Pan Butamire

Truly, this country has come a long, hard way

A visit to the Campaign Against Genocide (CAG) Museum in Kigali is a plunge into the scary hole of the near-impossibility of recreating a genocidal Rwanda into the new country we see today! That the museum is in the basement of the Parliamentary building doesn’t help matters. The terror of...

Thursday, April 26, 2018, 10:28 PM

Third world, reject being turned into “the grass that suffers”

Every time you wake up, Rwandans, you should all remember to give a thought to the God of Rwanda, Imana y’u Rwanda. It’s not all the time that a people manage to choose a leadership whose governance code is the single-minded pursuit of one goal:  their total emancipation. But...

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 11:09 PM

For advancement and consolidation, we dare not tire in remembering

This day, twenty-four years ago, this land was already awash with the blood of close to sixty thousand victims, if not more. Yet these were only the first six days. At the end of the ninety-day genocide, the final count of this hollering, horrendous butchering orgy, whose ferocity had never before...

Friday, April 13, 2018, 12:44 AM

Total selfless leadership: Is it achievable in this land?

You remember the cartoon in these pages: a suited-up government dignitary at the head of an entourage of mollycoddling local leaders tossing up his coat behind when he feels hot. And, sure enough, the leaders are jumping over themselves, each to carry the prised coat for the honcho as others are...

Friday, April 6, 2018, 12:55 AM

Interaction, collaboration: A sure bet for strength, wealth

And so there you are, bemoaning your woes of difficulty in fulfilling travel needs because you think that at fifty thousand Rwanda Francs (Frw), the business of acquiring a passport is costly. You’re not impressed by the fact of simply sauntering into the immigration department to place your...

Friday, March 30, 2018, 1:13 AM

AfCFTA: May Kigali be the launch pad for a united Africa

Talking to ‘The East African’ weekly, a Rwandan based in Kenya says: “Kenyans are go-getters and great entrepreneurs, Ugandans are hospitable, Burundians are colourful, Rwandans have discipline and focus.” The statement is a summary of the opinion that answers to his quest...

Friday, March 23, 2018, 12:00 AM

From the “glassful” of yore, Rwanda is a busy-bee, welcome-all house

“Rwanda is like a glass full of water. One single drop and the glass will overflow.” You remember the author of that infamous statement, made in all seriousness. Whatever corner of the none-too-cold place he is in, has that author swallowed his words? To jog your memory, the author was...

Friday, March 16, 2018, 12:00 AM

Kigali ripe for an animal sanctuary

The other day a friend from the 1980s, when we lived in Kenya, was telling me about an idea he wanted to try out in Kigali in 1998 and how he shelved it, when it met resistance. Seeing as it was a brilliant idea but also that it was at a time this country was grappling with so messy a situation, I...

Friday, March 9, 2018, 12:00 AM

Africans, the Western 'paradise' we crave can find us here

Refugees demonstrating over reduced hand-outs? My heart bled when recently I saw Congolese refugees in Kiziba camp, here in Rwanda, violently demonstrating over these alms. In our long and roaming runs as refugees (1959–1994), anybody entertaining such an idea would’ve been laughed out...

Friday, March 2, 2018, 12:00 AM

Can current individual countries' political tectonic shifts deliver?

Some of us heaved a sigh of relief when Robert G. Mugabe went with a whimper and not a bang. He was past his sell-by date and there are so many tumbles a man can take, true, but we’ve to admit we always cheered when, once on the rostrum, he tongue-lashed those superpowers that lord it over us...

Friday, February 23, 2018, 12:00 AM

Volunteer leaders at the grassroots, our unsung heroes

There is a cadre of workers that we take for granted in this country. Few of us really appreciate the profundity of their work’s impact, especially to the ordinary citizen. I was awakened to this truth recently in a conversation with a friend, who is head of Umudugudu. As a village (so-...

Friday, February 16, 2018, 12:00 AM

The West may be going west; let us look to youthful East

Everybody will tell you Dubai City is the destination of choice when you want to purchase anything under the sun, on the cheap. It’s the go-to place when you want pickings at rock-bottom price, especially used vehicles, to ship home for personal use or as merchandise. What no one will...

Friday, February 9, 2018, 12:00 AM

Africa, Action Man at your service!

“If it’s not the old fogy himself!” yelled Sylvetre Semajeri, on seeing me on one of Kigali’s sidewalks. “Come,” said he as he yanked at my sleeve and led me to a corner in a nearby joint. By now you know my homeboy of the slopes of Mt Muhabura, I’m sure....

Thursday, February 1, 2018, 12:00 AM

Young generation: "Claim your rightful place" at the high table

Today, like during this year’s Umunshyikirano, President Kagame spells the message out clearly, not as something new but for emphasis on the weight it carries for the future of this nation: “Ntakugenda buhoro; ntagucika intege; ntakwirara.” The message: if we are to realise our...

Friday, December 22, 2017, 12:00 AM

Rwandan mountain summits daring mountaineers to conquer them!

There are humans living amongst us and looking every inch like us but who, interestingly, do not belong to our world; they are otherworldly. With your wits about you, can you voluntarily tempt death by plunging right into the belly of the beast that’s boiling magma? Memories of Nyiragongo...

Friday, December 15, 2017, 12:00 AM

Nothing more golden than uniting to live and advance together

Seeing mature individuals being at peace only when they are sabre-rattling or spoiling for a fight never fails to astound. We may have accepted to swallow slurs wrought on us by bullies of our youth who only gave us peace when we licked their toes because we knew they’d grow out of it. But...

Friday, December 8, 2017, 12:00 AM

A rabbit skin as a 'blanket' can host a multitude!

In Rwanda, there is a saying that goes: “Ahatari umwaga, uruhu rw’urukwavu/imbaragasa rwisasira batanu”. This, literally, can translate as “Where there is no rancour or hostility, a rabbit or even flea hide or skin can suffice as a ‘blanket’ to accommodate five...

Friday, December 1, 2017, 12:00 AM

May we live to see more blood-kinships!

Many, especially in the youth, may’ve been taken by surprise when they heard President Paul Kagame confer Igihango upon some friends of Rwanda. Igihango? Either they’d never heard of it or, if they had, they thought it was an ancient primitive ritual consigned to the dustbin of a bygone...

Friday, November 24, 2017, 12:00 AM

What’s too costly when your very dignity is at stake?

When, in his opinion piece, a fellow columnist rattled off names of hangouts in this city, though he mentioned only a few in passing, I felt like an alien. I’d definitely need a tour guide if I wanted to know all the hospitality places around. It’s intriguing. Only the other day, I was...

Friday, November 17, 2017, 12:00 AM

Can our police achieve a crime rate of 0.3 per 100,000 people?

It’s unbearable grief when young lives are carelessly snuffed out at the hands of rogue drivers. Last weekend saw this kind of tragedy when seven students from Kampala International University, six of them Rwandan, perished in a road crash on the Kampala-Gulu highway in Uganda. May their...

Friday, November 10, 2017, 12:00 AM

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