How democracy sponsors distort democracy

When the European Union announced that it would not send election observers to Rwanda it seemed that they’d decided that Rwandans had finally grown and no longer needed to be held by the hand to cross the road. This seemed odd – had they changed their ways, some must have wondered;...

Monday, July 3, 2017, 12:00 AM

It’s okay to be ambitious

The much anticipated nomination of the flag bearer of the RPF for the presidential elections took place on Saturday. As expected, President Paul Kagame got his party’s nod to lead it into the elections. It is his acceptance speech that caught many people by surprise. It gave context to his...

Monday, June 19, 2017, 12:00 AM

Rwanda's media commits own goal

Last evening Eugene Anangwe invited me again to his InFocus talk show on Rwanda Television as part of a panel to discuss whether the media is playing its “watchdog” role. Anangwe even put up a mini poll on twitter asking whether the media in Rwanda is “passive in influencing...

Monday, June 5, 2017, 12:00 AM

The impotence of the political opposition

In my discussion with Dr. Frank Habineza of the Green Party, the media picked up the sound bite where I said a discussion between his party and the ruling party would be akin to a conversation between a grown up and a child. Habineza claimed that the reason his party wasn’t doing so well is...

Monday, May 22, 2017, 12:00 AM

Rwanda’s model of democracy

Few would disagree that Rwanda’s progress in the post genocide period is credited to its unconventional approach to statecraft. That there was a heavy dose of trial and error especially in the early days and that gradually as success became predictable it removed whatever element of chance....

Monday, May 8, 2017, 12:00 AM

Genocide deniers want to confuse you to death

Ideas are powerful. This power can be used for virtue or vice. And much of the hope that we carry as human beings is grounded in the belief that on the balance ideas will be used to do more good than harm. However, with vice seeming to dominate public and private space, it is fair to say that...

Monday, April 17, 2017, 12:00 AM

When does a genocide survivor lose it all?

A terrorist attack goes off in a city in Europe. Any city: Paris, England, Brussels, Munich. It claims a million innocent lives. What is the reaction? Does the world change or does it stay the same? If it does change, in which ways? How would governments in those places deal with public outrage...

Monday, April 3, 2017, 12:00 AM

What went wrong with Europe and America?

At college, our professor assigned us a book by a retired Dutch Diplomat. The book, titled “What Went Wrong With Africa,” was a depressing read. In it, the diplomat paints a bleak continent that is irredeemably hopeless. Worse still, the undertone with which the diplomat, who had...

Monday, March 20, 2017, 12:00 AM

Rwanda’s generation 2020: A life of sacrifice

Umwiherero has come and gone. But this one shouldn’t be confused with its previous versions. I wasn’t there. But you don’t need to have been there to know that this one was unlike any other. It couldn’t have been. It is the times in which we live that tells me that this time...

Monday, March 6, 2017, 12:00 AM

Unstated 'qualifications' in Rwanda's presidential elections

Readers of this column will recall a series of articles about the gold standard that future presidential aspirants should measure themselves against. In the first instalment I asked the question: who wants to fill Kagame's shoes? In the second instalment titled 'inside Kagame's shoes' I provided...

Monday, February 13, 2017, 12:00 AM

Our prison of poverty: yes, it hurts much more

An oft-quoted line by President Paul Kagame, printed on tee-shirts and pinned on Twitter handles, implores Rwandans to “work hard until it pains because poverty hurts much more.” It is everywhere.   And it is not out of blind following that Rwandans identify with this quote from a...

Monday, January 30, 2017, 12:00 AM

Between Jammeh and Barrow who is crazy?

Adama Barrow’s supporters are a bit salty. Their man fumbled away the presidency due to a series of blunders, something one commentator in these pages aptly noted was “snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory.” In managing the impossible, Barrow won the vote without winning...

Monday, January 16, 2017, 12:00 AM

International media and human rights organisations stole the Gambian election

President Yahya Jammeh, in his New Year’s message to the Gambian people, persisted in his rejection of last month’s election outcome, which he says was tampered with. On this basis, he quickly rescinded his concession to Adama Barrow, the coalition candidate. He has petitioned the...

Monday, January 2, 2017, 12:00 AM

Fidel Castro rests triumphantly

At a very early age, he saw and felt pained by life’s contradictions. As he grew older, these contradictions only seemed to pile up. A sense of fairness compelled him to learn about the source of these contradictions: why they are allowed to persist. The more he learnt the more he came to...

Monday, November 28, 2016, 12:00 AM

Did women reject Hillary?

On the campaign trail Barack Obama said that Hillary Clinton was the most qualified candidate to ever run for president of the United States. Obama also said that neither himself nor Bill Clinton were more qualified than Hillary when they ran for president. Hillary, of course, was the first woman...

Monday, November 21, 2016, 12:00 AM

Trump is more honest than the American media

This is not a drill. Neither is it a dream. It is the real thing: Donald J. Trump is the president of the United States of America. Get used to it. The protesters need to go home. The sooner they get home the better. The petition to declare Clinton president is silly. And so is the “Calexit...

Monday, November 14, 2016, 12:00 AM

At this rate, bakeries will run out of cakes

Comments made by the minister for public service and labour at last week’s event to launch the Kora-Wigire self-employment scheme caused a stir in the media. On social media, the parody took on a life of its own and the minister, probably sensing the damage done, weighed in to clarify on what...

Monday, October 31, 2016, 12:00 AM

What we give up when we speak from both sides of the mouth

First it was Burundi. Now it’s South Africa. Both have decided to withdraw from the International Criminal Court (ICC) citing different reasons. One claims that its sovereignty is under attack; the other says that membership to the ICC undermines its role as a leader on the continent and...

Monday, October 24, 2016, 12:00 AM

Why France clings on the plane

Here we go again. France is reopening investigations into the shooting of the plane carrying president Juvenal Habyarimana in April 1994. The plane is, and shall remain, the dominant theme in a strategy that simultaneously pursues two mutually reinforcing objectives – pragmatic and...

Monday, October 17, 2016, 12:00 AM

Nkurunziza says he's crazy, should we believe him?

The Burundian government has initiated the process to withdraw from membership to the International Criminal Court (ICC). It’s a decision that comes on the heels of increasing pressure from the international community to conduct investigations into the ever increasing incidences of killings,...

Monday, October 10, 2016, 12:00 AM

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