IN RUBAVU, RWANDA
Kigali streets and pavements are clean
The first thing that strikes any visitor in Rwanda is the high level of hygiene. Rwandans are very clean people, and the streets of the capital city Kigali do not have uncollected garbage that is common in the streets of Nairobi.
From the streets, roads, pavements, walkways and even homes, the level of cleanliness is high, thanks to a clean-up day held on the last Saturday of every month.
One can barely spot litter. Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko toured Kigali last year on a bench-marking trip. Reason for optimism perhaps?
In Rwanda, drivers keep to the right
Unlike in Kenya, motor vehicle drivers in Rwanda keep right on the road, and so do boda bodas.
I was reliably told by an acquaintance here that this was informed by decisions made by the country’s colonial masters.
In Kenya, boda bodas, commonly known as ‘nduthi’ are a nuisance to many road users because they do not keep to any side of the road. Rwanda is a country of several hills and the roads are characterised by winding stretches. A 150km journey from Kigali to Rubavu in western Rwanda is sure to leave a Kenyan dizzy!
Officials praised for smooth tournament
I'm here to cover the Cecafa Kagame Cup, an annual football tournament which attracts top clubs from East and Central Africa.
Kenyan champions Gor Mahia and league runners-up Bandari are here and so far, officials have earned praise for a well-organised tournament.
The tournament organisers have put together this event with very minimal disruption so far.
And Rwandans have proven very hospitable. Visitors and foreign journalists who lose their way readily get help from locals.
Connect me to Facebook, please!
When I landed here three days ago, the first thing I did, as any journalist would, was to buy a local telephone line.
I purchased a Sim card at a local MTN shop in Rubavu and while being served, an old lady, probably in her sixties, moved to the teller beside me and stretched out her phone, then she requested that the gadget be connected to Facebook.
Upon inquiring, she told me she was tired of hearing ‘second-hand stories’ which had happened days earlier on Facebook and wanted to get information first-hand!