Tag Archives: The New Times

RwandAir named official carrier of Kili Marathon

RwandAir has been named the official carrier of this year’s 42.195km Kilimanjaro International Premium Lager Marathon slated for March 2 in Tanzania. As the official airline partner, RwandAir will fly participants, supporters and organisers in and out of Kilimanjaro region. RwandAir said in a statement, “The management of RwandAir is honoured to be the official airline partner for the 2014 Kilimanjaro Marathon.” “RwandAir, the national carrier of Rwanda and Africa’s fastest growing airline has yet again strategically placed itself in the position to market itself through this headline making event.” A host of elite marathon runners drawn across the region with Rwanda inclusive will go head-to-head in a battle for top honours during this year’s event. By Bonnie Mugabe,The New Times

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Why food prices are going up

Food prices have gone up in different parts of the country compared to the past few months. Rwanda’s main staple food (Irish potatoes) now goes for between Rwf200 and Rwf250 a kilogramme in most markets of the City of Kigali; Huye, Nyamata and Muhanga districts, up from Rwf150 over the past three months. Irish potatoes are, however, up marginally at Rwf160 in Gakenke, Kinigi, Vunga, Byangabo and Cyanika markets. Emmanuel Irambona, a produce supplier in Nyabugogo market, attributed the increase to poor Irish potatoes yields last season, saying farmers used bad seeds. Other traders attributed the rise to bad weather that affected crop production. Fresh peas cost about Rwf1,300 a kilo in Kimironko, Remera and Nyarugenge markets, from Rwf800, while beans are at Rwf700 a kilo gramme from Rwf600. A kilo of cassava flour costs Rwf500 and sweet potatoes cost Rwf250. A kilo of carrots is at Rwf500 in Remera, Nyabugogo and Kabuye markets, same as that of tomatoes. Passion fruits cost Rwf800 a kilogramme, down from Rwf1,000 last week, while bananas go for Rwf1,000 a kilo from Rwf500 a few weeks ago. A kilo of mangoes costs Rwf1,300 and pineapples go for between Rwf500 and Rwf1,000, depending on size. Beef costs Rwf2,000 a kilo, up from Rwf1,800 a fortnight ago. A kilo of fresh fish is at Rwf3,000 from Rwf2,400 last week, while a tray of eggs costs Rwf2,500 in Remera, Gikondo and Kicukiro markets. By Seraphine Habimana ,The New Times

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Commune Rouge, the slaughter scene where Tutsi were buried alive in 1994

Innocent Kabanda, a resident of Gisenyi sector, Rubavu District was 13 years old at the time of the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi. Innocent Kabanda stands next to the memorial site established in memory of thousands of Tutsis who were slain and buried in the pit . Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti . Innocent Kabanda stands next to the memorial site established in memory of thousands of Tutsis who were slain and buried in the pit . Jean d’Amour Mbonyinshuti . He remembers vividly how the killers lured his father, relatives and neighbours to Ruliba cemetery, only for them to be massacred moments later. “Killers deceived him that they were taking him to the commune (district) offices where he and other Tutsis would be protected,” he says, naming some people he knew who were killed there alongside his father. Commune Rouge or Red district, was formally a cemetery. “The place used to serve as a cemetery but in 1990, a deep pit was dug near the cemetry by Gisenyi inmates under the instruction of leaders. Residents were oblivious to the fact that the pit was actually going to serve as a mass grave for some,” Kabanda said. Sources say the genocidal government had ordered Gisenyi prison inmates to dig a pit near the cemetery, two years before the Genocide started. This points to a planned and well orchestrated move to have the Tutsis dumped there in the wake of the Genocide. The plan came to pass when during the Genocide, the Interahamwe militia hoodwinked the Tutsis in the area that they were being taken to the commune offices for safety only for the militia to veer them off to the cemetery to be buried alive. Located in Ruliba cell, Gisenyi Sector in Rubavu District, the mass grave containing the remains of the Tutsi victims has now been turned into a memorial site. Officials, however, say there is a plan to exhume the remains of the slain Tutsis and honour them with a befitting sendoff at a new cemetry currently under construction in the same area. “I am hoping to see the remains of my father   will be alert when the remains are being exhumed so that I see my father and other relatives who were lured to their death. I remember he was dorning a sports jersey and had his identity card in the pocket,” Kabanda says. “The place turned into a Golgotha of sorts because of the atrocities that took place here. Tutsis were being lured here, they never lived to see the next day,” he adds Now the head  of the umbrella organisation for Genocide survivors’ associations (Ibuka) in Rubavu District, Kabanda says hundreds of  Tutsis who lived in Gisenyi and the surrounding areas were led to the cemetery and slaughtered there. There are no official statistics on the number of people who perished there but Kabanda believes the number will be established when the remains are exhumed. “When the Rwanda Patriotic Army (RPA) stopped the Genocide, we emerged from our hideouts and found bodies of the dead dumped in the pit while others were scattered around it,” Kabanda says. “We built a wall around the pit and put a roof on our departed ones,”  he adds.  Place of trial killings...

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Tom Close releases new single

If you thought Tom Mayombo, best known as Tom Close, was giving up his music career for a medical profession, you are mistaken. The RnB singer is ready to take on two tasks. The 2011 Primus Guma Guma Superstar has released a new single dubbed Abantu Barahindutse. The single is already enjoying airplay on local radio stations. This song comes only a month after the release of Byararangiye which was his latest hit. “In this song, I educate and inform my fans and the public as a whole that people can easily change based on various factors; meaning that it is wise to deal with them carefully as anything can happen,” he said. He explained that although not all people act the same way, it is important to note that there is a possibility of people turning against each other. Tom Close said that the message in this song aims at bringing people to terms with the challenges they face in their day to day activities. The singer said that it takes some time to learn people’s attitudes and that their ‘true colours’ can be hidden for as long as they wish. “I want to make sure that people get to know the real world we live and the challenges involved and I am sure that this will help people peacefully deal with others,” he said. For the time the singer has been in the music industry, he has released over 20 singles that include Kuki, Mbwira and Sinarinkuzi among others. By Susan Babijja,The New Times

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Scribes get tips on e-billing initiative

Business journalists have been challenged to learn how electronic billing machines work to be able to report accurately about them. All business people are required by law to issue customers e-receipts for items bought. “These machines will not only help in making tax collections efficient, but they are also useful to the taxpayer in terms of reducing paperwork in form of receipt books and minimising the risks of theft by employees,” Rwanda Revenue Authority’s Placide Kiboga, said during journalists’ training organised by the tax body. The training at Lemigo Hotel in Kigali aimed at equipping journalists with basic knowledge and skills on reporting about the project. Kiboga said that soon, all business people would start issuing receipts asking customers not to pay operators before they receive e-receipts. The tax body last month warned it will penalise businesses that do not have e-billing machines effective April 1. The tax body introduced the machines in 2012, but business operators have been slow in embracing them. By Ben Gasore,The New Times

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Opticians urged to ensure quality products

Local opticians have been urged to ensure quality of the wares they sell to the public. Opticians are specialists who design, fit and dispense lenses for the correction of people’s vision. Speaking at an exhibition of optical products recently, Dr. Pricille Mukabariza, a medical advisor at the Military Medical Insurance department, also warned people with eye ailments against buying eye glasses without medical prescription. “Always consult professionals who can then examine and guide you accordingly,” she said. The optical products exhibition was organised by OPTICA, the distributor for optical frames, sunglasses, ophthalmic lenses and contact lenses. OPTICA’s Raghav Moudgill cautioned the public against buying glasses from street vendors, arguing that they could be harmful to their eyes. By Hyppolite Ntigurirwa,The New Times

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How the ghosts of Genocide haunted Mukeshimana

When he moved onto the stage, everyone expected him to narrate how he hacked several Tutsis to death during the 1994 Genocide and plead for mercy for his evil acts. Mukeshimana spoke of his acts and subsequent nightmares at the Kwibuka Flame stop in Muhanga on Feb 13. Jean-Pierre Bucyensenge But he preferred to talk about how his acts during the Genocide haunted him, compelling him to attempt suicide on several occasions. Dominique Mukeshimana, 41, a resident of Nsanga cell in Rugendabari Sector, Muhanga District in the Southern Province was a young, energetic man at the time of the Genocide, and like many among his peers at the time, he participated in the killings without analysing the implications at personal and community level. So when he was asked to join other extremist Hutus in the hunt and murder of Tutsis, he did not hesitate. He thought he was contributing to ‘building a safe country’, he said. Indeed, Mukeshimana was part of a generation of youths who had for long been indoctrinated with the hate ideology and considered Tutsis as enemies who should be exterminated. “While growing up, our parents taught us to hate some of our neighbours and fellow countrymen,” Mukeshimana narrated. “We were always told that Tutsis were bad people. When the killings erupted, some of the then leaders spread messages that the enemy is the Tutsis. That, coupled with the bad lessons from our parents, pushed me into the killings,” he added. Hunting Tutsis  Mukeshimana says during the Genocide, he took part in several attacks on Tutsis, though he maintains he personally never killed anyone. His task, he told The New Times, was to man road-blocks, identify or hunt down Tutsis and then hand them over to the killers for execution. Mukeshimana says he was particularly active in the hills of Ndiza in the former Gitarama prefecture where he helped hunt down Tutsis. “I did not kill any Tutsis with my hands. ...

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