Pan Butamire

A ‘wooden Rwanda’ for climate change mitigation?

Ethiopians certainly broke a climatic record the other day. On a voluntary basis, they planted 350 million tree-seedlings in a single day! It’s a feat that none else has conquered. Rwandans, used to being the preserve of swiftly-bagged firsts in diverse areas, should feel a tinge of healthy...

Friday, August 9, 2019, 12:00 AM

How the hell did Rwandans do it? Grit, resilience, common vision, that’s partly how

Asked how “the hell [Rwandans] did it” in a recent TEF Entrepreneurship Forum in Abuja, Nigeria, President Kagame answered: “There was no alternative. We had to do it because, looking back in time for our country, we sank so low that there was no lower point to go. The only way to...

Friday, August 2, 2019, 12:00 AM

Can Rwanda’s tall buildings turn into Intore dancers during earthquakes?

So, there you are, cosily sitting, standing, walking, or whatever, because you are on solid ground, right? Well, wrong! It’d seem the ground under your feet is as shifty as they come. “Shifty”, mind you, not in the sense of rotating around the sun, no, sir/madam. Rather, in the...

Friday, July 26, 2019, 12:00 AM

The killers of our kin, is their goose as good as cooked?

Me, I smell a big rat – a strong-tanged one at that. We’ve all lately heard stories of some Rwandan dissidents in the jungles of D.R Congo not having a good time of it. Methinks the stories are turning out to be more than reliable. They may be reality playing out. Looks like the...

Friday, July 19, 2019, 12:00 AM

The burden of a name

Sylvestre Semajeri, my well-known homeboy, was back in town and even bubblier. Hardly had he greeted me than he enthused: “As we’d promised, we gave our daughter’s hand in marriage.” “Who is ‘we’ who ga –”, I tried to enquire but he irritably...

Friday, July 12, 2019, 12:00 AM

The toxic, tsunamic turbulence crests this liberation ship has had to ride

AS RWANDANS revel in the euphoria of commemorating 25 years of liberation, never should the seemingly insurmountable turbulences encountered on the way to this place escape their minds. The state of this nation today described as a dramatic turnaround? When one deeply ponders it, “amazing...

Friday, July 5, 2019, 12:00 AM

Discredited everywhere, they seek solace in celebrating Turquoise

The mockery of it all! Some of those who formed the disgraceful 1994 Opération Turquoise recently congratulating themselves over a job well done? At a time that their leadership has seen better to turn the page and embrace productive, collaborative engagement with Rwanda? No doubt, for their...

Friday, June 21, 2019, 12:00 AM

If someone’s wishes were power, Rwanda would be an Abkhazia

It’s unlikely you’ve ever heard of the name Abkhazia. It’s even more unlikely that you’d hazard a guess as to whether it’s the name of a country. Most probably your guess would be that the name belongs to one of those terrorists that so frequently flow off the lips of...

Friday, June 14, 2019, 12:00 AM

To be spurred forward, let none forget where they’re coming from

An old veteran of this city, losing my way on one of its streets? Incredible! Yet that’s exactly what happened the other evening at the Sonatube roundabout, on the road from the city centre through Rwandex to the airport. I found myself headed for Kicukiro Centre, instead, when my...

Friday, June 7, 2019, 12:00 AM

Pray, is Rwanda responsible for Museveni’s wounded ego?

You’ve seen it all over the social media. A snapshot of President Paul Kagame seemingly taking a snap chance to engage Ugandan President Yoweri K. Museveni in a ‘conversation’ at the swearing-in ceremony of Cyril Ramaphosa as South African president. I’d eagerly give my...

Friday, May 31, 2019, 12:00 AM

Rwanda is on the up and up; officials should not let her down

Rwanda being Africa’s second most popular destination for hosting international conferences and events, after South Africa? This is a coup for this country, if ever there was one. She has sprung many surprises before, true. But if it’s possible to clinch this position when a mere...

Friday, May 24, 2019, 12:00 AM

No qualms needed over Rwanda’s democratic dispensation

In a Sunday Nation (a Kenyan paper) article of last May 12 entitled “Kagame is a shining star for African leaders to follow”, Mr. David M. Kigo outlines some of the correct things President Paul Kagame has done at the service of his people in particular. And refers to the good work the...

Friday, May 17, 2019, 12:00 AM

Is a catastrophic collapse of Mother Nature stoppable?

Every time I visit Kigali city centre and cast my eyes around, I get mixed feelings. Where the other day (late 1990s) there were only ‘rukarakara’ (mud-and-wattle) houses, I see concrete-and-glass buildings. Some are long-established (though mere ‘teens’) while others are...

Friday, May 10, 2019, 12:00 AM

Give government space to do the heavy lifting

I remember laughing my grey head off when my son presented a test paper score of 6 out of 20, on the theory part of an overall test for a driving license. I was miffed but amused, too. An Anglophone university undergraduate, to boot, and the test was in English? The fellow insistently pleaded...

Friday, May 3, 2019, 12:09 AM

Genocide-deniers may buzz all they want; this land is just fine

You’ve heard them more times than is good for your sanity. Especially in these times of recalling the pain of 25 years ago. For deniers, belittlers, genocide ideologues, their criminal hangers-on, the horde, it’s time to twist a knife in the wound. With their genocidal tongues, fingers...

Friday, April 26, 2019, 1:32 AM

There is fortifying power in revisiting our past agony

The season of sorrow is upon us. And we must go there where we dread, for the twenty-fifth time. “Dread”, all despite our ever-pressing reminder that go there, we must. The anguish of remembering is omnipresent on our conscience. It’s inescapable. Yet how we need it! Let’s...

Friday, April 12, 2019, 3:34 AM

Loathe or love her; Rwanda is for progress and bears none ill-will

After parking my run-of-the-mill jalopy at a bank, I hobbled to its ATM cabin. The queue of factory workers of the area was long but I had all the time, so I joined up to await my turn. But before I could say “turn”, the bank’s security guard rushed up, brandishing his hippo whip...

Friday, April 5, 2019, 1:55 AM

Africans’ resilience will always prevail

Some goings-on in our immediate neighbourhood are straight out of the mad-house! In one corner, a seemingly sane man is seized in fits of sweaty up-and-down jumps in the name of prayer. Take a closer look, however, and that prayer rather appears to answer to the hypnotic rituals of witchcraft....

Friday, March 29, 2019, 1:45 AM

To immediately adapt innovation to our ways or not, a question for this land?

Reading last Tuesday’s opinion on our dismissal of some of what we used to read as futuristic fiction as just that, fiction, and how now it’s revealing itself as living reality, I laughed myself to bits. Contrary to your suspicions, I have my faculties about me. It’s only, I was...

Thursday, March 7, 2019, 12:00 AM

If dictatorship be the mother of this progress, let it play on

Looking at how the citizenry have taken up abandonment of a think-small mind-set for a think-big one where they strive for self-empowerment in a hygienic environment of order and cleanliness, it’s a shame that there are Rwandans still clinging to the past glorification of shallow ambitions,...

Friday, March 1, 2019, 12:27 AM

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