Monday, June 13, 2011

With Growth Comes Change

Dear Readers, 

Contact FM has been working on a new website. Starting today, the stories from your favorite radio station, CFM will now be posted on our new website

As we work toward the official inauguration of our website at the end of June 2011, you can continue reading all our coverage and much more on the new website. The new website will come with a number of new features. For example, we will have a blog section, we will also have live streaming. Currently we are working to ensure that the live streaming services, once installed will deliver our quality programming to wherever you may be visiting us from. 

The website will also for the first time have a business section, where you can search for different services on offer, right as you continue listening to your favorite radio station. 

Many more services will be offered so as to fit in well with your busy lifestyle. So from all of us here at CFM, we can only tell you to stay tuned and keep in touch!

Friday, June 3, 2011

Rwandan Universities to Harmonize with the EAC

Rwandan institutions of higher of learning will now be starting the academic year in September to June in a move to take up the system used in other East African Community member states. This is a decision made by the Cabinet meeting that sat on Wednesday chaired by President Paul Kagame.

The major reasons for the new academic calendar is to harmonize it with the calendar for the East African Community member states, to have it match with the counties’ financial year, to ease the flow of students going to study in member states and to cut short the period of time spent by students before joining  Universities.

However, Edward Munyamariza, the spokesperson of the civil society in Rwanda, says  that although most of the time the government engages with the civil society on different decisions that have impact on the population, on this academic calendar decision, it was not consulted.

When contacted, the Minister of Education Pierre Damien Habumuremyi told Contact FM that before this decision was taken, all the stake holders were consulted and the allegations by the civil society are simply not true. The academic year has been starting from January to October while in other EAC member states, the year begins in September and ends in June.

The new decision will include changes in the existing syllabus to fit well in the integration requirements. Edward Munyaneza says these changes will come along with consequences, but the civil society is ready to talk with the government to reduce the risks.

The education sector in Rwanda has been facing a lot of changes recently due to its inclusion in the east African community, for example the use of English as a communication language in schools. However the Education minister says that these changes are inevitable.

The Education minister also said that the higher education institutions in the country have already started preparing themselves to adopt the new system in September next year. Normally the academic year lasts for ten months but if this system starts operating, the academic year will be reduced to eight months.

Prison Authorities Hold Woman at Remera Over Tender Row

Chantal Mushambokazi, a businesswoman who won a tender last year to run the Remera prison canteen located in Kimironko, here in Kigali was this Friday taken hostage in the prison director’s office due to a contract dispute.

In July last year, Mushambokazi won a renewable contract that ran until February 2011. Mushambokazi’s family told Contact FM that she honoured this contract but had written to the prison management asking for the contract to be renewed.

They didn’t respond. She had also asked for the contract to be reviewed because of very high market prices that no longer made the business profitable. Still they didn’t respond. As a result she recently wrote to Remera prison authorities asking them to terminate the contract and on Wednesday she stopped work all together. 

It is in this respect that Contact FM visited Remera prison to find out the real picture. We were stopped at the gate and told to obtain a letter from the Director General of the National Prison Services. In the meantime we talked to Mushambokazi on the phone who told us she was coming out of prison to talk to us. But prison authorities prevented her from leaving prison premises and confiscated her phone as well.

Our efforts to speak to Remera prison director, Uwera Gakwaya Teddy to establish the reason for Mushambokazi’s ordeal and the contract situation were futile as she refused to pick our reported calls.

Update: Court Incompetent to Try Genocide Cases, Declares Danish Court

The Danish court of Roskilde, west of the capital Copenhagen said on Wednesday it has no competence to try Rwandan genocide suspects, a decision that reveals a legislative vacuum in Denmark.The court found that there was no legal basis for Denmark to pursue foreigners blamed for genocide in a third country. 

This decision will directly impact on the trial of Emmanuel Mbarushimana, a Rwandan genocide suspect who was arrested in Denmark in December 2010. However, the court said it was competent to try him on murder charges and would keep him under provisional detention in the meantime.

During the genocide, Mbarushimana was the inspector of primary schools in Muganza commune in former Butare prefecture in present-day southern province. Mbarushimana is alleged to have led a death squad involved in the massacre of 25,000 Tutsis in the town of Gasagara between April 21 and 25, 1994.  

The 49-years old arrived in Denmark in 2001 and lived in Roskilde, 30km west from the capital Copenhagen.
Rwanda’s Prosecution says there are at least 15 genocide suspects on Danish soil.


Rwanda Declared to be a Manageable Risk

Rwanda has been rated as a country with manageable risk according to a survey released at the end of May by Strategico, a French organization that handles risk organization. Strategico looks at some specific factors such as arms and politics, economic issues such as the budget and financial stability, population issues, religion and social issues such as development, education, freedom of speech and so on. 

The organization concentrates specifically on African countries; it has noted Benin and Cote D’ivoire as the countries whose risk has reduced. Burkina faso’s situation especially politically has been termed as tense since after the elections there have been a series of protests and mutinies, Guinea has also been associated with risk as Conde is said to be scaring investors and the opposition while closer home in Uganda-the tense political situation and frequent protests have also made the country be taken as experiencing a high risk.