November 11, 2012 by soniauwimana
Dear Former Senator Bob Brown
You have not been “banned from Rwanda” as you have bleating to your press over the past 24 hours. It turns out Rwanda’s Immigration Service has some doubts about the veracity of one of your answers on the visa application. Rwanda doesn’t permit people who lie on immigration forms into the country any more than Australia does. Not to say you’re lying; Bob Brown is a fairly common name so an administrative error is possible. If that turns out to be the case, you will be allowed to enter Rwanda and welcomed politely by all you meet. If you believe your presence represents a threat to Rwanda’s political leadership, you are in the grip of profound delusions of grandeur .
Mr Brown, Rwanda does not have a policy of barring from entry sanctimonious know-it-alls who want to tell Rwandans what’s good for them. This demographic represents a sizable chunk of our in-bound tourism market. Stopping self-important pontificators like yourself at the border would therefore amount to a self-inflicted economic wound. This is how it works for a small but ambitious country like Rwanda: we tolerate your finger-wagging and neo-colonialist condescension in return for the cash injection brought about by your irksome presence.
Administrative hurdles aside, you are welcome in Rwanda. Please do me a favor, though, and publish your itinerary in advance so I can plan exactly where not to be, and when.