By David Himbara
Dear President Paul Kagame
What a year you had – I am sure you surpassed your expectations for 2017. Look at these achievements, for example, that I randomly list here:
1. You won presidential elections by 99%.
2. You won RPF chairmanship by 99.9%.
3. You easily silenced by locking up your competitor, presidential candidate Diane Rwigara and her mother.
4. You ignored the African Court’s ruling that you illegally imprisoned opposition leader Victoire Ingabire.
5. You are set to become a real African chief leading the entire African continent as chairman of the African Union. Wow!
On the economic side, however, things don’t look too good Mr. President. Your vision 2020 of turning Rwanda into a middle-income country with a per capita income of US$1,045 is clearly in trouble.
As we begin 2018, you have only managed to reach US$702 per capita income. Mr. President, this means that to become a middle income by 2020, you have to increase Rwanda’s per capita in two years by US$343! This is impossible.
Mr. President, it seems to me you have only two options for avoiding embarrassment.
Option 1 – Manipulate statistics as you usually do
At the end of 2018 simply lie that Rwanda’s per capita income grew by US$171.5. Add another US$171.5 in 2019, thereby bringing Rwanda’s per capita to US$1,045. Mission accomplished. You will then have achieved your middle-income status dream.
Option 2 – Blame outsiders
Simply declare right now that the pace of Rwanda’s development was slowed down by jealous neighbors who continue to sabotage you. You can lie that the trains you wanted to build to Dar Es Salaam and Mombasa were sabotaged. Therefore, Rwanda’s growth was denied critical inputs beyond your control. You can then claim you need more time in power to deal with such nuisances. Your famous women majority parliament will happily extend your rule beyond 2034.