With almost a year left for its term to end, the Rwandan parliament closed shop after admitting four new members last Wednesday.
The new members were replacing MPs who either died or got employment elsewhere, prominent among those replaced include; Dr Aisa Kirabo Kacyira who took up the mayorship of Kigali city and several who resigned to contest for slots in East Africa’s Legislative Assembly in Arusha, Tanzania.
Two Liberal Party MPs however were replaced after being thrown out by their party.
Another former member in the legislative fraternity will however not be celebrating, thanks to Nyamirambo High Court.
Agnes Ntamabyariro, a former Minister of Justice along with several former high profile lawyers in Habyarimana’s regime who are wrestling with Genocide crimes, stand accused for sensitizing people to indulge in mass killings in Butare.
The ex minister has appeared in court 20 times but the case is expected to drag on.
Damascene Nkurunziza, a National Bank of Rwanda Director is currently behind bars for bribing a Gacaca court official with a meagre Frw 60,000.
Damascene had allegedly promised the president of a local Gacaca court Antoine Mupende Frw 200,000 if he released his brother Vianney Mugiraneza.
Police arrested the BNR official as he was giving the booty to Mupende at La Printemps Bar in Kimironko last Sunday evening. Mugiraneza was sentenced to 18 years for having participated in the 1994 Genocide. The bribe was meant to facilitate the appeal that Mugiraneza’s people have lodged.
As a statement on his moral high ground, the Gacaca judge proudly said “Nkurunziza thought he would use me forgetting that I am a man of proven integrity and incorruptible. Let others borrow a leaf from me.”
Sadly though, the insensitivity against Genocide survivors is still very prevalent in the Rwandan community. Reports from the Southern Province indicate that murders of witnesses and survivors are on the rampant. Several elderly people have been found dead in their houses after testifying in Gacaca courts. Police as usual is still “carrying out investigations”.
Rwanda is determined to help the people of Darfur from the repressive Janjaweed militia that has continuously committed crimes against humanity. The government of Rwanda last week added another battalion to help maintain peace in the area. Rwanda already has the largest peacekeeping force in the region with three battalions and a Major General, Karenzi Karake.
Rwanda’s additional troops come in the wake of recent attacks against peacekeepers in Darfur that left 10 dead, none of them RDF.
About 1,000 rebels from the Sudan Liberation Army attacked a UN peace keepers’ base outside the town of Haskanita Saturday after sunset when Muslims break their daytime fast for the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
The politics of Sudan however took another turn on Thursday as the Southern autonomous region under the Sudanese People’s Liberation Movement-a political party formed after the end of military fighting between SPLA and the Arab-dominated Khartoum regime ended after peace negotiations in 2005.
Now the rebels-turned-government-parteners have decided to terminate their relationship with Bashir’s government. The BBC reports the Khartoum government has continued to deploy northern troops and refused to draw a boarder between south and north Sudan.
Recently he said he is a ‘General’ and therefore no one can give him instructions when it was alleged that he working on Rwanda’s instructions to fight Joseph Kabila’s regime. Now Nkunda has decided it is time he began attacking DR Congo’s government.
All along Nkunda has consistently said he is defending his Tutsi tribesmen from attacks from FDLR bandits who are cohorts with Joseph Kabila’s army.
Denis Polisi is a legislator, only Elie Ngirabakunzi knows otherwise. Ngirabakunzi is the Liberal Party MP who was recently given his marching orders from the party and parliament after disagreeing with Protais Mitali, his boss.
Ngirabakunzi had branded Polisi ‘a cowboy’ for not supporting the legislator save his parliamentary sojourn.
Polisi came out vehemently to deny the ‘cowboy’ allegations saying his senior position in parliament cannot permit him to indulge in cowboy business. He called the cowboy description blasphemous.
The recent outbursts against Banyarwanda in western Uganda by the Bagungu led to the formation of several commissions of inquiry, many have since released their reports, and these reports mostly have the same conclusion-that the Banyarwanda interests are not protected by the Uganda government.
The recent report issued by Uganda Land Alliance stated that the Uganda government has abandoned the Bnayarwanda and that tribal conflicts involving the Banyarwanda should not be blamed on the Uganda government.
The government is reported to be playing whodunit with the pastoralists after encouraging them to buy land for permanent settlement and then not supporting them whenever the pastoralists faced violent resistance from local government leaders in Uganda.
The negligence by the government of Uganda is translated as silent support for local communities to attack and destroy property owned by Banyarwanda in Uganda. This has happened in Buliisa, Soroti and Northern Uganda.
As part of his working tour to the US and UK, President Paul Kagame held high profile meetings with leading international politicians and investors, with one message; invest in Rwanda and open their markets for African products as the only way for Africa to escape the poverty trap.
While in the UK, President Kagame’s meeting with Gordon Brown Prime Minister of UK called for fairer trade terms, while Gordon expressed his satisfaction with Kagame’s leadership especially in regard to economic development programs.
The UK, is the leading development partner for Rwanda with budgetary support totaling to 48 million pounds as per 2006 budget.
The long-running episode about the privatization or re-privatization of Rwandatel ended, thanks to Libyan firm that coffed $100 million (Frw 54 billion).
A cabinet meeting on Wednesday stated that a Libyan telecommunications company Lap Green had satisfied government with its bid, Lap Green is fighting it out with South African giants Vodacom.
Lap Green has promised to reduce communication charges and make it affordable for every Rwanda to make a phone call.
They should be glad that they still have their lives, however they are not. Genocide suspects who are currently detained at Arusha’s International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda- not satisfied with being in jail- sentenced themselves to a hunger strike to get more attention from the international community.
Out of the 55 suspects, 45 are reported to be starving themselves to protest plans to transfer some of them to Rwanda to answer their cases. From their refusal to come to Rwanda and answer for their crimes, it seems the detainees are afraid to come face to face with their victims.
After Rwanda’s scrapping of the death penalty recently, Genocide suspects arrested in foreign countries will be asked to return and serve their sentences in Rwanda.