Pan Butamire

As usual, Rwanda takes the bull by the horns with vigour and rigour

Apologies, esteemed reader, but I must visit this coronavirus pandemic that still holds the world in a vice, for its virulence. That plea for apology is borne of my failed promise to avoid joining the ‘town-crier’ fray over this plague. It only helps to send us into a panicky spin...

Friday, March 27, 2020, 12:00 AM

The power of solidarity; exhibitor of the futility of antagonism

The world is held in a stranglehold by a death-power whose strength has not found its vanquisher yet and, indeed, it’s cause for worry. But, as we know, the human race has been the ultimate survivor of all time. Soon this coronavirus shall evaporate, bet on it. It’ll prove to be a...

Friday, March 20, 2020, 12:00 AM

Kigali: the challenge of bettering superlatives

Now that the new flowered and plant green coat of Kigali main street medians and sides is beginning to blossom, are Kigalois (residents/city officials) ready to rise up to expectations? Yes, the onus is on them all to hoist the Kigali cleanliness-and-orderliness flag even higher. Kigali has...

Friday, March 13, 2020, 12:00 AM

After self-rediscovery, Rwandans are on the up and up

Irankunda, anonymous before he (I assume his gender!) adopted this Rwandan name, makes some interesting observations on Rwanda. That he doesn’t ‘but’ us the usual ‘buts’ like some Westerners do, after positive remarks, is gratifying. For readers’ information,...

Friday, March 6, 2020, 12:00 AM

Transparency, accountability and performance unfettered

Now that the dust has settled, we can look back with more clarity at the National Leadership Retreat (Umwiherero) that took place from 16th to the 19th this February. So it came to pass that, as the retreat has done every year for the last 16 years, it gathered leaders of all categories in this...

Friday, February 28, 2020, 12:00 AM

Leaders unable to deliver, move over; the citizenry of this land are in charge

Mine is not to talk ill of the dead. No, mortal that I be, I must bemoan the passing away at his own hands of crooner Kizito Mihigo. It was a case of a wasted life in its prime. Mine is to marvel at the citizen who first spotted the crooner and his helper-detail duo. I am not exactly privy to...

Friday, February 21, 2020, 12:00 AM

Clean Kigali as a sanctuary of Homo sapiens, flora and fauna?

When we thought Kigali was fast getting at the pinnacle of greenery, cleanliness and orderliness, one morning we woke up to the sight of the green turf we’d grown so fond of being tossed up like trash. What the hec...! No, we held our tongue. Looks like our city fathers/mothers are on to...

Friday, February 14, 2020, 12:00 AM

In this land, heroes are legion

Last February 1 was Heroes Day in this land. It’s a marvel that Rwandans manage to categorise their heroes. Much as, lest we forget, of their nationally-instituted three categories (Imanzi, Imena, and Ingenzi), so far only in the first two have they managed to place a few. Still, the...

Friday, February 7, 2020, 12:00 AM

Is this do-gooder NGO trying to ‘eat’ Rwandan children?

There is a saying in Kinyarwanda that goes: “Urusha nyina w’umwana imbabazi, aba ashaka kumurya.” Literally translated: “The aim of he/she who feels more compassion for a child than its mother is to eat it.” A literal impossibility, except among cannibals, but a...

Friday, January 31, 2020, 12:00 AM

Ugandans, adiós, amigos! Museveni wants Rwandans not

Appearing soon in a theatre next-door: yet another highly suspenseful episode in the extremely hilarious series, “Honest-to-goodness Conduct From Now On”. The exact nature of jokes in the new episode, we can only conjecture. Luckily, our guessing task is made that more effortless by...

Friday, January 24, 2020, 12:00 AM

Grieving for the wasted lives of our militia-held compatriots

If we were not dealing with our delinquent Caines ensconced in the jungles of la République Démocratique du Congo (RDC), we’d say we’ve got a bountiful harvest these last few days. But we cannot talk that way about our own brothers, whatever curse they may wish upon us. Still, we...

Friday, December 13, 2019, 12:00 AM

Zimbabwe’s recipe for regaining its erstwhile “Jewel of Africa” tag

Voices from Zimbabwe make for depressing listening. Hearing reports from there on radios like the BBC will rend the heart of any caring human.  Hunger stokes the land and it affects all but the politicians who seem to feed off them. The UN reports that 60% of the population are on the point...

Friday, December 6, 2019, 12:00 AM

Inner contradictions bedevil Burundi, not scapegoat Rwanda

Looks like our ‘brother and colleague’ from down south, just across the border, is in a spot of trouble. It’s not that it is visiting him for the first time, no; it’s ostensibly been his constant companion. It’s that this time it’d seem the trouble is much deeper...

Friday, November 29, 2019, 12:00 AM

Hotels in stiff competition to dominate Kigali skyline

This month on November 5, a new luxury hotel was blessed and will soon be unveiled to join the increasingly expanding stable of luxury hotels competing to dominate the Kigali skyline. What was that “blessed” about, you may ask. Well, it was about sprinkling the hotel with holy water...

Friday, November 22, 2019, 12:00 AM

We’ll always remember our history but will never let it hold us captive

As has been the case many a time in the past with such exigent days in the history of this land, last 1st November passed quietly, like any ordinary day. Yet it’s a day that marked a major ripping-apart of the cord that held this society together, one of many. Alfred M, a senior citizen...

Friday, November 8, 2019, 12:00 AM

The travails of living in our past Zogo-land, in film

Last weekend a truly made-in-Rwanda film is reported to have premiered in one of the suburbs of Kigali, where it was actually shot. According to its review, it’s a departure from the usual offerings that are mostly imitations of western movies, often irrelevant to our situation. The story...

Friday, November 1, 2019, 12:02 AM

Umuganda spirit could be the key to a happy world

At home, we got more than humbled when we saw a neighbor come home with a gift from her harvest. It’s a customary courtesy, said she, to share with neighbors when one gets to harvest. So, what’s the big deal, you’ll wonder, don’t people everywhere share gifts? That,...

Friday, October 25, 2019, 12:00 AM

Rwanda is healthy and wealthy…at heart

The above statement by President Paul Kagame, at the YouthConnekt Summit this October 9 in Kigali, kicked me back to the times before 1994. But first things first. The statement referred to how this country has thrown her doors open to all citizens of the world who wish to visit. Particularly...

Friday, October 18, 2019, 12:00 AM

Solidifying Rwandans’ affinity towards one another

I remember the good times à gogo, aplenty no exaggeration, that we used to have in secondary school outside classes, as refugees. We were a wee minority in comparison with locals and so you’d certainly have expected us to be a forlorn lot. Interestingly, we were far from that. Having come...

Friday, October 11, 2019, 12:00 AM

The improbable genesis of a notable turnaround

Lest they forget, Rwandans should constantly sing about the long, hard way they’ve travelled. So hard that anybody can validly call today’s Rwanda a miracle risen from death. That’s why anyone so much as remotely familiar with her recent history would have expected last Tuesday...

Friday, October 4, 2019, 12:00 AM