Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Kigali’s new Relative-Free Zone

The global financial crisis has fi­nally caught up with Rwanda. Our econo­my is stalling. Despite our dreams and labor business is not as we hope. Savings and in­vestment are down. It is time for a bold move. Something needs to be done that is within easy reach.

Over Friday dinner in Kigali a few entrepreneurial minds have come up with a wild new idea. What Kigali needs is a Relative-Free Zone (RFZ). It is a remarkably simple concept. Designate one square mile of Kigali in which one’s extended family cannot come and ask for money. With this simple change in Kigali social structure savings and investment will skyrocket. Kigali desperately needs a Relative Free Zone.

How would the RFZ work? One of the Kigali Friday dinner group is a pastor who liberally interprets the family of man to include all who share human flesh. Thus to keep our liberal pastor in the mix we’ll need to not police extended family structure and just make it illegal to ask any one for money in the Relative Free Zone.

The RFZ is easily within our Ki­gali reach within just a few weeks of preparation. Almost all of the infra-structure, training, and personnel are already in place. Here is how the RFZ will work.

When one enters the RFZ he stops at an MTN Hotspot and posts his Facebook status as, “I’m in the Relative-Free Zone. Don’t ask me for money.” With this simple procla­mation all are now held accountable in community. In the RFZ we use our Facebook wall profusely to minimize private conversations. Thus if someone asks us for money it is quickly public information.

RFZ officials promise to reform your troublesome ex­tended family with a 72-hour promise. RFZ officials will immediately arrest the misguided relative when he asks for money. As he may be asking for money for failing health RFZ officials will immediately take him to the RFZ state of the art Medical Diagnostic Unit. If your relative is really sick RFZ will have a complete diagnosis within hours, certify the results, and make a recommendation for medical care to your extended family as RFZ ejects your sick relative from the RFZ.

If your relative is in good physical health RFZ will assign him to a full day of Umuganda labor and lectures. Your offending relative may simply be one who has forgotten that we all must work for our lunch. Thus he will do a full day of labor, be fed a simple but nutritious lunch, and lis­ten to a long informative (but boring) lecture at the end of Umuganda. At the end of the lecture he will be given a written exam on the merits of responsible living in com­munity. If your offending passes his Umuganda day he will be ejected from the RFZ with a certificate of health and distinction for Reformed Responsible living.

If your offending relative fails his first day of Umuganda he will be given Supplemental Umuganda on the second day that he is in RFZ. Upon the completion of Supple­mental Umuganda he will be given a Supplemental Umu­ganda exam. If your offending relative passes Supplemen­tal Exam he will be ejected from the RFZ with a certificate of health and passing marks for Reformed Responsible Living.

If your offending relative is still under the watchful care of RFZ officials in his third day of detention RFZ officials will begin intense diagnostics of your offending relative’s true state. First he will be given a comprehensive IQ test to certify that your offending rela­tive has the intellectual capacity to understand right from wrong. If he does not have sufficient IQ he will be ejected from the RFZ with a cer­tificate of intellectual deficiency for your extended family so you will not waste educational resources on your simple minded relative.

If his IQ is sufficient he will be giv­en a comprehensive psychological diagnostic. If he is found to have a mental illness he will be ejected from the RFZ with a certified diagnosis so your extended family can proceed to get him appropriate psychological help.

The last stop at the RFZ for your offending relative after all other ven­ues have been tried is pastoral counseling. The RFZ will have a comprehensive team of clergy to represent all our faiths. Whether your relative needs a priest, pastor, or sheik one will be found who will comprehensively diag­nosis your offending relative’s spiritual condition. Upon the completion of pastoral counseling the RFZ will eject your offending relative with a certificate of good physical, intellectual, psychological, and spiritual condition. Thus you will no longer be needed to financially rescue your extended family.

The RFZ will be run as a one year pilot project. Upon completion of the RFZ pilot project it will be assessed if the RFZ should expand in geographic scope. RFZ proponents believe it will significantly boost Rwanda’s domestic sav­ings and investment. RFZ proponents also anticipate that the RFZ will become both a vacation and business hub for those weary of irresponsible extended family members from the Great Lakes Region.

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