Pan Butamire

To own, or not to own, a roof over our head...

The debate in these pages sometime ago on whether to own a roof or not should interest everyone with earnings of any sort.Seeing how the costs of building or buying a house are so prohibitive, should we leave the venture to the wo/men of means? Should we humble mortals of modest means be resigned...

Saturday, December 7, 2013, 12:00 AM

Can Africans be allowed to dream?

It’s saddening to see the impassioned loathing with which our DR Congo brothers and sisters react to any Rwandan who expresses an opinion on their country. It seems there are some who think that Rwandans can actually harbour any hatred for them.The way I know this country, nothing can be...

Friday, November 29, 2013, 12:00 AM

Why North Kivu desires an independent observer

So, the peace deal between the DR Congo and M23 is as dead as dodo. And President Joseph Kabila is cheering, instead of grieving.The energy that presidents of the regional countries have expended coaxing the two parties into sitting down with them to painstakingly weave out a peace package has come...

Thursday, November 21, 2013, 12:00 AM

Can the Great Lakes Region dare hope for peace?

Mr. Martin Kobler, head of the UN peace-keeping force in DR Congo, is reported to have sworn to turn his attention on other rebel groups, starting with the greatest remaining menace, FDLR, now that the Congolese army has control over the whole Congolese territory.This is a fresh voice and it’...

Friday, November 8, 2013, 12:00 AM

Cry, the beloved D.R. Congo..

Yesterday a number of psychologists were said to have found that people tend to tell lies more in the afternoon than in the morning.It’d be interesting if they also carried out their experiment on the international community.On one hand, can anyone define the form and content of this body? On...

Thursday, October 31, 2013, 12:00 AM

Together, Africans stand as the formidable lone ranger

I was checking the facebook page of a Johnny-come-lately member of a group of critics of the Rwandan government when I saw this sketchy but interesting cartoon on President Paul Kagame.I looked up the page because a friend told me that the critic, a self-confessed late bloomer, had commented on my...

Thursday, October 24, 2013, 12:00 AM

Sankara lives on in his ideas

The commemoration of Sankara’s death seems to have elicited little interest in Africa, if one is to go by how it hardly received any mention in the African media. As they rather too often do, Africans seem to have ceded their voice to outsiders, on matters concerning them.Captain Thomas...

Friday, October 18, 2013, 12:00 AM

Positive contradictions born of 1st October 1990

As has happened for some time now, this year 1st October came and went practically unnoticed. That it was not marked with pomp and pageantry represents one of the contradictions that have gone – and continue to go – into shaping today’s Rwandan society.1st October marks the day a...

Friday, October 11, 2013, 12:00 AM

Nothing can shake strength of character

Decidedly un-African! So, fake! Unless you are African – even then, not everyone – what other verdict would you pass on the just-concluded Rwandan parliamentary elections?At seven in the morning, opening time for the polls, a long line of voters was already calmly waiting to cast their...

Friday, September 27, 2013, 12:00 AM

The Hague: a throne for justice or a zoo for Africans?

There are many international organs charged with punishing the violation of justice for all but the undisputed champion that has netted the biggest haul of violators so far is the International Criminal Court (ICC). Today if you take a casual walk around the ICC’s detention centre and look...

Thursday, September 19, 2013, 12:00 AM

There is no friend like a neighbourly one

What Rwandans have known for a long time and have been saying, sometimes without being taken seriously by outsiders, seems to be coming out to the world at last. This is what some in Rwanda have termed “Hi-Tec” that has nothing to do with technology. It is France’s “Hidden...

Thursday, September 12, 2013, 12:00 AM

Every African is his brother’s keeper

Hopefully, now we can breathe easy. Rwandans were beginning to wonder if their government was not finally throwing in the towel. Only a few days ago, the region’s cacophonous chest-thumpers were up in arms, threatening fire and brimstone, and it looked as if this land was going to be trampled...

Friday, September 6, 2013, 12:00 AM

We are called to force the dream

These days, what’s happening around Goma and DR Congo spokesman, Lambert Mende, is a farce made in outer space! When asked about the source of the bombs that dropped on Goma just before the alliance of the FARDC (Congolese army), UN and FDLR (terrorist group now conveniently forgotten)...

Friday, August 30, 2013, 12:00 AM

Two is company and the more the merrier

Like a bad smell, the DR Congo question sticks on you even when you thought you were done, ever mentioning it again. Correct me if I err, but I think it’s what in French they call “mise en abyme”, a recursive situation. You know how, for instance, sometimes mirrors are arranged in...

Thursday, August 22, 2013, 12:00 AM

It’s all hands on deck for a face-off with the Titans

As I’ve said before, I urge everybody, interested in the details of the Genocide against Batutsi and feeling they know them, to read Gil Courtemanche’s book, A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali. The story was based in Hôtel des Mille Collines but actually the hotel was a...

Friday, August 16, 2013, 12:00 AM

Second-hand democracy for Africa?

I remember the first shoes I wore because they were forced on me and yet they were rejects from someone else. Don’t get me wrong; I did not dislike them because they were second-hand. I only didn’t want to appear as if I relished being superior to my peers. If the Catholic priests were...

Thursday, August 8, 2013, 12:00 AM

Why this bad blood between Rwanda and the West?

IN an e-mail, someone asked me a simple question: “Why this bad blood between Rwanda and the West? You must be doing something vicious that the whole of the West should be ganged against you.” The answer, though, is not so simple. Personally, I can’t find anything bad that Rwanda...

Thursday, August 1, 2013, 12:00 AM

With the Arab world in rubble, is the Great Lakes Region next?

There is a campaign for “constructed confusion”. No other reason can explain why Human Rights Watch (HRW) could not hire a researcher (proof-reader?) so as to avoid betraying the trust of its followers due to a little, silly mistake. HRW is known to make blunders but it hadn’t...

Friday, July 26, 2013, 12:00 AM

With the DRC bleeding, can the UN dare claim legitimacy?

Reports coming out of eastern DRC are that its army, FARDC, and one out of a slew of rebel factions in the country, M23, are in the thick of a flare-up again, after a short lull. As is always the case, just as no one knows what kind of country this mine-jungle collection is or, in fact, if it is a...

Thursday, July 18, 2013, 12:00 AM

Rwanda can be tops in corruption-cleanliness

This year’s Transparency International corruption index report has been commented on and I need not belabour the point. However, in view of the great effort the government of Rwanda invests in fighting corruption, it is worth re-examination by all who care.In good performance in all fields,...

Thursday, July 11, 2013, 12:00 AM

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