Last week had some really good news for Rwanda. First, the Agaciro Development Fund contributions hit above Frw 13 billion and the World Economic Forum ranked Rwanda third most competitive economy on the continent, after Mauritius and South Africa.
Also, the UK made a U-turn. Having announced last month that it would block over US$25 million in budget support, the UK has now announced that $12 million will be released in due course.
In a statement released by the British High commission, Andrew Mitchell, the UK's outgoing international development minister, said, "in recognizing the progress made by Rwanda to continuously demonstrate strong commitment to reducing poverty and improving its financial management, Britain will partially restore its general budget support."
Rwanda's financial managerial reputation has never been on the spot but rather praised by donors, including Britain, for being 'model partners' not only in the region but also on the continent.
In an attempt to clarify this, Mitchell said the decision to release only $12 million of the $25 million in blocked aid reflects the UK's continued concerns about Kigali's alleged backing for the M23 rebels.
Ben Llewellyn-Jones, the British High commissioner to Kigali, when asked for a reaction referred us to London for a comment.
An official in the foreign affairs ministry who offered his opinion off record said, "I think these guys know they are backing the wrong horse and are now tactfully laying strategies of joining the winning side but egos are still big."
"It's known, the West will never admit fault and even on this matter, I doubt they will despite the evidence," added the official.
As soon as UK announced its U-turn, Kinshasa declared its anger through Lambert Mende, the government spokesman who has now earned celebrity status for his emotional attacks against Rwanda on international media.
"We do not share their (UK's) analysis [of the situation]... This will not help to resolve the problems in the region. We'll speak to express how extremely dangerous we think their decision is," Mende said.
Even though the current hullabaloo finally settles, one problem Rwanda will have to continue dealing with is a hostile, unreliable and dishonest government in Kinshasa.
Two weeks ago, Raymond Tshibanda, Congo's Foreign Affairs Minister who met with members of the UN Security Council and the body's sanctions committee, called for sanctions against Rwanda's Defense Minister James Kaberebe; chief of defense staff Charles Kayonga; and General Jacques Nziza, a military adviser to President Paul Kagame, accusing them of allegedly being 'in constant contact' with M23.
In the mix of events, Rwanda withdrew more than 300 of its troops operating in the Eastern Congo, who had been fighting covert missions alongside Congolese troops, saying 'the situation on the ground made their continued presence impossible.'
Speaking during an interview with France 24 TV, on Thursday last week, Foreign Minister Louise Mushikiwabo advised Kinshasa to own and act upon their problems, or they will never end.
"DRC has to drop this tendency of playing the victim every time they are confronted with a situation. Nothing is ever their responsibility whenever there is trouble, they always get someone to blame, if it's not Rwanda, its Congo-Brazzaville, if not them, it's the Ugandans or Angolans," the minister stated.
That about sums it up: the storm is not over for Rwanda until DRC drops the blame game.
What Rwandans say about UK unfreezing aid
The Rwanda Focus sought the views of Rwandans on the partial restoration of Britain's budget support, here is what some of them had to say:
"Stopping the aid caused some trouble and led to lots of rethinking and re-planning in our country. It seems to me that politics is all about wanting to change things and people into what you want them to be. They had their reasons and political interests when they stopped the aid and they still have them now, there is something behind it." Samuel Nahimana - motorcyclist.
"This is a positive development to see the Rwandan government's voice heard by the international community. It shows that the 'expert report' which was used as a basis to suspend aid was in the first place baseless and lacked material facts to substantiate those allegations leveled against Rwanda. I hope that other countries shall fall suit in realizing the truth of the problem in DRC and henceforth unfreeze the aid pledged to Rwanda." Dr. Papias Malimba Musafiri, vice-rector for academics - School of Finance and Banking SFB.
"This is good news and actually shows that they had not looked at the situation thoroughly enough before making a decision. But the aid cut had some positive effects for it caused Rwandans to think about what they can do for themselves to contribute to their own development. After all as they say in Kinyarwanda 'akimuhana kaza imvura ihise' (what comes from the neighbor comes after the rain)." Ancilla Mugeni - retired secretary.
"This is a sign that they are starting to trust our country again, and it shows that they were mistaken before in their decision. Although it reaffirms the relationship between the two countries and a better understanding, I think there is more at play in the political spheres that we are not aware of. One cannot be totally sure." Hannington Namara - Chief Executive Officer, Private Sector Federation (PSF).
"I do not see anything good in it because I think it's all just political games and deception. They take thoughtless decisions and then later decide to change their mind. I guess it's all part of their desire to make us bend to their will. Giving the aid or not is all part of their plan and I guess you cannot fully understand politics." Anne Mugabe - accountant.