By David Himbara
Kagame said something I agree with 100 percent: “coronavirus has knocked on your door and said come down to earth, put your feet on the ground, listen to your people.”
It is very rare that I agree with the Rwandan head of state, General Paul Kagame. But in this case, I agree with him 100 percent. Speaking about the Covid19, Kagame stated on April 14, 2020, as follows: “coronavirus has knocked on your door and said come down to earth, put your feet on the ground, listen to your people…” There is one problem, however. Kagame is great at giving advice and orders but horrible at taking advice. He should this time take his own advice and “come down to earth, put his feet on the ground, and listen to his people.”
If Kagame listens to the people of Rwanda, it is not rocket science what they will tell him. He will learn immediately that most Rwandan households do not have the capacity to sustain themselves in the unfolding lengthy Covid19 crisis.
The people of Rwanda will remind Kagame that Rwanda’s economy is largely rural and highly informal – meaning that over 80 percent of Rwandans depend on daily earnings. This means, therefore, that Rwandans cannot stock up on food for days in a lockdown situation. To put it simply, Rwandan needy households do not have the capacity to sustain themselves in crisis that may last for a year.
There you go Kagame – listen to your people, and together find a real solution in line with the real problem. In Rwanda’s particular circumstances, imposing lockdown without the consent of the people affected, most of whom are facing hunger is insane. It is only when the people of Rwanda are fully engaged in their fate will control measures work, side-by-side with solutions to hunger.