years, these genocide suspects ought to be given a scenic drive through KIgali before they arrive at their new quarters which is going to be their new home for a long time so they can appreciate the new Rwanda. Kigali is no longer the slum they can relate to. But I digress  Let this realization sync in, and sync in mighty deeply.

It’s a new year and Rwanda will face new challenges. Come August we will go to the polls to re-affirm, I hope, our trust and confidence in Paul Kagame: one man that has, with a steady hand and nerves of steel steered The Motherland through thick and thin. He has not done it alone, but with the legendary firm resolve of Rwandans.

Our best times are yet to come.

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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