By Erasme Rugemitwaza
-A statement issued by the Commonwealth Secretariat on Monday, January 31, 2022, states that the Secretary-General, The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland and H.E President Kagame have approved the date of the Council of Heads of State and Government (CHOGM).
What do Rwanda expect from this high level meeting?_
The Rt. Hon. Patricia Scotland Commonwealth Secretary-General and His Excellency Paul Kagame, President of the Republic of Rwanda have announced the week of 20 June 2022 as the new date agreed with member countries for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM).
As we all know, CHOGM was due to have been held in Kigali but has been postponed twice- first in June 2020 and secondly in June 2021- due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
CHOGM is customarily held every two years and is the Commonwealth’s highest consultative and policy-making gathering. Commonwealth leaders selected Rwanda as host for their next summit when they met in London in 2018.
What President Kagame said:
“Rwanda is pleased to welcome all delegates and participants to Kigali for a safe and productive CHOGM Rwanda 2022. The last two years have made it clear to us that we are more connected than ever before and we must work together to achieve the tangible and sustainable results we want. The long awaited meeting will be an important occasion to come together to address the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and to build on innovative technological and economic opportunities to solve other key problems facing our citizens.”
What The Secretary-General Scotland said:
“I am delighted that the Commonwealth family can finally be reunited, four years on from our last CHOGM in London. Our meetings in Rwanda will give us a real opportunity to reaffirm the values that bind the Commonwealth together and focus on vital issues, including the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, tackling climate change and poverty, boosting trade and promoting sustainable development – all issues that can only be dealt with decisively through multilateral cooperation and mutual support.
“We have adapted throughout the pandemic, holding ministerial meetings online. It is with great joy and anticipation that I look ahead to a face-to-face Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting. This will be the first CHOGM to be held in Africa for over a decade and I would like to commend the Government and people of Rwanda for their outstanding commitment and dedication to delivering an exemplary CHOGM in Kigali. I thank all Rwandans for their grace and fortitude in undertaking such detailed preparations to ensure a safe, secure and productive CHOGM that drives the Commonwealth forward in these trying times.”
This organization brings together 54 countries around the world with a population of more than 2.5 billion (out of more than eight billion people living in the world).
Beyond the appearence
When analyzing is happening in Rwanda today, it is easy to find out that it is all about the clearing of the image of the country. From the immunization, the extraordinary efforts put into the vaccination program, specifically in Kigali, it is not only for the benefit of the welfare and well-being of the people, but also for political and commercial motives at the highest level. The Rwandan government, currently ranked 153rd in terms of human rights, and now listed as one of the world’s leading killers, abusers of the human rights and torturers, has to divert the CHOGM members by doing extraordinary things. And the vaccination against Covid-19, and military interventions are golden tokens for Kagame. The CHOGM ( Commonwealth Heads Of Government Meeting), which has been postponed twice, is highly anticipated by the Kagame government as it will come to the forefront of the Rwandan government and its oil spill on serious human rights abuses.
Thus, showing that Government of Rwanda is highly preoccupied by the well-being of the people is a genuine way to divert everybody sight on human right abuses.
The CHOGM meeting is also a milestone in the business of Paul Kagame and his son Cyomoro Ivan, who has a bid for transporting all the top officials who visite the country, in expensive vehicles, whose the government has exonerated instead of increasing taxes. It is a tourist attraction of Rwanda that we know of, whether it is a tourist company or a large hotel, most of which belong to Kagame and his family. For Kagame, even though the people are vaccinated with bad vaccine, he doesn’t mind, the important thing in all this is the prosperity of his image and business.
This CHOGM preparation is widely believed to have been the reason for Paul Kagame’s reopening of the Rwanda-Uganda border because bad relations with Uganda also did not give Kagame a positive image.