Rwandan elections: Who shall observe the observers?

trump-farage-le-pen1“And Jesus turned and said to them, ’Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.’ Luke 23:28

The European Union has announced that it won’t be observing Presidential Elections in Rwanda. I am pleased to note that our elections pose no concern to the international community. I longed for the day that Rwanda would enter a post-political era; The day when people of the world will think of Rwanda and think of business, tourism, culture and African Renaissance, The day when people like me; political analysts and human rights defenders will go out of business. Is that day finally here?

Say what you will, no African country ever sends its experts to observe European or American elections. The assumption here is that the country being observed is not trusted to autonomously conduct its democratic business in an effective and peaceful manner; that its politicians may call for violence, that the people aren’t politically mature, that the process may trigger public unrest.  The presence of observers, therefore, is to warn competing factions that the world is watching; that any of their irresponsible actions will not go unchecked.

Except, at the moment it is clearly the observers that need observing. All their criteria are there:  Their candidates are using hate speech, their incumbents seem immature; claims of elections’ fixing and wire-tapping are emerging; populists are carrying the day and fascism seems on the rise. So to quote Juvenal’s famous satire VI: ‘Who shall guard the guardians’? Or in this case, who shall observe the observers?

Today, it is Africa and no one else who should have every reason to worry. We usually don’t get much in their theories, but this time it is presumably Americans and Europeans that are making decisions that would seem irresponsible – based on their very own criteria.

Now, historically when Africans make irresponsible decisions, devastating civil wars occur; sometimes even regional wars, but these remain of regional scale, at most; when Europeans and Americans make irresponsible decisions, World Wars occur and repeatedly push our planet at the brink of annihilation.

Explaining why they aren’t sending electoral observers to Rwanda, the EU representative reflected: ‘Our thoughts are that there will be no surprises in Rwanda…’ Well Mr. Ryan, we are deeply devastated that this is boring for you, but you see suspense is good in a thriller movie; suspense isn’t good in a race, when your money is on one particular racer – usually Lewis Hamilton. That’s right; there is no suspense in Rwandan elections, because when it comes to our livelihood, we just can’t leave our odds to chance; I wish I could say the same about Brexit, French elections or Trump’s next move…

But all is not lost Sir, by the Rwandan God sleeping in Ibirunga Mountains; I shall make it up to you! There is a Rayon Sport – APR match coming up! Come with me, I’ll get the tickets so we can ‘Observe’ that together. I swear I can never predict who’ll win between those two…

‘This is the end beautiful friend, this is the end my only friend, the end ♩ ♪ ♫’ – The Doors.


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