Zimbabwe has a lot to learn from Rwanda’s progress
BY EVANS MATHANDA
The notion of democracy and good governance has been debated for decades in Africa, especially when comparing African governance systems to that of the West.
Some have concluded that it is even better to live in colonial Africa than in independent Africa.
Independence gave many people hope as they envisioned a better life.
In Zimbabwe, as in the rest of Africa, even musicians like Thomas Mapfumo and Oliver Mtukudzi composed songs that celebrated the new dawn.
Ironically, after decades of independence, many African countries still struggle with poverty, economic inequality and human rights violations.
In Zimbabwe, the Chinese have become our new colonizer and they seem to have unlimited rights and access to our minerals and land.
In the South, many South Africans are still clamoring for economic independence, as the white minority still has a tight grip on the inner workings of the country’s economy.
Botswana and Rwanda have, over the years, presented some rather positive stories, which the rest of Africa should emulate.
We hear that the insurgency in Mozambique is slowly being quelled, thanks to Rwandan President Paul Kagame.
“Kakistocracy” is an apt term to define most governments in southern Africa characterized by leaders who formulate bad policies to protect only the interests of the elite.
Whether it’s dictatorship or command, whatever name you give it, Kagame is moving in the right direction.
Progress in Rwanda shows that Kagame’s leadership style is heading towards a climax.
Kagame is not looking back, African leaders must learn from Rwanda.
Rwanda’s development is an example of what individual countries could achieve, if only they were better governed.
Rwanda’s economy is recovering from a horrific genocide at a faster and more interesting pace.
Kagame resurrected the economy, reduced corruption, and maintained political stability.
This is a development advance that many other leaders can only dream of, making Rwanda’s economic success one of the most cherished in southern Africa.
Most economic analysts in Africa have argued that heads of state should function more like Kagame, but what makes him different from other African leaders?
One could take a closer look at the Rwandan genocide of 1994 in which at least 800,000 people were killed in the space of about 100 days.
No economy would have survived in such a war situation, but Kagame, a former rebel leader who has ruled Rwanda since the day after the 1994 genocide, is taking Rwanda to a new level.
In addition to rebuilding the economy, 150,000 perpetrators of violent conflicts in Rwanda faced justice to bring about reconciliation and reintegration of a population of which an estimated fifth was killed during the genocide.
At least 71 offenders have been convicted by the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, some confessing to their criminal activities in special village courts called gacacas.
Of course, peace and reconciliation is a long process, but countries like Zimbabwe have totally failed to address issues related to conflict resolution.
The Gukurahundi massacres may require a new government that did not participate in the genocide that claimed the lives of around 20,000 people.
Peace and reconciliation under President Mnangagwa’s government are just a dream.
The Gukurahundi question is a difficult hot potato to deal with, “chinopisa, Iyatshisa” (it’s hot) as the Zimbabweans say to Shona and Ndebele.
The process of healing and restoration is not an easy game and so many resolutions have been made before, but no practical steps have been taken to address this sensitive issue.
Kagame, is an African president whose leadership skills are appreciated by many despite the fact that some believe he is a dictator.
Kagame deployed the Rwandan army as Mozambican military forces struggled to regain control of Cabo Degaldo province, which is home to one of Africa’s largest liquefied natural gas projects.
The Southern African Development Community (Sadc) is an unnecessary regional bloc that has failed Africans.
Sadc should have intervened in the Mozambican turmoil long before the intervention of Rwanda, but the regional bloc is sometimes slow to act.
Rwanda’s intervention is to prevent what happened in 1994 from happening again in southern Africa although some say Rwanda has a hidden agenda, well let’s talk about peace and order for now.
The strategies that have been employed by Kagame in the face of Covid-19 and its effects are simply superb and it is without a doubt that Kagame is doing well in Africa.
As a strategy to reduce the impact of the Covid-19 lockdown, Kagame ordered free door-to-door food distribution to Rwandans along with other services like free energy (electricity).
Officials moved from house to house to make an equal distribution of resources under the direct supervision of Kagame to avoid favoritism.
In Zimbabwe, the $ 300 Covid-19 relief fund, which suffered a stillbirth, was like a travesty for citizens who are already suffering.
In one of the interviews last year, Finance and Economic Development Minister Mthuli Ncube indicated that the government has the capacity to support vulnerable groups during the Covid-19 lockdown period.
“We are not short of funds in terms of supporting vulnerable Zimbabweans,” Ncube said.
“In fact, at the moment we are waiting to reach our goal of one million vulnerable people. We are calling on people to come forward and register for welfare because we have the budget. “
However, the monthly subsidy of $ 300 was not even enough to purchase 10 kg of meal-meals.
No wonder the government of Zimbabwe had to stop the program in its early days.
In 2018, Kagame’s decision to close more than 6,000 churches and 100 mosques across Rwanda, including 714 in the capital Kigali for non-compliance with health, safety and noise regulations made headlines. .
Human rights organizations and some activists have accused Kagame’s government of restricting freedom of worship.
Policies and priorities in Africa define styles of leadership and techniques of governance, in such a pandemic that ravaged Zimbabwe’s economy, Mnangagwa administration had to sit in a Cabinet meeting to open churches .
Opening churches only to fully vaccinated people is an indirect push to boost vaccination in Zimbabwe.
The “Visit Rwanda” campaign is changing the face of travel to Rwanda and promoting economic development through tourism.
The Visit Rwanda campaign is a partnership between Rwanda and the Arsenal football team to promote tourism in this East African country.
Evans Mathanda is a journalist and development practitioner who writes in a personal capacity. For email comments: [email protected] or call 0719 770 038 and Twitter @ EvansMathanda19