By David Himbara
On February 13, 2017, President Paul Kagame visited Nyagatare. And the people there were determined to let him know of the situation facing them. Their situation is bleak. When a distraught man and woman begged Kagame to help them, he ordered them to shut up. “Do you think you are the only ones suffering. Shut up or I will not sort you problem” – Kagame shouted.
For the past two years, the people in Nyagatare and much of the Eastern Province have been staring at a threat of starvation. Disastrous government policies and management failures – combined with climate change – took heavy toll. Hundreds of people have been fleeing starvation to Uganda in search of food.
Like most incompetent regimes, the Kagame regime is quick to blame climate change for poor harvests. Don’t be fooled.
Even climate change must be mitigated by government. We know for sure that the Nyagatare situation is not merely due to climate change – drought-stricken areas suffer due to the Kagame regime’s incompetence.
Take a look at what the Auditor General said about governmental failure in Nyagatare in 2015/2016:
“The irrigation system in Nyagatare District covering 200ha (110 ha for sprinkler system and 90 ha for drip irrigation system) that cost Frw 2,794,948,262 to establish is currently not in operation due to vandalism that has not been addressed by management of the Taskforce. From the field visit conducted on 16/04/2016, it was noted that neither the sprinkler system nor drip irrigation system was working due to equipment worth Frw 103,652,682 that had been vandalized and stolen.”
Meanwhile, back in Kigali, “agricultural machinery and equipment including tractors and power tillers among others that broken down continues to be parked at the workshop compound without being repaired.” The Auditor General summarized the abandoned agricultural equipment in the table below:
The situation gets worse. The Auditor General added that under Kagame’s crop intensification program, less than 1% of seeds reach farmers:
“Weaknesses continue to persist in the implementation of the crop intensification programme in respect to failure to ensure that procured seeds reach the intended beneficiaries/farmers. For seasons 2015A and 2015B, there were significant shortfalls in deliveries to farmers. For example in season 2015A, only 0.9% of the requested wheat seeds were issued by RAB to the districts.”
Besides mocking the poverty-stricken Rwandans, Kagame went to see how his Nyagatare-based East African Granite Industries is doing.
Kagame – you are a total disaster. God help Rwanda.
Nyagatare town road network upgraded (3km)