It all began when The New Times published its article “Kigali International Airport ranked second-best in Africa” on February 10, 2017. In the story, the newspaper told its readers the following:
“KIGALI International Airport has been ranked second-best airport in Africa and best in East Africa by a reputable Canadian travel and hospitality firm, Sleeping Airports.”
Then the readers of The New Times celebrated the ranking of the Kigali International Airport – and more. They trashed Himbara as a useless Kigarasha for being critical of their beloved regime, anticipating that I might challenge the ranking.
Donna celebrated the ranking and then accused me of twisting things:
“This is very good news for us, and I would like to thank Sleeping Airports Firm for saying things the way they are. The haters….. likes of Himbara will try to find some other way of twisting it to tell their readers that Sleeping Airports have been bribed to brand the Kigali International Airport…To haters I say however much you write negatively about Rwanda, you will always be proven wrong…”
Calling Himbara a Scarecrow and barking dog, Mwene Kalinda responded like this:
“I think we give too much oxygen to the campaigns of the likes of Himbara by repeating their claims, even if only for the purpose countering them. My own approach whenever I receive anything on that useless kigarasha in my e-mail in-tray is to delete and empty my trash-bin. Ignore the wretch, you only give him relevance when you pay him any attention.
Let him be the scarecrow that he truly is; an inanimate thing that only bird brains cannot see how entirely inanimate they really are.
You, I and the many millions annually (fellow Rwandans and foreign air passengers) who use Kigali International Airport can see for themselves the state of its facilities and, even more important, the improvements it has undergone over the last few years. What the likes of such other characters think means absolutely nothing. Mujye mureka imbwa zimoke, for as Churchill said, if you stop on the way to throw stones at every barking dog you will never reach your destination.”
Dear The New Times, in your haste to celebrate things, you and your readers make big mistakes. In this case, you blundered – big time. You should be ashamed of yourselves. The problem is that you assume Rwandans are too stupid to verify what you write. Yes – Donna and Mwene Kalinda foolishly swallow your trash because it is their job to be sycophants. What a pity.
Dear The New Times, here is how you misled your readers and your bosses:
- You got the name of the entity that ranked airports wrong – the correct name is Sleeping In Airports.
- Then you told a big lie by claiming that Sleeping In Airports is “a reputable Canadian travel and hospitality firm.” Sleeping In Airports is not a travel and hospitality firm. It is a website run by a few people. This is how Sleeping In Airports describes itself: “Since the time the site began, travel has changed. Sleeping in airports is no longer just for the young budget traveller looking to save a few bucks. Today, a small team of researchers, writers and an illustrator work to keep the Guide to Sleeping in Airports up-to-date and informative in our own fun way!”
- Then you failed to communicate other issues the Sleeping In Airports website raised about Kigali International Airport. The website says that “the overall capacity of the airport for more passengers is limited, and a new national Rwandan airport is scheduled to start in June 2017.”
We see here that someone in Rwanda told a big lie to Sleeping In Airports. The Bugesera airport will not open in June 2017 – that I can guarantee.