Rwanda goes to the polls as tourists continue to flock into the country


(Posted 16th September 2013)

Amid a crisis of sorts, having to deal with thousands of people driven across Rwanda’s borders by increasingly brutal methods of the Tanzanian government, reminiscent of the ethnic cleansing of non Serbs and Muslims in the Balkan War in the early 90 and by the regime in Khartoum in Darfur, South Kordofan, Blue Nile and Abyei, both of which stripped women, children, elderly and adults of their dignity AND their possessions, is Rwanda today holding elections for parliament across the country.

Now of course a multi party state, the ruling RPF is expected to sweep the board and attain a solid majority in parliament, allowing a range of programmes to be put into place for the continued betterment of the country and her people.

Voting has started at 7 this morning even in areas where there are many people now displaced by the expulsion from Tanzania and also in areas along the Congo border. Our security has been stepped up to allow people to cast their vote in peace and without fear of any interruption by hostile elements harboured and protected by their god fathers across international borders or overtaken by the need to provide social services for those driven from their homes and chased into Rwanda. By 3 pm today when the polling station close, we will have completed another exercise in broad based democracy which treats every citizen of Rwanda the same and not like in the past when a whole community was disenfranchised’ wrote a regular source from Kigali.

She then continued: ‘Unlike what we are used to in the region our flow of tourist and visitor arrivals has not stopped and it is a busy season for us. Elections in Rwanda give no one a cause for concern so why bother even sending a travel advice to people who want to come here. We have quite a few observers here from overseas and from Africa but all they will see is a peaceful and orderly conduct. I laughed one day when you reported from Seychelles election for president where you really had nothing else to say that all was in order and contrary to allegations there were no supporters of one candidate canvassing within sight of polling stations. It is the same here. This country is at peace with itself. Let the best man or woman win today and then represent their constituents in parliament’.

Meanwhile in Kigali last week on Friday have the respective delegations of Kenya, Uganda and Rwanda finalized their recommendations for the next head of state summit in October of the coalition of the willing, to launch the single tourist Visa as planned in January 2014 and also permit citizens to travel with their national ID cards (Rwanda and Kenya) and their voter registration cards (Uganda). No details could be obtained though as yet what status locally registered expatriates will have under this arrangement, but it is hoped that a valid work or residence permit will finally do away with the need to obtain Visa on arrival when travelling for instance from Uganda to Kenya or from Kenya to Rwanda.

All the best to the citizens of the Land of a Thousand Hills as they choose their new members of parliament today.

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