The silly season

What a year this has been! How time flies, it feels like just yesterday when I watched President Paul Kagame give his New Year speech and peered over the wall to watch the fireworks at the distant Ministry of Foreign Affairs. This year, we have seen entrenched leaders in Tunisia and Egypt fall, South Sudan gain independence, the capture of Laurent Gbagbo, the killing of Osama Bin Laden,

What a year this has been! How time flies, it feels like just yesterday when I watched President Paul Kagame give his New Year speech and peered over the wall to watch the fireworks at the distant Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

This year, we have seen entrenched leaders in Tunisia and Egypt fall, South Sudan gain independence, the capture of Laurent Gbagbo, the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the head of the IMF get arrested for sexually assaulting a hotel housekeeper and Libya getting split by a civil war.

And this is only a summary of what I can remember in a 5-minute period. Then last week, Serbian Police caught up with Ratko Mladic, the most-wanted man from the Bosnian conflict, part of a triangle of the big men wanted from that war – his former boss Karadzic, and ex-President Milosevic being the other two.
 
Milosevic died in custody and Karadzic was arrested in 2008, living out his life in disguise as a doctor of alternative medicine in Belgrade.

As with the killing of Osama Bin Laden, the arrest of Mladic in a village in Northern Serbia brought to my mind our own big fugitive at large, Felicien Kabuga.

Mladic was arrested due to persistent pressure brought to bear on Serbia, including linking EU accession talks to the issue, by the international community even though the authorities in Belgrade will surely claim differently.

The trouble with the Kabuga case is that while some have claimed him to be in Kenya, no one can provide conclusive evidence to back this up and it would be unfair to subject Kenyans to international pressure without solid evidence of his presence.

So for now, we can only sit back and ask that countries use every effort to investigate if Kabuga is, or was, present in their countries and use international pressure to make sure that these efforts are sustained.

Of course, seeing that he committed crimes in an african country, Rwanda in this case, this pressure is not likely to be as vigorous.

It should also be kept in mind that it took 16 years to capture Mladic even while the powerful EU breathed down Serbia’s neck.

How much longer will it take to capture our very own great financier of the Genocide is something even I would not dare speculate on.

It’s official. The end of the world has been postponed to October. I’m told that the evangelist in question is making this prediction for the fourth time.

He also supplied a very convoluted explanation to show how he was right the whole time to go along with the latest prediction.

For those who ever wondered what the words ‘prophet of doom’ meant, Harold Camping of California USA just provided a definition as good as any dictionary.

Our own country has had its share of prophets of doom and hoaxes too. My advice?

Try to force a date out of them, and then calmly wait for the date to pass before burying them in a hailstorm of mockery.

This year has also seen its share of remarkable claims in Rwanda. Voluntary vasectomy was misrepresented for forced castration, replacing thatched roofs with more permanent tiles and iron-sheets portrayed as an exercise in disposition of the poor, a tremor transformed into the supersonic boom of a jet-fighter or, alternatively, a result of explosions to create a presidential underground bunker.

It’s been a remarkable year but it also seems that for certain periods, it was the silly season.

okabatende@gmail.com

ADVERTISEMENT