Wishing new senators the best
The Rwanda Focus congratulates all those candidates who have won their senatorial polls and are now ready to serve. The National Electoral Commission has done exemplary work in organising and supervising the polls and we look forward to more years of service from them (NEC).
Obviously the naysayers and critics and scoffers will be saying the election was in some way flawed. They will be holding us to benchmarks set in other countries long ago, under different sets of circumstances. They will be saying, how come the campaigns were so quiet? They will be saying, how is it possible we did not see campaign posters and how come we did not see volunteers for candidates knocking on doors to solicit votes? Why is it that candidates from different parties were not openly in confrontation! Et cetera, et cetera. What they always fail to acknowledge is that none of their countries have the same historical misfortunes that befell Rwanda, nor that you cannot have a one-size-fits-all solution to problems.
Talking to the leadership of this country down the years, any unbiased observer will tell you what they have been doing is finding Rwandan solutions to Rwandan problems. We have to tailor our politics to suit our needs, not to someone else’s ideals of what politics should be and how it should be practiced.
There is a reason why an African country that everyone had written off is in a position today where it actually is a shining example on the continent of what good governance is all about. We did not become a failed state. Rather we live in one of the most stable, secure countries. We have one of the lowest rates of theft of public funds, one of the lowest rates of wasteful spending of public resources, some of the best health indicators (we are one of the few countries on the way to eradication of malaria for example), and so on and so on. The country has clear cut, delineated development goals and has stuck with them so that all the socio-economic indicators are on the up and up.
Why would we risk all this for some ideals of politics that very many of the naysayers and critics would have us import? There is absolutely no reason to.
So let the new senators savour their victory, but they should know they can never lose sight of why it is they have won their new posts.
We wish them the best.