I’ve been late to weigh in on this one but as they say, better late than never. The latest news from Rwanda: a government led vasectomy campaign targeting a quota system of over 700,000 men per year!
This nebulous plan, we are told, will lower poverty in Rwanda and move the country towards vision 2020—Paul Kagame’s fantasy dream. Those to be vasectomated include members of the army, both married and unmarried men. Already, Rwanda has established a law that makes it illegal to bear more than three kids (I am tempted to say that Kagame has four).
This reminds of Eduardo Galeano the famous Uruguayan leftist writer who once compared government enforced family planning to killing guerrillas in the womb instead of combating them in the hills. Well, Kagame and Guleano have something in common: this thing called communism—a deterministic (always catastrophic) feeling that they know and have all solution to society’s problems. For Kagame, humility is deeply lacking.
For all his talk of imitating Singapore, Kagame’s policies seem more Chinese than the latter. Take a simple example: Singapore’s population density per km2 is a little over 18,000. At 380 people per km2, Rwanda is 47 times less populated than Singapore. Yet, Singapore is the third richest country in Asia.
While Singapore is keen to invest in the capacity of its workers, Rwanda is terminating funding for the bourse that previously made it possible for bright but poor students to attend university (read "When things get personal" by German Blogger raphainruanda). Instead, they are directing the monies to primary education in a rush to make another Jeffry Sach’s headline as the first country in Sub-Saharan Africa to guarantee universal primary education. Such headlines, though good for Kagame and the millennium goals campaign do not always represent sound economic strategy.
This latest policy by Kagame is less Singaporean and more Chinese-like. At the very extreme, even China was modest enough not to endorse forced emasculation. So, why is Rwanda doing this?
Blogger Jean-Christophe Nizeyimana calls the vasectomy, “Kagame’s final solution”. He denounces it as a eugenic plan aimed at getting rid of undesirable hutus. While I have nothing of value to add to this, it is suffice to say that such a fear is understandable.
The regime in Rwanda is known for its rabid anti-hutu sentiments and has continued to treat this group as a collective of criminals. Anything is possible when you have a delusional military tyrant in power. Otherwise who would have guessed that, Kagame after stopping the genocide in Rwanda would pursue an extermination campaign in the DRC? Dictators are UNPREDICTABLE.
The government insists that the plan will be carried out on voluntary basis. But given that the Rwandan government does not tolerate freedom of speech, it is reasonable to question whether the people can have the capacity or liberty to make choice.
The US based Population Research Institute warns that, “These programs are not being rolled out by the Rwandan government alone, but represent a concerted push by the U.S. government and international health groups.” Further adding that, “In our experience on this issue, every single time a sterilization campaign has a hard target and a timetable attached to it, it inevitably involves coercion and abusive expansion, just as night follows day".
This is yet another clear and sad example of USAID being abused by the Kagame’s insidious regime. It is preposterous and perhaps criminal that US funding would be used to support such a cruel and inhuman campaign. Surely, there must be other productive ways of combating the scourge of poverty rather than adding suffering to “an already-traumatized population who deserve every chance to heal”.