Pan Butamire

Away with the primitive hoe; time for total mechanisation

The eighth edition of the African Green Revolution Forum (AGRF) graced Kigali last week. On a continent whose citizens still largely rely on the primitive hoe to eke out a living, such a knocking-together of heads to ponder ways of financing agriculture and in the end putting it on an industrial...

Thursday, September 13, 2018, 10:10 PM

Heckling democracy; not the Rwandan way

That a passing comment in The East African newspaper can elicit an elaborate reaction from a high-ranking government official is evidence enough that everybody’s opinion is listened to and respected, correct or erroneous. Rwandans, in all their humility, always seek to correct any...

Thursday, September 6, 2018, 11:18 PM

Spoiling for a fight? Look elsewhere; here we sue for peace, but….

It’s true what President Paul Kagame said last Thursday on August 23, while campaigning for RPF parliamentary candidates, as chair of the party, in Gisagara District, Southern Province. It’s also true that his statement, as I understood it, was two-pronged; double-barrelled. As is...

Friday, August 31, 2018, 1:10 AM

People’s power will always prevail over Machiavellian machinations

This immediate region, nay, Africa, is an interesting place. As a people, for the region as for the continent, we are all joined at the hip, whether our leaders want it or not. We may be cocooned inside bounded land masses but we are all one family. You’ll remember, for instance, the case...

Friday, August 24, 2018, 12:03 AM

Rwanda: From Zombie-land to Bag-o-thousand-tricks-land

At the base of Rwanda’s border ‘horn’ that projects into D.R. Congo’s eastern border convergence with Uganda’s south-western border, at the foot of Mt Muhabura, there snuggles umudugudu (a village) that goes by the imposing name of Amajambere. That name has a long...

Friday, August 17, 2018, 12:02 AM

Bright heads of the world, Rwanda begs to pick your brains

Last week, ex-presidents of a number of African countries were in town. African luminaries of yore, evergreens of all time while still around, now unencumbered by incumbency, they are determined to go beyond the confines of borders and do their bit to push African renaissance. If only all our...

Friday, August 10, 2018, 12:26 AM

Kigali city must live up to the high standards it has set itself

“Kigali City to relocate 13,000 households,” announced The New Times, quoting the mayor. For some time now, hardly a quarter-year passes by without a near-equal number being shifted from risky areas to safer zones of the city. Yet many inclines and swampy spots in the city remain...

Thursday, August 2, 2018, 11:15 PM

Can ‘building unity’ be turned into one of Rwanda’s export commodities?

If you were in Kenya around the 1980s, you must have followed the classic court case odyssey of S. M. Otieno, after his death. He’d been a smart Luo lawyer married into a Kikuyu tribe, something of a taboo in his community then. His was a simple case of death and burial, really. But the...

Friday, July 27, 2018, 12:38 AM

How about a ‘Common Wealth of the Great East African Axis’ for an idea?

As has been said by many, every African celebrated the way peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea broke out without much fanfare. This region sorely needed such an example for a lesson. It has since emerged that there may have been some secret, but positive, wheeling and dealing involving many parties...

Friday, July 20, 2018, 12:24 AM

African leaders need to go beyond their call of duty

Today, doubting Thomases have found it inevitable to concede: this country has surprised with a quick rise from a write-off case to a case of something close to success. And fast shrinking that “close” gap. In all frankness, even most of us senior citizens who’ve been following...

Thursday, July 12, 2018, 8:16 PM

July 4 represented more than liberation

They rose with vigour and vehemence, some trying to veil their fiery passion, others too impatient for such cautionary niceties. Our vanguard defenders, our martyrs of justice and liberation, did. At the time, what they thought too primitive for normal humans to imagine, or saw and were ready to...

Thursday, July 5, 2018, 9:42 PM

For peace and unity, South Sudanese need a strong and selfless leadership

Imagine being caged in the contemptible conditions of a refugee camp. Yet, as if that hell is not searing at the core of your heart to engage your total attention, you go for fatal combat with kin, over a broken chair. How laughable, yet how tearfully pathetic. Mayhem and death because of a stool...

Thursday, June 28, 2018, 11:30 PM

Peddlers of alternative truths; time you got off your high horse

So, where has this Wild West ‘cowboy’ sprung from, guns blazing, to aptly come to our rescue? Were we not beginning to miss these passionate protectors of ours, no tongue-in-cheek? For information, ‘cowboy’ is in inverted commas because Rwandan civility forbids calling...

Thursday, June 21, 2018, 11:37 PM

Last call, please! Anybody clinging to the greetings of yore, let go

Reader of this greying column, have you survived the night, waraye, wararmutse, bwacyeye, wabonye (imyugaririro) ivamo, wabonye bucya?  With the latter literally asking if you miraculously saw the sun rise! Or, depending on where you are on this globe, if it’s afternoon or evening, have...

Wednesday, June 20, 2018, 8:52 PM

Last call, please! Anybody clinging to the greetings of yore, let go

Reader of this greying column, have you survived the night, waraye, wararmutse, bwacyeye, wabonye (imyugaririro) ivamo, wabonye bucya?  With the latter literally asking if you miraculously saw the sun rise! Or, depending on where you are on this globe, if it’s afternoon or evening, have...

Thursday, June 14, 2018, 11:25 PM

Can Rwanda push for a truly functional AfCFTA?

Rwandansmay decry the imperfections of service delivery today but they should never forget where they are coming from. Only about two decades ago, there was no service of any kind to talk about. I remember going to the only shop that sold good shoes, bearing the odd Kinyarwanda name of what...

Friday, June 8, 2018, 12:23 AM

Advertising with anybody, don’t all countries or companies do it to increase earnings?

There is this English media know-all I heard on BBC radio last Tuesday (29.5.’18) morning, call him “KA”. You know, one of those fellows who have fronted themselves as experts on the Rwandan society and their citizens’ thinking. So, says this English KA: the Rwandan...

Friday, June 1, 2018, 5:00 AM

Conditional castaway apparel and footwear? What temerity!

I’ve said here before that if the USA were to offer Rwanda its nanoscience, nanotechnology, nanobots and ‘nano-whatever-else’ for a disease-free life when it fully masters knowledge of them, Rwanda would maybe ponder swallowing her pride and accept its (US) castaway cloth and...

Friday, May 25, 2018, 4:55 AM

Will nanotechnology one day bring home our national outlaws?

Fake news is the order of the day these days. And so here is a piece doing the rounds on social media, as you’ve no doubt seen, bearing the bloodcurdling tag of “The Death of Death”. However, scary as that may sound, it’s reportedly the title of a book that carries the...

Friday, May 18, 2018, 2:43 AM

Is humanity visiting anarchy on this planet?

Mighty Mother Nature is hopping mad and we are at peril! Doubtless, our societies are to blame. Otherwise who else is responsible for the way this earth seems to be coming apart, threatening our very existence? Surely, aren’t we bringing doomsday to ourselves? As we speak, the Hawaiian...

Friday, May 11, 2018, 1:11 AM

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