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Rwanda Lifts Ban On Bars After 18 Months




Bar owners all over Kigali are delighted over the partial re-opening of bars after eighteen months since they had been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

In a recent cabinet meeting held three days ago, partial re-opening of bars was one of the resolutions and this was met with great joy from both bar owners as well as revelers that used to frequent these places but weren’t anymore since they had been shut down. 

Social media platform Twitter was awash with different messages from different users of the platform who expressed their joy at the re-opening of the bars and they expressed how they had missed going out and said how they could not wait for September 23, the day they were allocated to re-open. 

Taarifa on Thursday evening caught up with the proprietor of Iwacu, formerly known as Plus 250 located at Sonatube in Kicukiro and had a talk with him in regard to the news of re-opening of the bars, the impact of the closure on businesses as well as life post bar closure. 

Mugisha Eugene says that he was so glad to receive the news of the re-opening of the bars and to him, it is a life coming back. ‘’Everyone in the world, Rwanda inclusive was affected by the pandemic and seeing that bars are being re-opened, it is something very good.’’

Asked about life during the closure of bars, he had a sad tale to tell. 

‘’Iwacu was established in November 2019 so you can see that we had not been in business for long and after a few months, Covid came in and it was followed by the lockdown. A lot of expenses had to still be paid whether we were working or not and it was not easy,’’ 

He goes on to say that during the lockdown, online business had to be paid a lot of attention to as it was the only way they could keep up with serving their clients although it was not easy. ‘’We had to resort to different delivery services and outside catering and that way, we were able to last longer in the pandemic,’’ 

Eugene says that he sadly had to lay off a number of staff as there was no way he was going to keep them all when there was no business due to the lockdown and closure of the bars. ‘’I had to let some of them go and keep just a few that I could manage to pay because there was no way I could keep paying them when I was not bringing in any money.’’

With the re-opening of bars, there are issues likely to come up with the management, clients, authorities but he says that he is very well aware of these and he has put in place a number of measures to combat those. 

‘’First of all, there are some clients who are really big headed and do not want to follow the guidelines put in place such as handwashing, sanitizing, social distancing, wearing face masks appropriately but I have spoken to the security personnel here to make sure that they enforce the guidelines,’’ he said,

‘’We are also in touch with the police because we earlier had a scenario where we were once shut down by the police because our clients were not observing the SOPs and right now, we do not want the same to happen and we shall not hesitate to call the police to come pick up a client who is unruly for us to have peace,’’ he chipped in. 

As he concluded, he called upon different clients who are now returning to the bars, he reminded all that Covid-19 is still there. He asked them not to relax in the fight against the pandemic because if they do, we are bound to return to the times we have been in for the past couple of months. 

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‘I Wanted To Be a Lawyer’ But I Fell Sick On Exams Day



Hundreds of thousands of travellers may have seen this greying man lecturing economics or preaching the word of God along Kayonza-Gatsibo highway.

“My name is Mathias Rutikanga. I was told that a few days after I was born, someone came home and asked my mother what name I would be given. Then that person said I should be named Mathias, and, my mother named me Rutikanga,” he told Taarifa.

Rutikanga lives in Ndatemwa village of Kiziguro, Kayonza district. He always walks on the streets preaching and teaching passersby and most times meets his audience at bus stops.

He also sometimes walks all the way to the capital Kigali and has been sighted in neighborhoods of Nyarutarama, Remera and Kimironko.

Rutikanga speaks fluent English and has acute understanding of economics.

Impressed by his teachings, Taarifa approached him at a bus stop in Ndatemwa and engaged him in a conversation.

What is your level of education sir?

“I just stopped in form four,” he responded swiftly before asking our reporter to identify himself.

Which school did you study from Mr. Rutikanga?

“I studied at Jinja Senior Secondary school in Jinja district in Uganda,” he explained, adding that he resided in Livingstone Hall of residence.

Why did you stop in form four?

“In September 1981 we were preparing for Mock exams then suddenly I felt some headache and it never stopped. I couldn’t write the mock exams. Since then I have a mental illness. It comes and goes,” Rutikanga explains.

What was your career target?

“I was targeting to carry on with History Economics and Geography at Advanced level and later study law at university.”

Mr Rutikanga says he reads many books from where he gets all the knowledge.

He told Taarifa that it was his wish to join the Rwanda Patriotic Army but that time he was mentally unfit. “I was always supportive of our colleagues in the rebel force that removed a bad government in Rwanda. I’m happy to be in my country,” he notes.

Do you remember any of your schoolmates or even classmates?

“Yes, I had two Rwandan friends, one was called Bugingo and another Hashim.”

About Jinja Secondary school

President Paul Kagame is also said to have studied at this school although much emphasis is heaped on Ntare School.

Jinja Secondary School was founded in Uganda’s then industrial capital, Jinja to provide education for children of the growing Indian Community in 1948.

School moto: “By reverence By questioning,By service”

After 1948 locals were allowed to join sparking bitter confrontations that were to become a test to Independent Uganda’s commitment to multi-racialism.

There was a time when strikes were so rampant at Jinja Secondary that some parents were quick to brand non-boarding schools a no-go option when choosing schools for their pupils.

But little did they know that history has everything to tell about the legacy that came to be identified with one of the oldest and biggest schools in East and Central Africa.

When Jinja SS was formed in 1948 it was formed as Government Indian School to serve the high population of Indians in Jinja and it was envisaged to be exclusively for the then emerging business class of Ugandans of Indian origin.

“However, soon after independence in 1962 government as a policy encouraged African students to join the school. It was renamed Jinja Senior Secondary School,” William Ongom Olara, an old student and now a teacher at the school explained.

This made Jinja SS a government school but the policy of allowing African students join and freely fuse in with Indian students did not go down well with the Indian Community.

“They resisted the presence of African students in the school, and a strike by African students was staged. Many Asian students and teachers were injured. An amicable agreement was reached when Madhvani family funded the establishment of Pavertben Muljibhai Madhvani Girls’ School to cater for the Indian girls as an annex of Jinja Senior Secondary School,” he explains from the school’s history.

But one of the underlying issues at this high school was that the Indian community was particularly uncomfortable with Indian girls mixing and perhaps later getting into a relationship with African boys, which was abominable in this culture.

“The Indian have abandoned the school. The school that started out as all Indian has only two Indians and two Pakistanis,” Ongom added.

The reason of the fight for purity by the Indian community has come to pass for the school which currently boasts of a student population of 4,294 students only has two Indians. The school sits on quite an expanse of land, of 12.44 hectares, school teaching staff of up to 130, 20 non-teaching staff and 43 group employees.

And up and until 2008 strikes persisted at this school but the incoming head teacher, Diana Hope Nyago was able to create channels of listening to students as a measure of deterring situations of violence that were partly rooted in poor communication between the students and school administration.

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Joseph Kabila Completes Doctorate Studies



Mr.Joseph Kabila has henceforth become Doctor Joseph Kabila after successfully completing his doctorate studies from Johannesburg University in South Africa.

In July, the former DRC president Joseph defended his PhD thesis in Political Science and International Relations.

From details, the Theme of his thesis was; Reflecting on Leadership Development in a post-conflict country case of the Democratic Republic of Congo.

In 2019, Kabila handed over power to current President Felix Tshisekedi in the country’s first peaceful transfer of power since independence in 1960.

While defending his Doctorate thesis early in July, Kabila said that his greatest achievement was successfully unifying DRC after emerging from a cycle of war.

Kabila came to power in January 26, 2001 after his father Laurent-Désiré Kabila was assassinated.

Kabila born on June 4, 1971, was largely raised and educated in Tanzania. He had his early primary school education in a school organized by his father’s rebel forces, before moving to Tanzania where he completed primary and secondary.

Following high school, Kabila followed a military curriculum in Tanzania, then at Makerere University in Uganda.

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Zuma Enjoying Jail From Opulent Home



Former South African President Jacob Zuma underwent surgery on August 14, 2021 at the time he was serving a 15-month prison sentence.

Zuma was in June 2021, sentenced to fifteen months in prison for contempt of justice, but this controversial former president was released on medical grounds.

According to court, Zuma should serve the remainder of his sentence in his domain of Nkandla, an expensive residence which makes up the backbone of his political and judicial battles.

The Nkandla Estate nestles in the remote hills of KwaZulu-Natal. This is where Jacob Gedleyihlekisa Zuma was born on April 12, 1942.

Once off the highway, you have to take winding lanes and pockmarked with potholes. Cattle sometimes stand in the way, as if to remind visitors that they are going to meet a man who, in his childhood, was a herd keeper.

However, the opulence of Nkandla Homestead tells a different story: that of a former president accused of bribery and embezzlement.

The whole is rustic in style, with traditional houses with round thatched roofs. There is nothing flashy about the property, seen from the outside. Yet it is at the heart of one of the biggest scandals of the Zuma presidency.

Barely elected in 2009, the new head of state began work to secure the plot. What should have been an upgrade turned into an unbridled expansion project.

The cost of the site fell from 1.5 million to 12 million euros, financed with public funds. “Comfort in complete safety”, ironically sums up an investigation conducted by the Public Defender.

Each adjustment was justified in a ministerial report favourable to President Zuma. The swimming pool is a fire-fighting basin. The amphitheater, a soil retention wall. Add to this a reception centre for visitors, a clinic (presented as essential in this medical desert) and a helipad.

Cattle ruminate inside a new enclosure, even the barnyard has been redesigned for safety reasons: poultry now nest in a hen house where they will not trigger motion detectors.

This is the place where Zuma will complete his sentence.

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