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Which way for Rwanda? Three scenarios

David Himbara

David Himbara

By David Himbara

With a troubled history of transition from one ruler to the next, Rwanda is once again at the crossroad. Posturing and not genuine debate on what lies towards and beyond 2017 is the order of the day. Open and honest discussion is alien to the land of a thousand hills. I am sharing here three possible scenarios on what might transpire in future – from the “dream outcome” to “doomsday.” I love to hear your thoughts on this matter.

* Scenario 1 – Dream Outcome or the Burma’s Miracle

The “Dream Outcome” or the “Burma Miracle” refers to what is taking place in that country in the recent past. The deeply-entrenched Burmese dictatorship somehow became wiser and started to play less suicidal politics. For example the regime released in November 2010 the opposition leader, Aung San Suu Kyi, from a 15-year detention. Aung San Suu Kyi is now reviving her political party in a country that is rehabilitated both regionally and internationally. The Burma route for Rwanda would see the current regime sharply change course by freeing political prisoners and adopting a culture of dialogue. The iron-fisted approach to politics would be tamed leading to electoral competition with zero possibility for life-presidency via constitutional manipulation in 2017.

* Scenario 2 – Less Violent Benevolent Dictatorship for Self-preservation

In this scenario, the current regime would attempt to save itself as “a benevolent dictatorship” that exercises power not for the good of the ruling elites and cronies but for “the good of citizens.” The regime would open to its critics, get rid of hard-liners, get out of private business monopolies, and generally present itself as a humble governor on behalf of “the people.” The regime would appease its critics but not go the distance of competitive politics. The incumbent head of state would not run in 2017 but would field a stooge that is manipulated from behind the scene. This scenario would buy the regime a bit of time in terms of survival even beyond 2017 in different guise.

* Scenario 3 – Doomsday and Descent into “Invincibility”

In this scenario, the current regime would change the constitution to allow the incumbent head of state to become dictator-for-life. This would result into the hardening of iron-fist politics. Believing to be incapable of being overcome or defeated or “unconquerable,” the regime would become even more drunk with power. Like in the cartoon character “invincible” the regime would see itself as possessing superhuman strength. This is doomsday because the end in unpredictable subject to the laws of gravity. Whatever goes up comes down.

Dear readers, what do you see ahead for Rwanda out of three scenarios? Do you see other scenarios? Share your views privately or in the open forum.

Source: The Rwandan


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